Warner Bros. and Player First Games’ IP crossover Multiversus only released its open beta yesterday, and already sports a high player count. At time of writing, its concurrent player count on Steam is at 113,148–not far removed from its 24-hour peak of 144,456 concurrent players. However, this only accounts for Steam. When combined with any unknown figures from its console releases, the game’s player count is likely significantly higher.
With its 24-hour peak, the free-to-play Multiversus has eclipsed current concurrent player counts for other popular games on Steam such as Destiny 2 and Warframe.
IGN has also reported that on Xbox, the game has secured a spot on the Xbox’s Most Played list. It currently stands as the second most downloaded game on PlayStation, just behind the recently released cat platformer Stray.
Multiversus takes cues from Nintendo’s beloved Super Smash Bros. franchise in that various WB IPs such as Batman, Steven Universe, and Arya from Game of Thrones fight one another in staged levels.
As with other games attempting to replicate the success of Smash Bros., the various characters and IP in Multiversus–its launch roster includes Taz the Tasmanian Devil, Scooby-Doo characters, and Rick & Morty–have given the game a solid amount of attention.
Another point in its favor is voice acting: most of the characters in the game are voiced by their original actor, or a fan-favorite voice actor. (Shaggy, for example, is voiced by Matthew Lillardwho played him in the 2000s live-action films.) That attention to voice acting marks a quality that fellow platform brawler Nickelodeon All-Stars Brawl didn’t have when it first released, and only recently received this past June via a free update after fan demand.
A closed beta for Multiversus was released last week, and even then, the game had a high concurrent player count of 62,433 on Steam. According to VGCthat player count eclipses older fighting games such as Mortal Kombat 11 (35,147), and Dragon Ball FighterZ (44,303).
Multiversus might have just become the most played fighting game in recorded history. Without console numbers and several servers currently down. Might be closer to 200k with all platforms.
Guess this Free2Play thing really works huh? pic.twitter.com/Wz4buvM5i1
— Maximilian Dood (@maximilian_) July 26, 2022
This is my Multiversus of madness
IP crossovers have trended upward over recent years, and with varying levels of success. The present popularity of crossovers can be partially attributed to the recent rise of the multiverse in theaters. The sci-fi concept has been used to box office success, such as Marvel’s recent Spider-Man and Doctor Strange films, along with this year’s indie darling, Everything, Everywhere, All at Once.
In games, Smash Bros. has been one of the most successful crossovers for decades. Smaller crossovers have seen their own measure of success, such as Netherrealm’s Mortal Kombat and Injustice featuring crossover characters via DLC. But crossovers aren’t an instant measure of success. Disney Infinity, for example, only got as far as three annual games before Disney shelved the toys-to-life franchise.
Beyond Smash, Epic Games’ Fortnite has become the default for high-profile IP crossovers–characters from Halo, God of War, and Star Wars can be player skins in the battle royale. Some of these skins have in-game events attached to them, such as Dwayne Johnson playing the in-game character The Foundation. In the case of Marvel and DC’s crossovers with the game, both publishers released tie-in comics that are canon to each universe.