News Archive - January, 2022
Developer Desk Photo Fuels Mortal Kombat 12 Speculation
Deleted photo leaks MK12?

NetherRealm Studios are hard at work on their next big video game and an office photo shared by one of the developers has sparked widespread speculation that a rumored Mortal Kombat sequel could be on the horizon. Read on for more about the supposed leak:

Video game sites across the web have seized upon a photo, originally shared by NRS Senior Production Manager Jonathan Andersen, which shows printed out design art from Mortal Kombat and Mortal Kombat II arcade cabinets strewn across a workspace, along with Injustice 2 character designs for Wonder Woman and Brainiac.

Although ripe for speculation, it is the computer monitor partially visible on the right that has sparked most interest. Closer inspection appears to reveal the remnants of a remote design meeting, with references to "MK12" and related topics visible in filenames. Take a closer look below:

The image, reportedly deleted from Twitter around ten minutes later, also appears to include a portion of an internal e-mail noting the sensitivity of video material attached, which should not be shared for public consumption. Visible partial file names include: "Kameo_Ver...", "K1 Talismans v2.docx", "MK12 Mast...", "AllyDev Intentions...", "K1 Plannin...", "dinosaur...", "K1 Reptile...".

The obvious irony of the situation has led many to speculate that the alleged leak may actually be staged, or part of an elaborate practical joke. In December, Andersen's social media activity inadvertently led to fans expecting an announcement during The Game Awards. There was no NetherRealm presence at the show.

Rumors of a twelfth Mortal Kombat solidifed in August when Giant Bomb reported NetherRealm would forego an expected Injustice sequel in favor of more MK. Both "Injustice: Gods Will Fall" and "Mortal Kombat XII" appeared in a subsequent data breach of the GeForce Now service, along with a second MK listing. Content development for Mortal Kombat 11 officially ceased in July.

[Related Article: Editorial: The MKvsDC Crossover Nobody Sees Coming]

Sequel speculation has taken over fandom, but the inclusion of arcade era images in the photograph lingers as Mortal Kombat approaches its 30th anniversary, and nostalgic fans clamor for a modern release of retro klassics. Questions remain over the 2020 European ratings listing for "Mortal Kombat Kollection Online".

Answers will come in time, but for now fans can only imagine what might be next. Share your speculation about the alleged "leak" in the comments below and craft your ultimate wishlist in the Future MK forum!

AIAS Announces Ed Boon as Next Hall of Fame Inductee
DICE Awards to honor MK co-creator.

The Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences has officially announced its next Hall of Fame inductee will be Mortal Kombat co-creator Ed Boon. The honor is bestowed in recognition of "game creators who have been instrumental in the development of highly influential games and moving a particular genre forward" through innovation and creative excellence.

Boon will be just the 25th inductee into the AIAS Hall of Fame when the award is formally presented during next month's ceremony at the 25th Annual D.I.C.E. Awards, to be held in the Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas, and streamed live by IGN. He joins other such honored luminaries as Shigeru Miyamoto, Sid Meier, John Carmack, and Hideo Kojima.

It won't be the first time a Hall of Fame award has been accepted by the developer. The original Mortal Kombat arcade klassic was inducted into the World Video Games Hall of Fame in 2019.

The AIAS honor acknowledges an extensive career in video games and entertainment, while also coming perfectly timed as the Mortal Kombat franchise counts down to its thirtieth anniversary. As if that wasn't enough to celebrate -- the February 24th awards presentation will also come just two days after Ed Boon's birthday! The Academy included a very nice tribute with their announcement:

The Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences (AIAS) is pleased to announce its 25th Hall of Fame recipient, Ed Boon, Chief Creative Officer of NetherRealm Studios and Mortal Kombat. Boon, co-creator of the storied Mortal Kombat and the Injustice franchises, will be honored at the 25th Annual D.I.C.E. Awards ceremony at the Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas and livestreamed by IGN. Matt Booty, head of Xbox Game Studios, will present the 2022 Hall of Fame award to Boon.

