Free-To-Play Smash-Like MultiVersus Was July’s Best-Selling Game

Wonder Woman effortlessly curls a 10-ton dumbbell in MultiVersus.

Screenshot: Warner Bros.

The best-selling video game last month was a free-to-play fighter from a changing company. Yes, MultiVersusalso known as Super Warner Bros. Meleetopped the July 2022 sales chart, according to data tracking company NPD.

Released last month after an open beta period, MultiVersus is a platformer in the same vein as Nintendo’s perennially popular Super Smash Bros. series. Its gimmick is a roster that also includes a ton of disparate franchises — in this case, all under Warner Bros. vaulted ceilings. You can play as characters like adventure time (Finn the human, Jake the dog), rick and morty (Rick, Morty), looney tunes (Bugs Bunny, Tasmanian Devil) the DC Extended Universe (Batman, Superman, many others), and more. Confusedly, MultiVersus too stars The Iron Giantis particularly peaceful Iron Giant.

Contrary to Nickelodeon All-Star BrawlNickelodeon’s similar foray into fighting games, MultiVersus has been incredibly popular, counting a estimated at 12 million players since launch. (As of this writing, star brawl has 13 active players, according to the stat-tracking site SteamDB.) MultiVersus is also one of the most played titles on Valve’s Steam Deck handheld, although fighting games on portable machines suck a little. The power of free-to-play.

Of course, the $0 price tag doesn’t bring publisher Warner Bros. any cash. Interactive Entertainment. Sales were boosted last month by the Founders Pack, which starts at $40 depending on which edition you get, and grants access to the characters on the roster.

It’s unclear how many individual Founders Packs were sold, or what the total dollar amount is, as NPD hasn’t revealed those numbers. But MultiVersus is always behind other 2022 auction behemoths As Ring of Elden, Pokemon Legends: Arceusand Forbidden Horizon West, year to date. In fact, even though it topped the July charts, MultiVersus is not in the top 20 best-selling games of the year.

NDP officials did not respond to a request for comment.

Shadowing all of this is, of course, the woes of Warner Bros. Interactive, a subdivision of WarnerMedia, which was recently part of a $43 billion merger with Discovery earlier this year. This caused jolts in the entertainment industry, resulting in essentially finished films being shelved (TO TEAR APART bat girl) and popular shows purged from the HBO Max streaming service (TO TEAR APART Close enough).

But WB’s games division is apparently doing just fine. In addition to MultiVersusfamily Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga, released in April, was the third best-selling game last month. There are also more potential behemoths in the pipe. In October, Warner Bros. Interactive will be released Gotham Knights, an open-world co-op action game set in a version of DC canon where Batman died. (Despite indications of a loot grind, Gotham Knights it looks pretty cool.) This will be followed next year by a game based on suicide squadDC’s anti-hero contingent.

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Raymond I. Langston