News Archive - October, 2015
Mortal Kombat X Mobile - Liu Kang Challenge!
Liu Kang returns to Mortal Kombat X Mobile Challenge!

The greatest hero of the modern age is coming back to Mortal Kombat X Mobile! You can unlock Liu Kang in the free-to-play kard kollecting game - but first you must complete the hero's journey within the time available to prove you are a true Shaolin Warrior!

Unlocking Liu Kang means facing five tiers of secret Shaolin training: each tier consists of 12 battles, with the exception of the final 15 fight challenge! Tier 1 is all Bronze Kard war games, Tier 2 & 3 promote you to Bronze & Silver skirmishes. You'll need an Outworld kharacter kard in your Tier 4 team, before Tier 5 pushes kung fu klass to face the Liu Kang boss battle with D'Vorah!

The second chance Liu Kang Challenge is only available this week! Fans hungry for more free-to-play Mortal Kombat challenges might also like to check out WWE Immortals, where there's still time to unlock Johnny Cage!

Check in-app for the most accurate reading of challenge time remaining. Kompleted the challenge? Register to confer with fellow shaolin and find more MKX Mobile on the Mortal Kombat X forum! Woooaahhh!

WCW Glacier Discusses Mortal Kombat on Keep It 100
Keep It 100 goes in depth on WCWs Mortal Kombat inspired gimmick!

The debut episode of The Fight Network's newest podcast Keep It 100 has featured an in depth interview with former World Championship Wrestling star Ray Lloyd, better known to fans as Glacier.

The ice themed striker was conceived in 1996, right as MK Trilogy was hitting arcades and home consoles. Best known for borrowing liberally from Mortal Kombat at the height of its popularity! Just one year after the feature film hit theatres, the gimmick attempted to repurpose the concept of a stylized martial arts tournament fighter -- namely Sub-Zero -- for the weekly serial of professional wrestling.

As noted in a previous feature, it was a concept also pitched to ECW star and eventual WWE Champion: Rob Van Dam. As Lloyd explains, the idea was driven by WCW parent Turner Broadcasting and WCW President Eric Bischoff:

"I was an indie wrestler for years, like most people coming up through the ranks trying to get a break. And, uh. I actually moved to Atlanta. [...] Became friends with [Diamond] Dallas Page, and uh, so he kept pitching me to Eric Bischoff. Eventually, we had dinner - me and Eric.

Long and short of it was - he kinda grilled me with questions, for, I wanna say about three hours! 'Are you still wrestling on the independent wrestling scene?' I said, 'Yeah. I'm pretty much booked every weekend.' He said, 'I want you to disappear from the pro wrestling scene for the next few months. Totally cancel your bookings and just disappear.' So I really didn't know until the next several meetings exactly where things were headed, or where we were gonna try to go with this.

Anyone around then couldn't help but know what Mortal Kombat was, because it was so popular!

There were some people in Turner Broadcasting who were like, 'Hey. This is a pretty cool idea. Can we bring this into the ring?'

It was very clear to me after the first couple of meetings that this was something that Eric was very determined to do. I remember Eric saying to us, 'I want you guys to be a video game come to life.' We just figured - okay, well why not go watch people play the video game? Lets see what they think's cool about it.

We actually went to arcades - in Atlanta. Found one that had the game, and we would stand back and just watch people play the game. Just to get an idea of kinda what the characters were. We talked to gamers: 'What do you like about the game? What do these guys do that's really cool?' What ever those fans think is cool obviously could very well transition into the ring. Or at least - we hope it could.

I'm trying to kinda take all this in, and uh. We're seeing things happen that seemed almost to be like 'fly by the seat of your pants'. The first vignette when it ran - I wasn't even aware it was gonna run that night on Nitro. I remember sitting with the girl I was dating at the time - at her house - with her family - we were watching the show - and all of a sudden they start running the video!

I literally, I remember going to the phone and calling Kanyon, 'They didn't tell us they were gonna start running these vignettes!' So we had no idea that they were gonna start running them when they did. They really didn't go anywhere. At first, they did. They only revealed a little bit, then they kinda revealed a bit more. They got to that point where just, okay. Enough already! I mean, bring the guy out! But that's when, that was my first taste of -- I don't know if you want to call it mismanagement in WCW, but it just seemed like there didn't seem to be anybody steering that ship, and even though it was supposed to be Eric, he was getting really really overwhelmed with what all WCW was becoming.
"


WCW Glacier Hype Promos: #1, #2, #3, #4

"I thought they could evolve it more and drop some of the video game look to it, and just, y'know, streamline it a bit more. I wonder sometimes if it came along a couple years earlier, or a couple years later, what would've become of it? But, um, I guess I went from living as an indie wrestler, to basically that spot, overnight. Granted, I was ready for it. I was wrestling nine years, wrestling in Japan. I was ready! So, I wasn't like some, y'know, some naive kid.