"We are thrilled to have Ed be inducted into our Hall of Fame," says Meggan Scavio, president of the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences. "From his early work on pinball machines to his monumental achievements co-creating the Mortal Kombat franchise, Ed's dedication and perseverance to the craft and art of games has left an incredible legacy for fans and game developers alike."

“I met Ed on my very first day in the game industry at Midway and had the good fortune to watch him lead the creation of Mortal Kombat and work with so many talented people to grow it into an iconic, worldwide franchise. Ed epitomizes the best of what a game designer can be: big ideas, a great sense of humor, clear focus, and the ability to bring people together as a team. He has created not only a string of hit games but has also supported countless people on their own paths in the game industry,” says Matt Booty, head of Xbox Game Studios.

After graduating from the University of Illinois, Ed Boon started his career at Williams Electronics programming pinball machines. He eventually moved over to the video game division where he worked on his first title, High Impact Football, and its sequel Super High Impact. In 1991, he began work on Mortal Kombat, which became a smash hit in arcades and grew into a global phenomenon selling more than 75 million units to date, as well as spawning three theatrical films, animated movies, multiple television series, and comic books. Today, Mortal Kombat continues to grow in popularity with each new release. In addition, Boon and NetherRealm Studios created the best-selling and critically acclaimed Injustice video games, which have also branched out into chart-topping comics, an animated feature film and mobile games.

The AIAS Hall of Fame honor is bestowed on game creators who have been instrumental in the development of highly influential games and moving a particular genre forward. These individuals demonstrate the highest level of creativity and innovation, resulting in significant product influence on a scale that expands the scope of the industry. Past AIAS Hall of Fame recipients include Connie Booth (2020), Bonnie Ross (2019), Todd Howard (2017), Hideo Kojima (2016), Leslie Benzies (2014), Dan and Sam Houser (2014), and Tim Sweeney (2012).

Please join Mortal Kombat Online in extending our heartiest congratulations to the legendary developer, and sincerest thanks for all the incredible contributions made to the entertainment industry.

DICE Awards
02/24/2022 11:00 PM EST
Mortal Kombat Movie Sequel Taps Moon Knight Writer
New writer joins Mortal Kombat 2.

Last year's Mortal Kombat feature film continues to be a high benchmark for HBO Max viewership, so it comes as little surprise that a sequel is officially in development. The as yet untitled "Mortal Kombat 2" will welcome a new writer who is also a recent addition to the Marvel Studios stable. Read on for full details:

Deadline Hollywood reports that Jeremy Slater will follow his recent high profile work for Disney+ series Moon Knight with another "MK" franchise entry -- the Mortal Kombat sequel. He remarked to Twitter: "Beyond excited to be joining this team! We’re building something bigger and better and bloodier that’s going to blow people’s minds."

Slater is reportedly also working with Mortal Kombat producer James Wan's Atomic Monster Productions on another film, Thread, and the Wan produced adaptation of Stephen King novel Tommyknockers. Other writing credits include 2015 Marvel franchise reboot Fantastic Four, 2017 live-action American remake of manga Death Note, and the recent Netflix comic based series The Umbrella Academy.

No other details are available yet, but producer Todd Garner returned to Twitter to share an image of a flaming number two [below]. Cast members Mehcad Brooks (Jax), Jessica McNamee (Sonya Blade), Max Huang (Kung Lao), and Lewis Tan (Cole Young) also shared enthusiasm for the news via the micro-blogging service. Ludi Lin (Liu Kang), and Joe Taslim (Sub-Zero) -- who signed for multiple sequels -- kept it to a discreet retweet.

The first installment in the prospective film franchise loosely adapted plotlines from the video game series, establishing its action before the Mortal Kombat tournament, and introducing original lead character Cole Young. Discussions of a sequel began immediately, with director Simon McQuoid commenting on various elements, including an interest to see more of the female characters.

The noted absence of Johnny Cage was addressed with an in-film teaser, prompting multiple actors to submit themselves for the sequel role, including Scott Adkins, Alain Moussi, Mike "The Miz" Mizanin. Ryan Reynolds opted to turn widespread fan-casting into a promotional opportunity.

