Multiversus, the Smash Bros. wannabe starring a mishmash of Warner Bros.-owned characters launched its open beta yesterday. You can play the likes of Steven Universe, Wonder Woman, Batman, Shaggy, and the most iconic Warner Bros. character of all, Lebron James (yes he’s in the game and is actually a really good character) as they all beat the royal hell out of each other.
And the shocker is, Multiversus is actually kind of good? I have some issues with the unlock paths and monetization but I spent several hours with it yesterday and it’s pretty dang fun. Spent most of my time playing Garnett but got in a fair amount of Superman as well. So while I still think a Disney version of Multiversus isn’t the greatest idea, the mere possibility of it happening has probably increased greatly due to Multiversus not only existing but not being a complete trash fire. And the chances of it being a free-to-play game? Well Disney likes using their core characters in F2P stuff far more than in traditional games you’d even say pay about $60 upfront and then buy expansions or whatever. With that in mind, I’ve got three rules I think a Disney version of Multiversus should follow in order to really be a long-running success:
1. Give solo players something to do:
Multiversus is a blast to play with others sure, but it seems so limited in what you can do if you are getting a little tired of just fighting friends or randos in quick battles. I don’t think we need something like a full-on story mode like Smash Bros. “Subspace Emissary” mode but even some kind of rudimentary solo mode where you can at least earn currency doing different match-ups, achieving some goals etc. Multi-player should absolutely be the focus but something to let people at least hone their skills offline some with a little incentive to boot.
2. Make the Grind not so grindy
So yeah I played several hours of Multiversus yesterday. What did I unlock at that time? A couple of perks for some of my fighters and an additional profile icon. I certainly didn’t earn nearly enough currency for unlocking a fighter, any fighter. Or stage effects or skins or anything else for that matter. I am more than familiar with the grind of F2P, even in many paid games, there’s a grind element for certain things that can also be unlocked quickly with money.
But in Multiversus, the rewards are pretty straightforward, you get a couple hundred in free currency every match, it can vary a little but not a lot, and as of this open beta, that’s it. That’s not good. If you want to keep players on that treadmill they need pretty constant rewards for doing so and a couple of perks that barely affect the outcome of a match aren’t going to cut it. Sure, high-end rewards should require a lot of work (or some real money) but if it takes me hours to unlock even one good thing that’s not a lot of incentive at all. If a Disney version of Multiversus has something like this and whether it is F2P or not odds are it will have something like this just because most fighting games do, it needs not to be so stingy doling out content I can earn it’s easily Multiversus biggest weakness at this point.
3. Dig Deep
It’s a given that more characters will be added to Multiversus consistently and there are some really interesting choices in the roster such as The Iron Giant (and I know his whole deal is he doesn’t fight but whatever it’s a cartoony fighting game it’s fine), but for the most part, it’s some super recognizable characters from Warner Bros most popular properties and while again that should be the case for the most part, for a game like this, both Warner Bros. and Disney can’t be afraid to get a little weird and pull some deep cuts for the roster, especially as they run out of the most popular characters. Like, eventually you’re going to be left with nothing except the likes of Pete Puma or Humphrey the Bear so might as well sprinkle those oddball choices in-between drops of more well-known and popular characters to really help spread interest out.
So those are three rules I really think a Disney Multiversus should really follow if it wants any kind of long-term success. In case you can’t tell, Multiversus at this point isn’t following any of those rules, but it is merely in open beta right now so that could easily change. Does a Disney version of Multiversus depend on this game doing well? It’s hard to say but the mere fact it exists and is fun to play despite some issues highly raises the chance that someday in the future we’ll see Disney taking a crack at this with all the IP they own.
That’s all for today, a post next week is kind of up in the air due to schedules and weekend plans but it shouldn’t be more than two weeks til I post again so see ya real soon!