Arn Anderson was someone who helped me an awful lot in WCW. And, uh. He really opened up to me and said, 'Hey, look.' Y'know. When Eric presented it to us, he kinda dumped it in our laps and said, 'Uh, here you go.' [W]e had no idea what to do with it. We had no idea what to do with it. And he said, 'That entrance is such an entity on its own!' And I'll never forget him saying this, 'You would have to walk on water to live up to that entrance.' Now - everybody has an entrance like that. But back then - this was '96 - nobody had an entrance like that! Not [Ric] Flair, not [Hulk] Hogan, not Sting/ None of those guys! Nobody had an entrance like that where you had lazers, the snow, and the ring gets dark -- no one had that. And as cool an entrance that was - that was the thing, okay. The challenge was: how do you live up to that?
"

Mortal Kombat's wrestling connection has remained strong. In 1998, WCW would again be associated with the gaming license as TBS featured a line-up of WCW Monday Nitro followed by Mortal Kombat: Conquest.

Threshold Entertainment would bring the concept full circle, attempting to capitalize on the popularity of professional wrestling with the invention of Mortal Kombat: Federation of Martial Arts! The concept failed to be picked up as a televised series, but would enjoy a brief life as the first official MK webseries [">watch it all]!

Most recently; developer NetherRealm Studios has returned to the world of sports entertainment with their free-to-play app WWE Immortals. The current challenge introduces Johnny Cage to the hyper-stylized WWE world [trailer]!

[Related Article: Kountdown: Top 10 WWE Immortals Feuds for Johnny Cage]

Download or stream the full Keep It 100 interview for free at FightNetwork.com! Register to share your thoughts on the forums! Support the kommunity by posting, and liking & sharing stories via @MK_Online, Facebook & YouTube!

ESL Season 2 Pre-Season Cup #1 - North America
ESL Mortal Kombat Returns With North American Pre-Season Cup #1!

The rivalry has been rekindled ahead of a second season of Electronic Sports League tournament action! The North American Mortal Kombat X Pre-Season Cup came down to a finals pairing familiar to anyone who's followed the MK scene since 2011: 2015 Evo World Champion SonicFox5000 besting 2011/2012 champ PerfectLegend in the online final!

It was a massive turn out for the online tournament, contested over a nearly full 256 fighter bracket! Like all good tournaments, it was do-or-die single elimination, with the final winner claiming a $250 purse. Here's the full rundown:

R1: Sirius Jones received a bye
R1: EMPR Death d. iTz the Badger
R1: Chris.f d. FOREVERK00L
R1: cb3 d. Savai007
R1: Fri3d Frid4y received a bye
R1: Skate Nachos d. ReichdesWolfes
R1: DsV Kayy9 d. SOULWARRIOR 71K
R1: WeRiseToFall receive a bye
R1: Jimmy received a bye
R1: xX Zack 39 Xx d. Konvict
R1: Beyond Toxin d. jokerking04
R1: xLTMx Serenity d. ZID3l
R1: Happy Bullets d. dandemy51
R1: israel d. Cerebru
R1: PerfectLegend d. JRosa
R1: Pig of the Hut received a bye
R1: ADeeeee received a bye
R1: OBS Trepound d. diamondweapon
R1: DarthxXxRambo d. xADHDxBLACKFIRE
R1: BlackMambaJohn d. Celeb
R1: F3.Sleep received a bye
R1: SavageScoob d. ChamberX
R1: The Wizard d. Pumpumraider
R1: Joey101 received a bye
R1: XxTorn FleshxX received a bye
R1: DARKLIGHT19 d. MIGHTY GUY 1
R1: BlindSuckyDucky d. Bad Boy Brazil
R1: killaklown13 received a bye
R1: Digit d. Kingboss
R1: Solar Prophet d. TheDevilsScion
R1: zodiac d. NegativeEdge
R1: Mk AcTiVe received a bye
R1: VwS Agent received a bye
R1: Carbon d. Jboogie607
R1: Louaista d. SupermanGUY
R1: Jakealo d. DanielRips
R1: xReapaKing received a bye
R1: roosTa d. TheInhumanTorch
R1: PLAYING TO WIN d. C88 Krizbe
R1: eD2eZ received a bye
R1: Mr GrayHam received a bye
R1: takgillo d. DESTINED4Legend
R1: STB Shujinkydink d. sinister
R1: Mrfinesse28 d. SlingshoT
R1: Downfourality d. MPII The Ronin
R1: cR_WhiteBoi d. GearsOfWarManic
R1: RM JagoBlake d. BigDaddySenpai
R1: Unforgiven0420 received a bye
R1: Frudurs received a bye
R1: KineTiX d. Isaac
R1: NikkoVee d. Tricky Richi
R1: Predaatorrr d. Letsgetacid
R1: Pygmy Potato d. iB Flexxin
R1: The Magician d. Pleasa
R1: sistin d. ChadMooney
R1: Resistance received a bye
R1: dghost received a bye
R1: theMaktastik d. JG 712 305 J95
R1: IMMORTAL ANGEL d. Davy
R1: mufn button received a bye
R1: SenorAbram d. King Cash
R1: STB Karl Malone d. RokuuXBL
R1: Hybrid d. ItsNewsham
R1: Marklazerbeam received a bye
R1: provust received a bye
R1: Sarren d. Logo
R1: Bohon d. Imblackjames
R1: CD JR d. Insignis
R1: Nauj received a bye
R1: IBreakEmOffI d. AfterTheFire
R1: SupremeSOUL d. AkumaSODMG
R1: Dresses received a bye
R1: STB Kompeteitor received a bye
R1: doohoo d. PizzaMasta
R1: IAmThePhoenix d. J-Mack
R1: BluJay512 d. oDAlc
R1: xTSwaYz d. PurePlayaz2002
R1: Beyond_Sicarios d. CiderTime
R1: No x EmotionZ d. glguju63091
R1: NEPHEW84 received a bye
R1: GT Edguy received a bye
R1: Slayeredhat d. SupremeBAAM
R1: xADHDx pikluu d. Ralstanley
R1: minijuanito10 d. Crazyguy4
R1: UA Scar d. gallan
R1: Red Raiden d. HighFibble
R1: Skkittles d. Crimzon-ET
R1: Kryo received a bye
R1: KOREYTHEDRAGON received a bye
R1: SylverRye d. basic
R1: BigJGleez d. Noobe
R1: Retro Spawn received a bye
R1: DestroyerGod77 d. MK Aristocrat
R1: xPWWxKILLSTREAK d. Capatan Azn Man
R1: Strvo d. bah23
R1: TheOnlyGoonie received a bye
R1: Crawlingshadow received a bye
R1: Illaguila d. Thacheeks
R1: shady2314 d. ROCKYjays
R1: l WetWorK l d. Catnip_Her0
R1: MU Juan received a bye
R1: ChampRow d. joe
R1: Brandon d. D-Que Beats
R1: RisenRen received a bye
R1: MrSloth420 received a bye
R1: Discharged d. Jony
R1: LlElGlAlClY d. kai gates7x
R1: Danny received a bye
R1: nK Omen d. NinjaCW
R1: CT-Dom d. STB AqueousEcho
R1: MKW Sonya Blade d. MARINE
R1: Metal Bender received a bye
R1: Extendos_Only received a bye
R1: AdventureBallz d. Leviathan
R1: Bloodlust d. Dark KILLFox
R1: varietize d. Chase_Stadtfeld
R1: Winchesterx d. PK Aurora
R1: Dragon d. GrimTG
R1: cR WoundCowboy d. C88 Chillin
R1: iamchiino received a bye
R1: MAZ received a bye
R1: F3.alucarD d. Dirk
R1: SonicFox5000 d. xlThalionlx
R1: In 2016 received a bye
R1: killadilla444 d. Floe
R1: SlipperPickle d. LoneLegend
R1: BeardedJonin d. Baakery
R1: SM StarGazer received a bye
R2: EMPR Death d. Sirius Jones
R2: Chris.f d. cb3
R2: Skate Nachos d. Fri3d Frid4y
R2: DsV Kayy9 d. WeRiseToFall
R2: xX Zack 39 Xx d. jimmy
R2: Beyond Toxin d. xLTMx Sereity
R2: israel d. Happy Bullets
R2: PerfectLegend d. Pig of the Hut
R2: OBS Trepound d. Adeeeee
R2: BlackMambaJohn d. DarthxXxRambo
R2: F3.Sleep d. SavageScoob
R2: The Wizard d. Joey101
R2: DARKLIGHT19 d. XxTorn FleshxX
R2: BlindSuckyDucky d. killaklown13
R2: Solar Prophet d. Digit
R2: MK AkTiVe d. zodiac
R2: Carbon d. VwS Agent
R2: Jakealo d. Louaista
R2: roosTa d. xReapaKing
R2: PLAYING TO WIN d. oD2eZ
R2: takgillo d. Mr GrayHam
R2: STB Shujinkydink d. Mrfinesse28
R2: cR_WhiteBoi d. Downfourality
R2: RM JagoBlake d. Unforgiven0420
R2: KineTiX d. Frudurs
R2: Predaatorrr d. NikkoVee
R2: The Magician d. Pygmy Potato
R2: sistin d. Resistance
R2: theMaktastik d. dghost
R2: IMMORTAL ANGEL d. mufn button
R2: SenorAbram d. STB Karl Malone
R2: Hybrid d. Marklazerbeam
R2: provust d. Sarren
R2: Bohon d. CD JR
R2: IBreakEmOffI d. Nauj
R2: Dresses d. SupremeSOUL
R2: STB Kompetitor d. doohoo
R2: BluJay512 d. IAmThePhoenix
R2: Beyond_Sicarios d. xTSwaYz
R2: No x EmotionZ d. NEPHEW84
R2: Slayeredhat d. GT Edguy
R2: xADHDx pikluu d. minijuanito10
R2: UA Scar d. Red Raiden
R2: Skkittles d. Kryo
R2: KOREYTHEDRAGON d. SylverRye
R2: Retro Spawn d. BigJGleez
R2: xPWWxKILLSTREAK d. DestroyerGod777
R2: Strvo d. TheOnlyGoonie
R2: CrawlingShadow d. Illaguila
R2: shady2314 d. i WetWorK i
R2: ChampRow d. MU Juan
R2: Brandon d. RisenRen
R2: MrSloth420 d. Discharged
R2: Danny d. LlElGlAlClY
R2: nK Omen d. CT-Dom
R2: MKW Sonya Blade d. Metal Bender
R2: AdventureBallz d. Extendos_Only
R2: Bloodlust d. varietize
R2: Dragon d. Winchesterx
R2: cR WoundCowboy d. iamchiino
R2: F3.alucarD d. MAZ
R2: SonicFox5000 d. In 2016
R2: SlipperyPickle d. killdailla444
R2: SM StarGazer d. BeardedJonin