MK co-creator and NetherRealm Studios Creative Director Ed Boon recently endorsed Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson as MKII final boss Shao Kahn, responding to the superstar actor's comments about an upcoming video game movie. It seems unlikely Johnson was referring to the Outworld Emperor - whose existence was ambiguously reference in the 2021 film - describing bringing a game to the big screen in an interview with Men's Journal:

I can’t tell you which game in particular we’re doing, but there will be an announcement this year. We’re going to bring one of the biggest, most badass games to the screen—one that I’ve played for years. I’m really excited to bring it to fans around the world. Of course we’re going to do right by our gamer friends—but really we’re just going to make a great movie.

What do you hope to see from a Mortal Kombat movie sequel? Share your thoughts and speculation in the comments below, and find & discuss more related news in the Media & Merchandise forum!

Arcade1Up Mortal Kombat 30th Anniversary Cabinet Goes Online
4 MKs and 10 Midway klassics!

2022 will mark thirty years since the release of the original Mortal Kombat -- and the retro-meisters of Arcade1Up are celebrating the milestone with an anniversary edition cabinet that packs in a whole lot of games with live online kombat functionality! Read on for details:

The Midway Legacy Mortal Kombat 30th Anniversary Cabinet includes a massive fourteen classic Midway Games arcade titles, including the all-important Mortal Kombat, Mortal Kombat II, Mortal Kombat 3, and Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3!

Two sticks mean you'll still be able to challenge your friends & family in close quarters kombat, but this time the fight is also going online so you can hog the machine all to yourself with Wifi Live Online Multiplayer and online leaderboards! If that's not exciting enough, watch the official CES 2022 announcement trailer:

The anniversary cabinet decal recreates the legendary look of the klassic Mortal Kombat design, albeit in its secondary form minus a flykicking Johnny Cage down the side [pictured below]. It also boasts a light-up marquee, molded coin door, and 10 additional Midway classics: Toobin, Rampage, Joust, Gauntlet, Wizard of Woz, Rootbeer Tapper, Defender, Bubbles, Paperboy, and Klax.

No price point is provided yet, but the 12-in1 Midway Legacy Edition cabinet would set you back $315.00. Will you be saving your quarters to check out this cabinet? Tell us in the comments and find & discuss more anniversary stories in the 2D Kombat Klassics forum!

Mortal Kombat 30th Anniversary
10/08/2022 12:00 AM EDT
Ed Boon Reveals Arcade Actor Klassic Skins Discussed Often
Retro actor skin pack considered numerous times.

Mortal Kombat 11 created some of the most impressive character graphics in series history, utilizing state of the art scanning technology to capture live-action likenesses as familiar as Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa and Peter Weller. The process recalls earlier digitization methods -- and apparently that fact hasn't escaped NetherRealm Studios! Read on for details:

MK11's customization options included character gear inspired by klassic games, and even a Klassic MK Movie Skin Pack featuring the voice and likenesses of Christophe Lambert, Linden Ashby, and Bridgette Wilson-Sampras. None of these have taken advantage of Mortal Kombat's history of using live-action actors, but according to tenured Creative Director Ed Boon - the idea has been discussed "numerous times".

Boon revealed the tantalizing tidbit via Twitter when an eager fan proposed Midway Games legend Kerri Hoskins should return to the role of Sonya Blade [embedded above]. He didn't specify who would appear in an Arcade Klassic pack, but remarked that Hoskins hasn't aged a day, to his joking chagrin.

The model & artist erased any doubt about bringing klassic digitized actors back when she redonned her MK3 costume after 25 years to the delight of fans eager for personalized memorabilia.

[Related Article: Featurette Spotlights Mortal Kombat & Digitized Graphics]

The original Mortal Kombat will celebrate its 30th Anniversary later this year, fuelling rumors of a new game in production and mounting fan support for a HD rerelease or remake. Could one of these finally provide the platform for the return of iconic live-action arcade likenesses?

