Here’s a matchup you won’t see in the comics – Harley Quinn smacking down Shaggy and Velma, assisted by LeBron James.
It’s a scene that’s only possible when you’re Warner Bros. Discovery and possess a gold mine of classic animated characters to create a lineup for the new partnership’s latest fighting game, “MultiVersus,” which just hit 10.3 million players across all platforms after its July 19 release.
“MultiVersus” is a platform fighter that lets people play one-on-one or in teams of two, using beloved characters including the Iron Giant or Arya Stark from “Game of Thrones” (and soon, Rick and Morty and the aforementioned James, who’ll show up to complement his old toon pal Bugs Bunny). It’s reminiscent of Nintendo’s “Super Smash Bros.” and developed by Los Angeles gaming outfit Player First Games.
The new game is basically the next iteration of Warner Bros. Games’ and NetherRealm Studios’ “Injustice” series, which released a sequel in 2017 and saw DC heroes and villains battling it out. Warner Bros. has experimented with this idea for a while – It added a “multiverse” mode to “Injustice 2” back in 2017, introducing portals that would carry players to different DC Universe worlds to face off. The “Injustice” series also leaned heavily into micro-transactions, laying the groundwork for what would eventually become “MultiVersus.”
“MultiVersus” is free to play. Like most free games, however, it features a multitude of microtransactions that let players buy power ups for their characters, for a better shot at knocking out the competition. The base game is available on PC, Xbox and PlayStation consoles. Founders Packs – which contain tickets to unlock new characters and in-game currency used to purchase power-ups – range from $40-$100.
It’s not clear how many players are paying for the add-ons to “MultiVersus,” and Warner Bros. Games didn’t immediately respond to dot.LA’s request for comment about the game’s current player base.
It is evident that the game’s already gone viral – its official Twitch account has over 46,000 followers and there’s a suite of streamers who’ve been boosting the game’s popularity by playing it live to a combined 332,000 viewers on Twitch.
Titles like “MultiVersus” are easily set for virality thanks to the sheer amount of builds a player can do – so people eager to win are already looking for content like roundups of each character’s best perks and tier lists.
Overall, the game seems pretty well-balanced thus far, meaning each character is relatively equally matched. That will likely lead to more people consuming “MultiVersus” content in their quest for domination. Plus, it’s just fun to watch beloved characters beating the crap out of each other in a brightly colored arena, so backseat gamers tuning in can also have a decent time.
For Warner Bros. Discovery, “MultiVersus” could do on a larger scale what it aimed for with “Injustice,” not only generating revenue through a gaming vertical but also providing synergy by driving people back to its original content. It’s possible younger fans might discover a new movie or show because of the game, and then jump over to HBO Max to check it out... Or, maybe a few rounds of smacking people around as Tom and Jerry will spark a desire to re-watch old favorites.