R3: EMPR Death d. Chris.f
R3: DsV Kayy9 d. Skate Nachos
R3: Beyond Toxin d. xX Zack 39 Xx
R3: PerfectLegend d. israel
R3: OBS Trepound d. BlackMambaJohn
R3: The Wizard d. F3.Sleep
R3: BlindSuckyDucky d. DARKLIGHT 19
R3: MK AkTiVe d. Solar Prophet
R3: Jakealo d. Carbon
R3: PLAYING TO WIN d. roosTa
R3: STB Shujinkydink d. takgillo
R3: cR_WhiteBoi d. RM JagoBlake
R3: Predaatorrr d. KineTiX
R3: The Magician d. sistin
R3: IMMORTAL ANGEL d. theMakastik
R3: SenorAbram d. Hybrid
R3: Dresses d. IBreakEmOffI
R3: BluJay512 d. STB Kompetitor
R3: No x EmorionZ d. Beyond_Sicarios
R3: Slayeredhat d. xADHDx pikluu
R3: UA Scar d. Skkittles
R3: KOREYTHEDRAGON d. Retro Spawn
R3: xPWWxKILLSTREAK d. Strvo
R3: Crawlingshadow d. shady2314
R3: ChampRow d. Brandon
R3: Danny d. MrSloth420
R3: nK Omen d. MKW Sonya Blade
R3: Bloodlust d. AdventureBallz
R3: cR WoundCowboy d. Dragon
R3: SonicFox5000 d. F3.alucarD
R3: SlipperyPickle d. sM StarGazer

R4: EMPR Death d. DsV Kayy9
R4: PerfectLegend d. Beyond Toxin
R4: OBS Trepound d. The Wizard
R4: MK AkTiVe d. BlindSuckyDucky
R4: Jakealo d. PLAYING TO WIN
R4: cR_WhiteBoi d. STB Shujinkydink
R4: The Magician d. Predaatorrr
R4: IMMORTAL ANGEL d. SenorAbram
R4: BluJay512 d. No x EmotionZ
R4: UA Scar d. Slayeredhat
R4: KOREYTHEDRAGON d. xPWWxKILLSTREAK
R4: CrawlingShadow d. ChampRow
R4: Danny d. nK Omen
R4: cR WoundCowboy d. Bloodlust
R4: SonicFox5000 d. SlipperPickle

R5: PerfectLegend d. EMPR Death
R5: OBS Trepound d. MK AkTiVe
R5: Jakealo d. cR_WhiteBoi
R5: IMMORTAL ANGEL d. The Magician
R5: Dresses d. BluJay512
R5: UA Scar d. KOREYTHEDRAGON
R5: CrawlingShadow d. Danny
R5: SonicFox5000 d. cR WoundCowboy

QF: PerfectLegend d. OBS Trepound
QF: IMMORTAL ANGEL d. Jakealo
QF: UA Scar d. Dresses
QF: SonicFox5000 d. CrawlingShadow
SF: PerfectLegend d. IMMORTAL ANGEL
SF: SonicFox5000 d. UA Scar

Final: SonicFox5000 d. PerfectLegend

Will this result be a sign of things to come in the rest of Season 2? Did you participate in the Pre-Season Cup? Register to share war stories, post tournament info and organize online play in the Gameplay & Matchmaking forum! Support the kommunity by posting and liking & sharing stories via @MK_Online & Facebook! The more you put in, the more you get out! Learn more at ESL North America, Europe & Russian Commonwealth.

5 Things Mortal Kombat Can Learn From WWE
What can NetherRealm Studios learn from World Wrestling Entertainment?

Last December, NetherRealm Studios unveiled their latest free-to-play app: WWE Immortals! The partnership between NRS, Phosphor Games, and the wrestling giant meant an interesting meshing of style and subject matter!

With Johnny Cage jumping into the ring as a guest fighter in Immortals, we've been thinking about how Cage might come to blows with WWE - but what about the other way around?

World Wrestling Entertainment has been a powerhouse in its current incarnation since the mid-eighties. Its lineage goes even further back, tapping into the traditions and culture of a century of professional wrestling! Today, WWE runs at least 6 hours of original content every week, on an unending cycle year after year. There's a lot to learn from that, and we've narrowed it down to five key things the makers of Mortal Kombat could consider after their brush with WWE!

1. Book Stars Strong, Get Talent Over
Historically speaking; Mortal Kombat has outpaced the fighting game competition when it comes to giving their characters backstory, and active goals to pursue. It's one of the qualities we love most about Mortal Kombat, but they aren't always so reliable when it comes to giving main event threats their due.

Weak booking -- wrestling jargon for the layout of characters, match-ups, results, and key interactions -- has hurt the reception and credibility of many a kombatant.

Over the course of its twenty-year history, the series has been particularly notorious for undercutting its kingpin characters, relying on spoken lore to establish the credibility of their icons. Until recently, screen time and dialogue often meant embarrassment for heroes who were booked to look like idiots, and villains who were coasting on rumors, and simply waiting to get their butts kicked.

It's an inherent risk for the villains - who typically do exist to be beaten up, especially in fighting games - but that's where good booking comes in!