Share your thoughts about the idea and who you'd like to see an Arcade Klassic skin pack in the comments below. Celebrate the milestone and find more stories from the retro era in the 2D Kombat Klassics forum!

Featurette Spotlights Mortal Kombat & Digitized Graphics
Super Splash Wave documents tech revolution.

Mortal Kombat and its arcade sequels remain some of the most famous examples of live-action digitized graphics, and a new documentary featurette details the process that brought a touch of Hollywood cinema to video game development. Watch:

Most of the behind-the-scenes footage and information will be familiar to long time fans, but the Super Splash Wave episode succinctly recaps the major stylistic and technological developments that defined Mortal Kombat in its first three installments.

Posted to YouTube by strafefox, the documentary not only revisits the filming techniques and creative trials faced by Ed Boon and John Tobias, but also puts the development of the games in their greater context with other well known titles using digitzed graphics.

Fans today know AT&T as the corporate owner deciding Mortal Kombat's fate, but the documentary highlights their earliest influence on games, through the creation of Truevision Advanced Raster Graphics Adapter digitization boards, which were used in pioneering Williams and Midway games, such as NARC and Terminator 2.

Modified WTARG software programmed by Warren Davis supported economic development of the first Mortal Kombat, while studio upgrades and advances in software and boards supported significant graphical improvements in the later sequels. All of this and more are outlined in great detail in the full 28 minute video.

[Related Article: Artist Unearths Mortal Kombat Arcade Cabinet Concept Art]

In anticipation of this year's 30th Anniversary of the original Mortal Kombat; Ed Boon recently shared rare behind the scenes footage. Find more lost kontent and artifacts in the 2D Kombat Klassics forum!

PlayStation Now Begins 2022 With Mortal Kombat 11
MK11 leads six new PS Now titles!

PlayStation Now is starting the new year right with Mortal Kombat 11 continuing its campaign for total domination across all platforms! The top selling behemoth is available now for PlayStation consoles via the cloud-based subscription service. Read on for more details:

In addition to MK11, PlayStation Now holders can also download: Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age, Fury Unleashed, Unturned, Super Time Force Ultra, and Kerbal Space Program: Enhanced Edition to PS5 & PS4. You will need to purchase additional DLC to access MK11 Aftermath and Ultimate content.

Xbox players enjoyed a similar service just last month, and Krossplay will allow you to challenge online opponents across consoles and platforms. Which also means you can Join the Klub to analyze and record your battles with Fight Klub! Find and discuss more from the game in the Mortal Kombat 11 forum!

MultiVersus Director Asks Fans For Mortal Kombat Characters
Choose your destiny..?

So far there's been no official word, but more than 63% of MK Online users think it's going to happen -- and now the Director of MultiVersus is asking fans which two Mortal Kombat characters they'd pick for the Warner Bros brawler. Read on for details:

Player First Games co-founder and MultiVersus Director, Tony Huynh, took to Twitter to ask fans which two kombatants they'd like to see join the multi-brand brawler that will feature everyone from Shaggy to Batman.

Huynh stressed that the question is not a confirmation, "I’m definitely not saying it’s going to happen", but with speculation already rife, and Arya Stark of the adult Game of Thrones franchise already confirmed, expectations are inevitably beginning to form.

MultiVersus is expected to leverage a wide variety of Warner Bros properties unrestrained from genre or era, already incorporating cartoon worlds from Looney Tunes, Steven Universe and Adventure Time, as well as DC Comics superheroes.

Mortal Kombat seems a natural fit, but the kid-friendly brawler will need to adapt its fighters for a less bloody and nuanced form of kombat, relying on team-up chemistry and unique powers to stand-out from the crowd. Scorpion and Sub-Zero are obvious prospects, but the lightning of Raiden, the four-arms of Goro, or the fans of Kitana might just work.

Who would you like to see crossover into the stylized world of MultiVersus? Vote in the MK Online User Poll and share your thoughts in the comments below! Speculate further about what's next for kombat in the Future MK Games forum!

User Poll
Top Kombatant for MultiVersus?
Liu Kang
Shao Kahn