Screenshot from “MultiVersus” via The Verge.
You’ve heard of “Super Smash Bros,” but how about “MultiVersus”?
“MultiVersus” is a free-to-play game, and is cross platform. This means whether you are on PS4, PS5, Xbox Series X or S, Xbox One or PC the game is available for you to try for yourself.
This resulted in “MultiVersus” peaking at 144,132 players playing on digital game service Steam on its’ first day.
The other platforms have reported that 10 million people are active on “MultiVersus.” With the successful outlook of “MultiVersus” has to do in part with learning from its’ predecessors within the genre, as well as, other free-to-play games.
Paving The Way For “MultiVersus”
The “Super Smash Bros.” series is largely known to be the series that popularized platform fighting games. While most fighting games usually require to deplete someone’s health or even kill, “Super Smash Bros.” would have you collect damage as you either fly diagonally or vertically off screen.
The series began in 1999 on the Nintendo 64, with a roster total of only 12 fighters.
“Super Smash Bros.” would end up selling over 5 million copies by 2001. The success of this game paved the way for four other games for the franchise.The other games in the franchise are “Super Smash Bros. Melee” in 2001, “Super Smash Bros. Brawl” in 2008, “Super Smash Bros.” in 2014 and the final game in the franchise, “Super Smash Bros. Ultimate” in 2018.
While each game isn’t perfect, each iteration improved to help build the foundation for “Ultimate” in 2018. “Melee” upped the total fighters to 26 fighters, and is a fan favorite amongst “Smash” fans for the speed of the game, as well as the technique of wavedashing.
“Brawl” featured 39 fighters, and the first introduction of third party characters Sonic the Hedgehog and Solid Snake from the “Metal Gear Solid” franchise.
“Super Smash Bros.” for the Nintendo 3DS & Wii U featured 58 fighters, and for the first time ever, the 3DS version of the game was portable, allowing “Smash Bros.” to be played anywhere.
As of right now, the finale in the series is “Super Smash Bros. Ultimate,” which was released in 2018 on the Nintendo Switch, a console that could be played as a handheld device, as well as a docked console.
“Ultimate” featured every single fighter from each previous game, ballooning the roster to 89 in total. “Ultimate” has sold 28 million copies to date.
Arguably the most famous third party representative, Sora from the “Kingdom Hearts” franchise, released in October 2021. This would be the final update to “Ultimate” and the game would not be regularly supported after.
This left a void where other platform fighters could be created.
Then came “Nickelodeon All Star Brawl,” which was released in October 2021. The roster totaled 24 characters, three of which are paid downloadable content.
The Nickelodeon name allows for odd matchups that are unexpected such as Spongebob SquarePants versus Kora from “The Legend of Korra.”
While the game was initially hyped within the fighting community, and being named a “Smash killer” the game was slowly forgotten about and the player base dwindled rapidly. The game has added voice acting, and items, and wanted characters, such as XJ-9, Hugh Neutron and Rocko, but it may be too late to save what was seen as a very promising platform fighter.
“Fortnite,” while not a platform fighter, is perhaps one of the more recognizable free to play games, and has clearly influenced “Multiversus.”
The battle pass system rewards players with items, and is a way to generate money from a “free-to-play” game.”
“Fortnite” is also known for its collaborations that has made it possible to have a team of Ariana Grande, Travis Scott, LeBron James and Spider-Man on a team.
“MultiVersus” Vs. Everyone
“MultiVersus” has arguably become its own successful entity.
While “Smash Bros.” was originally developed to be played casually as a party game with multiple fighters on screen, the fighting game community focused primarily on one on one fights with no items on.
Early on, “Nickelodeon All Star Brawl” was hyping the game for its one on one play, and its wavedashing technique, popularized in “Super Smash Bros. Melee.”
While you could do one on one matches in “MultiVersus,” — which many in the community still prefer, as well as a free-for-all, with four fighters against each other — the game itself was designed with team based 2-on-2 gameplay in mind.
This creates unusual, dream matchups such as Bugs Bunny and LeBron James versus Batman and Superman.
With “MultiVersus” being a free-to-play game, you most likely won’t see another title in this franchise.
Instead, the game will have seasons that add new characters and new items, while tuning the game for bug fixes or exploits.
Either way, this could also lead to Nintendo reaching out to “Super Smash Bros.” creator Masahiro Sakurai to reclaim the title of best platform fighter of all-time.