Shinnok received a second chance in Mortal Kombat X thanks to a reboot timeline do-over of Mortal Kombat 4. No boss in series history had been more disrespected than Shinnok, who we were told led a slaughter against the gods, but arrived in-game as a thoroughly unremarkable, selectable character in '97. MKX tackled that problem with a better design, unique moves, and a suped up Corrupt boss version that created distance between the big bad and the rest of the roster. Unfortunately, story mode still booked him weak - making his two biggest moments defeat at the hands of comedy relief Johnny Cage, and later, junior newcomer Cassie Cage!

Because neither protagonist had been booked to have the gravitas to go toe-to-toe with a god - Shinnok looked incredibly weak once again. Not as weak as he did in MK4, but a cut below the villain who we're told successfully conquered Earthrealm, but were only shown getting beat up by a goofball and his plucky sidekick! Pre-ordained 'special genetics'? Magic ticket my ass, McBain!

Other characters suffered from bad booking in MKX, most notoriously Goro - who was otherwise elevated in status with a pre-order campaign that created a real sense of occasion around his return! Being playable was to be a boon to his stature - which had diminished over previous years of being knocked around as an all-too beatable villain who wasn't even treated like an MK Champion in the last game! Unfortunately, the return promos and special preview event didn't go much further.His total absence from Story Mode led many fans to write him off as inconsequential.

It was a real missed opportunity for one of the series' original icons! A fumbling the scale of Taz, who entered WWF to one of the loudest receptions in memory - only to tumble into Hardcore title obscurity, shortly thereafter!

2. Create New Stars
In terms of creating new icons from scratch, Mortal Kombat X did the best job we've seen since the original trilogy! Like The Radicalz joining WWF in 2000; MKX's new fighters introduced an influx of technical ability, new gimmicks, and new match-ups. So fresh was gun slinging mercenary Erron Black, he shot instantly to the top of many fans' lists of favourite characters! Kotal Kahn represents another unique addition we see no reason to discard any time in the near future. These are characters the next game could very well build around - no mean feat!

Professional wrestling rarely has the luxury of inventing new icons from thin air. Many of the very best WWE wrestlers have come from the now defunct territory system, or other independent modes of preparation, providing a base of understanding to utilize a wrestler's strengths and skills. Like our first point, it's all about hiding the weaknesses, and emphasizing the strengths.

Recent golden child Roman Reigns reminds us that there's no guarantee when it comes to manufacturing new stars, but sensitivity for the mood of the crowd, and careful enhancement of talent is a major part of successful sports entertainment. Before "Stone Cold" Steve Austin and The Rock were two of the biggest icons in wrestling, they were mid-tier wrestlers looking for a way to get ahead of dubious gimmicks. Austin shook off his past as a Hollywood Blonde and generic Ring Master to become a trash talking S.O.B. Rocky Maivia left behind the tassels and hand-picked babyface grin to unleash the arrogant charisma of The Most Electrifying Man In Sports Entertainment!

Ermac represents an existing Mortal Kombat character who had the world at his feet. Beginning life in Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 as an April Fool turned red palette swap, he grew into a massive cult favourite. Booked remarkably strong in Mortal Kombat (2011), he could have been equal to Scorpion and Sub-Zero, were it not for some severe missteps in Mortal Kombat X. Rather than enhancing the intrigue of the faceless legion character, new designs exposed his face without explanation and further stripped him of iconic red, while Story Mode sacrificed his power for a role as a minion.

On the flipside, elevating Johnny Cage as one of the games big heroes, and crossing him over with WWE Immortals [promoted by a character-driven trailer], has gone a long way to boosting his cache! At a time when fans are rejecting the John Cena-like omnipresence of company mascot Scorpion, this is the right way to go.

3. Equity in Personal Issues & Rivalries
Booking and sensing potential upgrades are the tools for building any empire, but for lasting longevity in a combat environment, characters need more than positioning - they need a nemesis!

Perceivable, genuine animosity built Bret Hart & Shawn Michaels into one of wrestling's hottest feuds! The boiling point of the "Montreal Screwjob" -- still one of wrestling's most talked about moments -- was merely the conclusion to what had already been a bitter, drag-out feud in the years prior! Triple H lagged in his initial push toward World Championship status in 1999, but his nemesis Cactus Jack (aka; Mick Foley) truly cemented his reign a year later, capitalizing on a feud that went back to 1997 with a higher level of spectacle and competition! Sting had Ric Flair, The Rock had Stone Cold, Kane had The Undertaker, Seth Rollins has John Cena!

Rivalries and counterparts have been a fundamental aspect of most successful fighting games - Mortal Kombat included! Director Paul Anderson recounted fandoms' reaction to Scorpion & Sub-Zero as allies during his work with the MK movie. Rivalries give greater meaning to a fight and help define the principles and motivation of combat characters. The heroes of the original trilogy have loomed large thanks to their rivalries, but it's something lacking from recent installments.

The world of WWE offers an extensive catalogue of classic feuds, varied in their vitriol and style. Some are sports-like in their competitive, skill based nature. Others boil up from the gut, based on an innate hatred, or personal grievance. In its peak "Attitude Era" of the nineties, WWF boasted clearly defined characters who all found enemies to bounce off of. This presentation of vivid archetypes was the perfect model for a fighting game, where time isn't always spread evenly, and characters need quick hooks to give their presence meaning.

