The MultiVersus hype is still strong, moving on from its rapturous release a few weeks ago. The game has a lot to offer for fans of the ridiculous collection of IP under the Warner Bros umbrella, and with news of more characters on the horizon, it looks like they’ll have more to look forward to. Even then, for a significant portion of the playerbase, the game is ripe for more. These creatives, artists, and memsters make up the MultiVersus Modding community.
However, the future of this community and all the momentum it gained due to a mix of the popularity of the platform fighter and the appeal of what they were creating is uncertain. This comes thanks to a rise in copyright strikes on published video content featuring mods, the main avenue creatives use to show off their modded works.
One such modder, who goes by JtheDuelist online, began creating mods around four years ago, where they created skins for Monster Hunter World, afterwards moving onto Guilty Gear: Strive and Final Fantasy 14 after cutting their teeth. They first got into MultiVersus after receiving a code for the alpha test prior to launch, and began their modding projects for the title after coming across others on modding website Gamebanana.
“I'd say the community is getting pretty popular,” J states over Twitter DMs. “The Discord server for MultiVersus modding is already over 1000 members and growing and the server has only been around for a couple of weeks now. Plus, it helps that some of the larger names from the Guilty Gear Strive scene like UltiMa647 and Aeryn are over there now as well. Community is rather friendly, albeit there’s a lot of meme-y stuff coming up”.
They, like numerous others, threw their hat into the MultiVersus modding ring with an early Lebron James skin, a throwback to an old joke where people were tearing the heads off Lebron action figures for the Space Jam movie.
“From what I can tell, people have been very positively receptive of it – I haven't seen anyone say anything bad about it. Not to mention the first couple of days, my phone's notifications were going crazy from how many people were hitting 'like' on the tweet for the mod, or retweeting it.”
It goes beyond hobbyists, too: some with their own channels dedicated to creating mods for video games also dove into MultiVersus. Enter Ghost, a modder with over two years of experience creating projects for games, beginning with Smash Ultimate before moving onto Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Mario Party Superstars, Pokemon, and more.
“Oh I definitely went in knowing I want to mod it!," they explained. "I pretty much always try to mod a game that I enjoy, and seeing that this game was built with Unreal Engine 4, I knew modding it would be easy to set up! Then when Lebron was announced, I knew I had to drop everything and mod the game for sure.”
"I'm quite confident in my Ballin', you know." pic.twitter.com/IdnNI97IUx— Ghost (@GhostsSoup) July 28, 2022
As for why the scene has popped up so fast, Ghost gave us their thoughts on the surge of fan-made works. “Multiversus being new, being free, having a LOT of players (the most for a fighting game on steam from what I've heard), it being easy to mod, all add up together to help get attention for mods. Sadly this also means that a lot of low quality mods are/will be made, but it doesn't stop it from getting really good mods. Luckily Gamebanana, which is the current main website we upload MultiVersus mods to, has great options for sorting things so people can see the most downloaded/best mods and weed out the lower-quality ones.”
However, bring the recent concerns with DMCA strikes, and this positive outlook on creating mods for the game goes out the window. Game Director Tony Huynh confirmed that streaming with a modded client can result in strikes, which has thrown the entire scene into disarray. For now, the moderators in the MultiVersus modding discord has recommended not streaming or uploading videos of yourself playing with mods.
“It doesn't surprise me, but I'm still pretty upset that WB is doing this. I'll still make mods, but I’m for sure not working on any videos of them,” states Ghost. “Obviously they know people like skins, so us being able to make our own is really fun. With games like Smash, people love making videos or streaming with mods, to help make them stand out. Some skins being completely new characters also helps people play as characters that aren't in the game, and probably wont ever get in.”
“It's pretty much an unspoken rule with ANY game that has modding, but people dont mod in paid content. Games like League of Legends have mods, and as long as the skin isn't a paid skin being put over a default skin, there aren't any issues. League has been going on for YEARS with mods and players still buy their amazing skins. Videos on youtube and streams on twitch for Smash and League with custom skins doesn't hurt anyone. So WB (or whoever is there that is taking down this mod content) stopping people from being creative really stinks.”
So we’re in this murky, uncertain future when it comes to MultiVersus modding. While Tony Huynh has stated his intent to talk to the team that manages DMCA takedowns, we’ve yet to hear about any changes coming to the process. While sites like Gamebanana keep hosting MultiVersus mods, and people are still creating mods for the title, the breaks have absolutely been slammed down. Whether this’ll change for the better or worse remains to be seen.