Live Service Games Are Exhausting
MultiVersus closes its doors on June 25th. That’s an early access door. The move was much debated by Warner Bros. Games and Player First Games. I think the general consensus is that MultiVersus has only been out for two seasons, not one, and everyone forgets it’s an early access game.
Many games have recently been released as Open Beta, Beta, or Early Access, and they have remained so. DayZ is the biggest example I can come up with. The game was in alpha for 5 years, just was launched in beta in 2018. Now this is not a good example. Because you can’t buy DayZ’s battle pass or cosmetics, and MultiVersus has a battle pass and cosmetics system, but you can buy DayZ and play this beta.
It usually doesn’t matter if an Early Access game is temporarily shut down. But MultiVersus Early Access looked like a fully released game. MultiVersus has participated in numerous tournaments in big competitions like EVO and won the Game Awards for Best Fighting Game of 2022.
When MultiVersus launched in Early Access, it seemed to continue with the Early Access title until it was ready for full release. This is similar to how Fortnite went from being in open beta to being a fully released game. But it turns out that’s not the case, and it’s frustrating to see players play openly without worrying and lose the games they’ve put money into.
Players will not be able to receive refunds for in-game purchases while MultiVersus is completely offline. Their progress and decorations will carry over when the game is fully released in 2024, but for now these are left in the air. It can also be part of a tournament). You can also access his character, cosmetics, and training rooms.
Taking MultiVersus offline to improve game quality, netcode, and content cadence is great for casual players looking to try the game in the future, but not so much for players already committed to the game. Not suitable. As someone who plays a lot of free-to-play live service games, it’s pretty disgusting to see games being played for free in the typical live service battle pass system.
Of course, there have been some successful games in this format, such as Warzone, Apex Legends, and Fortnite, but I don’t think that will change. These formulas work very well in repetitive games like Battle Royale. Needs regular content drops, including new limited-time modes (or permanent modes), cosmetic updates, and other seasonal events, to keep the game feeling fresh and not so repetitive .
Yes, we didn’t include Overwatch 2. I don’t think it fits that live service model very well right now. Free to play is nice, but locking a character behind a battle pass is pretty frustrating. It’s not as fast as buying and unlocking.
For example, Overwatch’s newest character, Ramattra, is so powerful that he can now play in competitive mode. I honestly felt that if the team didn’t have a tank that unlocked Ramatra, they would likely lose, or at least lose. However, this makes for an uneven battlefield for players who may not have time to struggle to unlock new characters. again I have money to buy the battle pass.
Live service games are fine if the formula can hit just right with consistent content drops, balance changes, and good cosmetic offerings. I loved Knock-Out City and I know a lot of people loved Rumbleverse, but they never found a good rhythm to update their games Part of the failed crowd.
Also, personally, I’m really tired of keeping up with all the live service games I’m attached to, especially if I have to complete multiple battle passes. Keeping up with Apex’s 100 tier battle pass and Warzone’s own 100 tier battle pass is hard enough that he’s starting to get tired of the live service and he doesn’t want to be in one free play anymore. Live service game. It will probably be the same content for a month or two and will come back after a major update.
Luckily, I have other games to play and work to cover, so I’m not tied to one thing. It’s just sad to find that the format of the content takes us away from these games that we truly love. However, it’s nice to know that the base game hasn’t changed, and it’s great to come back to when you want to revisit it (like the Battle Royale format).
I feel like we’re at a point in games where the majority of players are very tired of the live service format. Games often just get a little stale after a major season update, and there isn’t much that makes you want to play consistently. It’s been a huge frustration from the community, especially for live service games.
Taking MultiVersus offline until next year is a bold move, and I don’t know if it will pay off. Tekken 8 launches, but there’s little room for discussion about MultiVersus, and it’s basically unplayable for months. Fortnite is the only game I feel I can afford to take a day or two (or a week at most) off of. Because Fortnite has really honed how to make their live service games great and how to minimize and expedite major season sales. A little troublesome.
The people behind MultiVersus have said they’re planning some major overhauls, so there’s likely to be a lot of interest back, but they’re saying they’ll set the pace for when they’ll be updating content. You have to face the problem. Few updates happened and the PC version saw the player’s activity drop by 99% of his.
We understand that there is a good market for live service games. It may be more profitable than a fully released game with a set price that players can buy once and finish. But there’s also value in having a complete game that players can rely on right away at launch. Updates will continue to come with the fully released game, easing the pressure of constantly dropping new content for developers and players.
We hope you have a great MultiVersus launch, but the decision to go completely offline has got us thinking about how we feel about live service games. There is certainly a market for free-to-play live service games in the gaming world, but I don’t think many developers have found that balance. I sincerely hope that the team behind MultiVersus will take this time to consider the future of the game and make a full comeback. Rather, I want to remind you that there is nothing wrong with setting a price and releasing a game.