Mortal Kombat X flirted with a few rivalries, but we want to see characters who enter the arena with a grudge to bear. Every Street Fighter has an in-built opponent, and Mortal Kombat should be no different. When Quan Chi was introduced to the series, he was revealed to be responsible for Scorpion's curse, elevating himself above minion level, and enhancing existing characters. Sonya had Kano, Liu Kang had Shang Tsung, Raiden had Shao Kahn, and the Mortal Kombat X comics showed us many forgotten characters can mean more with new rivalries.

4. Long Term Booking Works
WWE doesn't have an off season. They perform and tour all year, structuring their schedule around key annual events, like Wrestlemania at the end of Q1,and Summerslam in August. Having tent pole occasions like Wrestlemania, as well as the monthly pay-per-view and network specials, gives their hectic weekly schedule objective points to build toward. That may not mirror the release pattern of Mortal Kombat video games, but it's parallel in its juggling of spontaneity and planned destination points.

At their best, WWE have usually begun formulating their Wrestlemania pinnacle by December and January, manoeuvring the pieces around a few key, marquee storylines and matches. Due to the rigors of their schedule, they can exercise caution where the important players are concerned, and keep their options open lower on the card.

At Mortal Kombat's best, they too have had future plotlines steering events, with an element of spontaneity coming from the mid-tier. The original game proposed the dangers of Shao Kahn and Outworld, but for the best example we look at Deadly Alliance! Here, all creative cylinders were firing, not only creating a vibrant reinvention of the series at that time, but storing up the next chapter with foreboding allusions to The Dragon King!

For twenty years, Mortal Kombat has produced sequels without fail. At this point, it's very difficult to excuse a lack of foresight. The revolving door of death in Mortal Kombat may be the softest target for a lack of foresight. All too often the series canon has written cheques it can't cash -- especially with the 2011 reboot, which slaughtered its icons. This raised the ire of fans when the heroes inevitably returned in the next instalment with "living" designs that defied their revenant logic.

Mortal Kombat (2011) did forecast the sequel we eventually got, which arguably gave fans a focal point to build toward one of the series' biggest launches ever! Mortal Kombat X also left fans with a similar teaser, Revenant Liu Kang & Kitana together as a darkened Raiden looked ambiguously to the future. Cliff hangers are the easy part, but the wisdom of long term booking is in the pedestrian details of Story Mode and the fates of individual characters.

5. Maximize The Lineage
In terms of market, Mortal Kombat has done wonders under Warner Brothers when selling its history! The Arcade Klassics are available to buy and play, and their beloved icons are immortalized in premium merchandise! Even the last installment of the series enjoyed a boost in sales with the announcement of Mortal Kombat X in 2014! The fiction that connects the past with the present hasn't fared quite so well, though.

When the patches and DLC stop, and controllers are put down for the final time, it's usually the characters and story that keep the series alive! Sadly, the franchise shed some its complexities with the reboot in 2011, which lopped off a majority of the 20 year canon to create a new retelling of the original trilogy. The result had its good and bad. At times, MK2011 created connective tissue and embellished the presence of obscure characters. At other times, it awkwardly truncated landmark moments, retconned clumsy alternative history, and altered the timeline in ways dramatically and inevitably undone by 2015.

WWE has had its own issues with managing history, but still does a brilliant job of capitalizing on its legendary stars, and deep back catalogue. The WWE Network allows neophyte fans to get an education in canon much the same way fan forums and paedias do for MK. The WWE Championships, too, provide a direct, unbroken line between burgeoning talent of today, and immortals of yesterday. Wrestlemania - the showcase for these immortals of tomorrow, today, and yesterday.

What's done is done, but we hope Mortal Kombat can learn to love its complicated history, and channel it in ways that never make it a burden! If all these lessons are learned from WWE, then Mortal Kombat can live forever, flourishing whilst setting the trends that all rivals aspire to! If there's no past, there's no future. Lets move forward, but never lose what's behind us!

[Related Article: Kountdown: Top 10 WWE Immortals Feuds for Johnny Cage]

The Johnny Cage Challenge is available now in Immortals! Will you learn lessons from WWE? Register to discuss the surprise X-over in the Mortal Kombat X forum! Share what you know by liking & sharing stories via @MK_Online, Facebook & YouTube!

WWE Immortals Johnny Cage Trailer
Johnny Cage enters the WWE Universe in new Immortals trailer!

You'd have to be sleeping under The Rock to have missed news of his impending arrival. In case you did, Johnny Cage steps into the spotlight in a new trailer for WWE Immortals! Watch it below:

The Mortal Kombat champion and icon of millions compares and contrasts his newest opponents with past fighting exploits. Stylized versions of John Cena, Kane & The Rock won't intimidate the man who stared down Shinnok and kicked his infernal butt! Which of the featured superstars made our Top 10 WWE Cage Opponents? Click the link to find out!

The Johnny Cage WWE Immortals Challenge is now live! Download and play the app for free via iTunes and Google Play.

Have you taken the Cage Match challenge? Register to let the world know you're a contender on the forums! Become a superstar of the MKO Universe by liking and sharing stories via @MK_Online, Facebook & YouTube!

