Smashlike platform fighter MultiVersus is officially offline after 11 months in open beta, with a full release anticipated sometime in 2024. Developer Player First Games announced the shutdown back in March, before pulling the game from Steam's store in April and gradually winding down its content until its closure on June 25.
Players who own the game and downloaded it before April 4 will still be able to play its training and local multiplayer modes, with all characters and cosmetic items from the battle pass and store fully unlocked during the game's hiatus. However, once the game is online again it'll revert back to whichever characters and cosmetics you had unlocked prior to its hibernation. In a MultiVersus FAQ, Player First says it intends to return with a full launch in early 2024, with changes like "the content cadence of new characters, maps and modes; netcode and matchmaking improvements; progression system updates; and much more."
MVPs, thank you for the support during Open Beta! The feedback and inspiration has been amazing. Open Beta will close on June 25 as we prepare for full launch in early 2024. #MultiVersus will be back better than ever with new content, features, modes & more when we return. pic.twitter.com/6NOCMRDBrpMarch 27, 2023
No refunds will be offered to players who spent money on the free–to–play fighter's upgraded versions, premium currency, store items or battle passes. Anything purchased, including unused currency, will be available to use once the game returns with a full launch.
The handling around MultiVersus' supposed temporary shutdown has been bizarre, to say the least, and a process I haven't been a huge fan of. Considering there were $100 editions of the game being sold less than a year ago, plus two seasons of a battle pass and premium currency, it feels somewhat cheeky to pull the rug under from financially dedicated players. It was a solid platform fighter, too—despite some teething problems, I gave it a 78 in my MultiVersus review. It even boasted $100,000 tournaments within a couple of months of launch and seemed to have some serious backing behind it.
That said, Player First Games had always been clear in its FAQ that MultiVersus was in open beta, but wasn't particularly clear about it anywhere else. It was also never really explicitly stated what would happen to the game beyond that. No talks of it going offline were mentioned until the news in March. I presume most, like me, assumed it would be a seamless transition into a full release, or at least far less downtime than half a year (at minimum). Considering how vocal and communicative the developer—particularly game director Tony Huynh—had been throughout the game's short lifespan, it was a left-field development.
As it stands, I'm not sure if its comeback next year will launch to much fanfare. This feels like a mighty bold way to kill any momentum a game has, and even then MultiVersus' popularity has been dwindling over the months. I'm not one to solely rely on a SteamDB chart, but a quick glance at its player count between September and February makes me worry about how well it'll do when it comes back. If it returns at all, that is.