Popular characters and a free-to-play model make for a good combination.
MultiVersus - Shaggy

Just yesterday, platform fighter MultiVersus launched into open beta. So far, the response from gamers has been overwhelmingly positive. The new brawler from Warner Bros. Games and Player First Games is hitting peaks in excess of 152,000 players just on Steam.

According to Steam's "most played" charts, this places MultiVersus in fourth place, behind Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Dota 2, and Lost Ark. It has managed to surpass other heavy hitters such as PUBG: Battlegrounds, Apex Legends, and Grand Theft Auto V.

MultiVersus is currently out as an open beta, with the first season officially kicking off on August 8. With progression carrying over to the official launch and there being some pre-season content to unlock, players have been flocking to the game. It could be that players are attracted to the F2P model, maybe they're big fans of characters like Bugs Bunny, Batman, Shaggy, and Superman, or maybe it's just a solid fighting game and a great choice for those looking for a Smash Bros. alternative.

What we don't have are the player counts for the other platforms that MultiVersus was released on. These platforms include PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and the Epic Games Store. However, we do know that MultiVersus has appeared on the Xbox Most Played list. It's sitting in second place for Xbox's top free games, with Fall Guys being first. We also know that MultiVersus is the second most downloaded game on PlayStation 5, sitting just behind Stray.

Notable fighting game enthusiast/expert/superfan Maximilian Dood weighed in yesterday to suggest that MultiVersus "might have just become the most played fighting game in recorded history."

Obviously, it's difficult to say just how long this love affair for a newly released game will last. New releases tend to have huge surges of high player counts, especially when they are free-to-play. But you just cannot knock the fact that a fighting game, of all things, is currently one of the most popular and most played releases across all platforms. That is seriously impressive.