WSJ Reports Mortal Kombat X Sales Exceed Five Million
Mortal Kombat and Batman fuel success for Warner Brothers!

Warner Brothers Interactive Entertainment continues to go from strength to strength with it's two biggest releases of 2015, The Wall Street Journal reports. The success of Mortal Kombat X and Batman: Arkham Knight has seen each game reach milestone sales in excess of five million units globally! It makes the latest instalment of the twenty-three year MK series one of its highest selling ever!

The Journal positions WBIE's gaming success in stark contrast to the present woes experienced by their parent company at the box office. While it may change before the year ends: Warner are currently #1 in video game sales, trending toward #4 in film, with a string of monetary failures undermining high output.

This week's collapse of Pan -- the studio's retelling of the Peter Pan fairy tale -- has continued an expensive slump in attempts to kickstart big budget Hollywood franchises. Warner's high rolling strategy has worked in the past, now leaving them in search of replacements for concluded successes: Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings and The Dark Knight trilogy.

While Arkham Knight fills the void created by Christopher Nolan's Batman property-for-property; Mortal Kombat represents fresh gains for the growing gaming division. It's the fruit of their 2009 Midway purchase, which saw little to no opposition to bids for the bankrupt publisher. The success of referential 2011 series reboot Mortal Kombat meant a fast recouping of acquisition costs [full story]. Mortal Kombat X not only launched the series into pure profit, but did so with staggeringly immediate results - becoming the highest selling game for 2015 in under three months [full story]! The 2 million extra sales contributed to a 16.2% market share increase for Warner Brothers since 2011!

Warner Brothers Interactive Entertainment Executive Vice President and General Manager David Haddadd told The Wall Street Journal, "We really do feel this year is a culmination of a lot of the investments we have been doing for about a decade".

Haddad works under CEO Kevin Tsujihara, who is credited with pushing Warner Brothers deeper into the gaming business during his tenure as Home Entertainment Chief. He's also reportedly far more involved with the film division than his predecessors. Film being one of the few mediums for Mortal Kombat to return to under its new owners.

The success of Mortal Kombat X will no doubt help push the franchise back to the big screen, where it last enjoyed significant success in 1995. August saw "it" Director James Wan emerge as producer [full story] - the most significant rumbling since would-be Director Kevin Tancharoen announced his departure.

Lending further credence to Warners' interest in Mortal Kombat as a future film property may be the prolonged delay of its most recent live-action webseries. Mortal Kombat Online confirmed its completion in August, but there's no news of a prospective release date. It was announced one year ago.

Tepid, out-of-touch adaptations of pop culture properties like Green Lantern have seen WB historically struggle to grip the superhero movie market they dominated with auteur driven Batman films. They'll do right to consider their approach to the material carefully if they're to best capitalize on their growing Mortal Kombat fanbase.

The fanbase will be something to consider for Mortal Kombat in video games, as well. The value of a pre-order install base will be challenged come the next outing, with notable backlash from fans regarding Mortal Kombat X content value, PC functionality, cancelled PS3 & 360 ports, and engagements through traditional fan channels.


Konquest: WBIE claim 20.6% market share despite missing PS3 & 360 interest.

Mortal Kombat X is still open for business! The game expands its character roster in 2016 with the unveiling of new downloadable fighters!

Register to discuss the game in the Mortal Kombat X forum, and the movies in the Media & Merchandise forum! Like and share this story via @MK_Online and Facebook.

Mortal Kombat X Faction Invasion - Outworld (Tanya)
Tanya invades Mortal Kombat X as the latest Faction Boss!

She was born Edenian nobility, but there is little noble about this treacherous kombatant! The next Invasion Boss has launched full scale war against online players in Mortal Kombat X!

This time it's Tanya who leaps out of story mode and into the fray in the name of Outworld! The downloadable fighter represents the ultimate challenge - one you won't overcome on your own! This will be a team effort as the boss tier threat pushes you to do what damage you can, before succumbing to nigh inevitable defeat.

Players can choose to join the White Lotus Society, Lin Kuei, Special Forces, Black Dragon or Brotherhood of Shadow. Representing a clan earns points toward special unlockable items and achievements, with every action in the game contributing to your clan's total assault! Use clan recruitment posts on the forum to share valuable boss strategies to help spur your faction to victory!

Choose your destiny and fight for them - or against them! Had a change of heart? For a small points penalty, you can switch clans at any time. Rising through the ranks of each clan will offer in-game benefits! Learn more about Clans & Invasions in the Mortal Kombat X: Faction War Introduction!

Whose side are you on? Register to discuss the invasion on the Mortal Kombat X forum, or share boss beating tips with your clan in the Fan Koliseum! Show your true colors by selecting a clan avatar from the Icon Library in your User Settings. Represent and recruit by liking & sharing stories via @MK_Online and Facebook!

Johnny Cage Makes WWE Immortals Debut
Johnny Cage Available Now in WWE Immortals!

Save us! Hollywood superstar, martial arts bad ass, and hero to the masses Johnny Cage has made his official debut in WWE Immortals!

WWE Immortals is the free-to-play card collecting app from NetherRealm Studios - the makers of Mortal Kombat X! It features stylized reimagined incarnations of the legendary superstars of World Wrestling Entertainment!

