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Player count plummets for Warner Bros.’ Smash-like MultiVersus

Ruh-roh Raggy...

Batman and Shaggy in a still from the cinematic trailer for MultiVersus Image: Player First Games/Warner Bros. Games
Owen S. Good is a longtime veteran of video games writing, well known for his coverage of sports and racing games.

So, uh, y’all remember MultiVersus, right? Warner Bros.’ Smash-like was all the rage last fall, abetted by a roster including everyone from Batman to Bugs Bunny, Arya Stark, and LeBron James. And just six months after its full launch, MultiVersus has, by one measure, lost 99% of its player base.

The measure is SteamDB, which observes only one platform, PC, of a game that also launched on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X in August. Still, it’s not a good sign. Especially considering MultiVersus hasn’t seen five-figure player counts (on PC) since late September.

It’s hard to believe the game’s sustaining appeal is banked inside its console versions, especially as the third season of the free-to-play fighting game’s content has been delayed. It was originally expected to begin on Tuesday, but on Feb. 8, developer PlayerFirst Games extended the season 2 deadline to March 31, ostensibly to let players complete its battle pass.

It seems that MultiVersus’ developers are running behind the treadmill of free-to-play games development, which demands new content — in this case, playable characters — on a schedule that sustains interest. MultiVersus’ last new character, Marvin the Martian, arrived Nov. 15, along with him a premium battle pass that included alternate forms for Scooby-Doo’s Velma and Bugs Bunny’s many performances as a symphony conductor.

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