How MultiVersus was rebuilt from the ground up – Interview

MultiVersus system designer Kyle Vigorito spoke to GamesHub about the process of revamping the game.
multiversus relaunch 2024 interview

When MultiVersus vanished in mid-2023, there was plenty of confusion in the air. While the initial version of the fighting brawler was always intended to be a beta, unclear messaging meant the game’s offlining caught many players off-guard. It also inspired a deep longing for more, as players looked towards the game’s eventual return.

After many months in limbo, and many questions about what’s changed, MultiVersus is officially heading back to PC and consoles on 28 May 2024. In its time away, developer Player First Games has been hard at work, overhauling every aspect of the game.

As system designer Kyle Vigorito told GamesHub, there’s been plenty of changes to integrate player feedback, and to ensure MultiVersus can continue to grow. The primary changes, which players will note on booting up MultiVersus, are to the overall structure of the game.

MultiVersus: New features and changes

Where once there were only basic fighting modes, there’s now a range of options – story-focused Rifts, new PvE Missions and modes, and plenty of Events to enjoy with friends. Of course, there’s also new characters: Joker from Batman, a Banana Guard from Adventure Time, Jason Voorhees from Friday the 13th, and Agent Smith from The Matrix.

“During the open beta period, we were able to get a lot of different data from our players,” Vigorito said. “We were able to incorporate this in a few ways. Characters are a little bit larger, easier to read on the screen – especially in the chaos of 2×2. [We’ve also added] new mechanics such as the parry, as well as dash tags, for a good entry option.”

multiversus gameplay changes
Screenshot: GamesHub

MultiVersus has also been graphically enhanced, with character models and environments now completely rebuilt, ground up, in Unreal Engine 5. This has meant new lighting integration for the game, crispier textures, and a range of other improvements – including to the game’s netcode, which is now deterministic. In simple terms, players should have easier, smoother online battles, with more accurate input, and much less lag.

“We just wanted to listen to our players and address any pain points that we came across,” Vigorito said.

MultiVersus: A new story sandbox

Another core change for MultiVersus was to the overarching structure of the game, and the implementation of main story campaigns that allow each character in MultiVersus to interact.

“Part of what makes MultiVersus so special is being able to see the different characters … interact with one another,” Vigorito said. “That’s one of the things that really is appealing to many of our players, so we want to help deliver on those fantasies now, and moving forward.”

Read: MultiVersus preview – Oh, how I’ve missed you

When playing through the game’s story-based Rifts, players will see all sorts of funny, endearing interactions: Velma chatting to Batman about detective work, Garnet from Steven Universe joining Joker’s crew, and even Spike from Gremlins causing chaos. It’s silly and wonderful, and aids a light-hearted tone that defines MultiVersus.

multiversus rifts
Screenshot: GamesHub

According to Vigorito, the Player First Games team was keen to amp up the fun of the game by introducing wild crossover stories, while also ensuring character depictions were authentic, where possible. They want players to get excited by character moments, and for future storytelling possibilities. Nostalgia also comes into play here, as many characters, like the Joker, are voiced by their original actors (Mark Hamill of Batman: The Animated Series, in this case).

Vigorito himself is a Batman fan, and described working on the character and his fellow MultiVersus fighters as “a dream come true.” MultiVersus, in many ways, is a sandbox for its developers. In Rifts, characters bounce off each other like action figures in a toy box.

And as MultiVersus continues to grow, more characters will enter the fray. “So many things go into choosing characters,” Vigorito said. “Do we feel we can bring the most authentic version of these characters to the game? There’s lots of different facets to it.”

harley quinn multiversus gameplay
Screenshot: GamesHub

In the year since MultiVersus has been away, it’s evolved rapidly – and it will evolve again, as new players jump in, and old players return.

Player First Games has approached the game’s refresh with a real sense of love and appreciation for its cast of characters, giving them a fresh, story-based adventure-brawler to thrive within. Those experiencing the new version of MultiVersus will find a silly, fantastic, and over-the-top treat waiting, made all the better for its overarching changes.

MultiVersus relaunches for PC and consoles on 28 May 2024.

Leah J. Williams is a gaming and entertainment journalist who's spent years writing about the games industry, her love for The Sims 2 on Nintendo DS and every piece of weird history she knows. You can find her tweeting @legenette most days.