Download it now free from Apple Store or Google Play to issue the challenge to WWE Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins and many more!

[Related Article: Kountdown: Top 10 WWE Immortals Feuds for Johnny Cage]

It's a six-man Cage match, playa! Who's on your team? Register to immortalize your thoughts on the forum! Come up with the ultimate fantasy fights in the Fan Koliseum, or simply discuss the latest news in the Mortal Kombat X forum!

DC Comics Mortal Kombat X Vol.2 Trade Paperback
DC Comics Release Collected Mortal Kombat X Volume 2

The first series of the hugely successful Mortal Kombat X comic book and digital serial has come to an end, but fans eager to hold the entire series in their hands still have plenty of chances! Mortal Kombat X Volume 2 is out now! Details follow:

Vol. 2 continues the collected saga from Volume 1, detailing the prequel adventures of Scorpion, Takahashi Takeda, Sonya Blade, Johnny Cage, Kotal Kahn and many more characters from the Mortal Kombat X mythos!

The DC Comics Trade Paperback collects print issues #5 through #8 -- that's chapter 15 to 24 for digital readers -- completing the story of Blood Gods. Written by Shawn Kittelsen, with art by Daniel Sampere, Igor Vittorino & Dexter Soy, the trade is on sale for $14.99RRP, featuring a Scorpion v Havik cover by Stephen Segovia [pictured above]!

Which version did you read? Register to discuss Mortal Kombat comics and more in the Media & Merchandise forum! Share the knowledge by liking & sharing via @MK_Online and Facebook!

Kountdown: Top 10 WWE Immortals Feuds for Johnny Cage
MKOuntdown Top 10 WWE opponents for Johnny Cage!

WWE Immortals Johnny Cage Early Access
Johnny Cage enters WWE Immortals via Early Access

Mortal Kombat's Johnny Cage is coming to challenge the superstars of WWE Immortals [full story]! To make it in the ring of World Wrestling Entertainment it'll take more than genetic gifts - it's all about grabbing the proverbial brass ring! What better way to do that than by taking advantage of the limited Early Access?

WWE Immortals is the third free-to-play app from NetherRealm Studios - the makers of Mortal Kombat X! Available to download for iOS and Android; it's another card collecting beat 'em up, this time featuring the legends and superstars of World Wrestling Entertainment as reimagined by NetherRealm Studios!

It's the second time a character has crossed over from the home team. Scorpion reprised his role as an inter-dimensional invader in the mobile version of Injustice: Gods Among Us [full story]. We're sure he would've loved to get the push in WWE Immortals, too, but as Bray Wyatt says - anyone but you!

There's gonna be a Cage match - but which WWE Superstar will you challenge first? Register to cut a debut promo on the forum! Join Mortal Kombat Online's ministry of darkness by liking & sharing stories via @MK_Online, Facebook & YouTube!

Johnny Cage Coming to WWE Immortals
Johnny Cage to make an entrance in WWE Immortals!

He survived Hell in a Well in Mortal Kombat 4, and defeated Mortal Kombat champion Prince Goro on film! Now Johnny Cage is cashing in on his stardom as the latest celebrity contender to invade the world of World Wrestling Entertainment!

Okay... So the video game icon won't exactly be following in the Summerslam footsteps of Arrow & Injustice star Stephen Amell - but he can still headline in the palm of your hand thanks to WWE Immortals!

The Mortal Kombat hero is a natural crossover for NetherRealm Studios' free-to-play WWE app. He's always been great on the mic, demonstrates tremendous workrate, and has the mainstream appeal necessary to be WWE World Heavyweight Champion. Now he just needs to overcome hyper-stylized versions of stars like Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Rock, Brock Lesnar, Batista, Daniel Bryan, Seth Rollins and conquering COO Triple H!

Cage will make his entrance soon. Which WWE Superstar will you be looking forward to punching square in the grape fruits? Register to show your intestinal fortitude and cut a promo on the forums! Hook up with the mKo by liking & sharing via @MK_Online. Facebook & YouTube.

Mad Jax: NetherRealm Pay Homage to Avalanche Studios
Mortal Kombat meets Mad Max in NetherRealm homage!

If you weren't watching the web last month, you may have missed this bad ass NetherRealm Studios tribute to Avalanche Studios' Mad Max! Check Jax out below:

Released early September; Mad Max throws players into the apocalyptic desert of the famed film franchise. Filled with armored cars and hostile Aussies, the world of Mad Max is memorable for its harsh environment and over-the-top characters.

Mortal Kombat X paid unspoken homage to Mad Max 2 tandem MasterBlaster with newcomers Ferra/Torr. In documenting the similarities [read more], Mortal Kombat Online pondered the possibility of a timely crossover - which we're glad to see come to pass, even if it's only Jax stepping up to the license plates!

It's been a veritable love-in for the family of developers working under Warner Brothers Interactive Entertainment! NetherRealm offered similar kudos to Arkham Knight's Rocksteady Studios back in June, mashing up Scorpion with the eponymous Dark Knight. That was itself payback for the decapitated heads sent to Netherrealm in April!

Can't get enough Jax? Register to join the discussion on the Mortal Kombat X forum and select the new Revenant Soldier palette from Site Themes!