MultiVersus Relaunch Draws Many Players and Many Complaints

MultiVersus has finally launched fully after the open beta (which many didn’t realize was an open beta) shut down in June 2023, and while its return has attracted more than 100,000 concurrent players on Steam alone, it’s also sparked many complaints.

Data from player-tracking website SteamDB shows MultiVersus — the Warner Bros. brawler where Gizmo from Gremlins, Rick and Morty, Lebron James, Batman, Arya Stark, Bugs Bunny, Shaggy, Tom and Jerry, Jason, and more can all fight — hit a 24 hour peak of 114,515 concurrent players upon its May 28, 2024 launch day. It’s a strong start for the free-to-play brawler on PC (Sony and Microsoft do not publish player numbers for PlayStation and Xbox.)

Not everyone is happy with the changes developer Player First Games made during the hiatus, however, and MultiVersus has dropped to an overall “Mixed” perception on Steam as a result of negative reviews. Changes to mechanics, the removal of certain features, and intrinsic monetization headline the complaints, with some fans even saying this final version of MultiVersus “feels more like a beta than the beta.”

“They’ve taken away more features than they’ve added.

“They’ve taken away more features than they’ve added. The camera being zoomed and team color options removed is pretty crazy in my opinion, on top of a list of other really important changes like locking characters even in practice range,” Reddit user Radbrad4333 wrote.

“When Marvel Rivals is in a playtest alpha and can launch with a competitive mode, built in tournament system, and relatively well-balanced characters, and this game launches like this after nearly half a year of public playtesting… I don’t get it. They were supposed to learn lessons in the beta and I know it’s early, but after playing most of today, this feels like a miss.”

MultiVersus was originally released in July 2022 but many didn’t realize its status as an open beta due to its battle pass and other microtransactions, additional downloadable characters, and so on. After the game’s numbers had dwindled to under 1,000 concurrent players on Steam, Player First Games announced the beta would come to an end in June 2023.

“Throughout our open beta, we’ve been working hard to build the best gameplay experience, and we appreciate all of the inspiration you’ve given us,” co-founder and game director Tony Huynh said at the time. “Our open beta has been an important learning opportunity for us and a stepping stone to the next phase of MultiVersus.”

But as noted by myriad players online, the full version of MultiVersus is lacking several features the beta did. “Let’s give it up for Warner Bros. and Player First Games for killing the offline scene by removing the complete offline roster,” Doinky420 said on Reddit. “Other honorable mentions go to not being able to test characters before buying them and removing options that people built muscle memory with.”

Another post from sloppybuttons lists “everything that changed for the worse from the beta period”, which includes battle changes like no leaderboards or after battle report, and mode changes like the removal of cooperative battles against AI and no free for all mode with items. It also points to more loading screens, removed input options, and more.

“Let’s give it up for Warner Bros. and Player First Games for killing the offline scene by removing the complete offline roster.

Players are otherwise frustrated with the economy in this version of MultiVersus. While it’s a free-to-play game (with the likes of a battle pass and other microtransactions that let players buy skins and new characters), many players are complaining about major changes to how monetization works.

A cheaper tier of characters available for 1,500 Fighter Currency (one of the in-game currencies) are no longer available, with every character now costing between 3,000 and 6,000 each, or with 1,000 to 1,250 Gleamium (the main premium currency bought with real money). The cheapest players can buy Gleamium is in a pack of 450 for $4.99 while its most expensive and best value pack comes with 6,000 and costs $49.99.

These bundles have specifically caused frustration too, as an uncommon skin costs 500 Gleamium, meaning the cheapest $4.99 bundle doesn’t quite grant players enough to buy one. This is a common technique used to keep players spending. “Scummy as hell,” wrote IWantTheDomoHat. “No one wants to spend $10 for what should be a $5 skin. Please change it to 500 Gleamium. I think I can speak on the behalf of everyone that this is absurd.”

Only five characters are available for free at launch too, and the rest of roster must be unlocked with Fighter Currency, which is earned through completing missions, seasonal events, single-player mode Rifts, and the battle pass, or with Gleamium. Players who want the full roster immediately must therefore pay, using the cheapest options available, $155.

This will give players access to every character, but not the extensive collection of skins, announcer packs, animated ringouts, profile icons, and so on, which are all available at an additional cost. A bundle which includes one skin, stance, emotes, voice over, and a ringout for Shaggy is currently available on sale for 2,444 Gleamium instead of 3,325. Players purchasing the $20 Gleamium pack will, again, find themselves just short of that amount with 2,200 total.

This pack is on the cheaper end of the many on offer too, with others costing as much as 3,390 Gleamium on sale or 4,525 usually. This one includes a banner on top of what’s included in the Shaggy bundle, and would cost players $35 at its discounted price or $45 usually.

“I think I can speak on the behalf of everyone that this is absurd.

“They spent a year making literally everything gameplay wise worse and on implementing f**king currencies, stories, FOMO, and mobile game level grind gems for player versus everyone upgrades,” wrote Patrick on Steam. “So much potential wasted due to baffling decisions and corporate greed,” wrote another user.

“They locked the ability to test out characters and skins in practice, removed our universal currency of Gold and replaced it with three different [mobile game] bulls**t currencies, including ‘prestige’ which is basically a VIP system. Pay more money, get more prestige currency, use prestige currency to unlock the most wanted cosmetics.”

MultiVersus still pulled in a good number of players despite these complaints, but Player First Games knows from experience that number can quickly fall. Fans are therefore hoping it moves to address the community’s complaints quickly.

Ryan Dinsdale is an IGN freelance reporter. He’ll talk about The Witcher all day.

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