News Archive - April, 2004
1UP provides yet another interview with MK: Deception project leads
The interviews keep on coming. A Ziff Davis affiliated gaming site, 1UP.com, has also conducted an interview with series co-creator Ed Boon and producer John Podlasek. 1UP drills some tough answers out of Ed's mouth on Mortal Kombat: Deception as we learn more about Konquest mode, the new Krypt, as well as the improved movement in the multi-tiered stages. When asked about the maneuverability in these interactive environments, Ed goes on to say:
We're really trying to keep it simple, like you can use the analog stick now to move around as well. There's a lot more maneuvering, trying to get behind something or in front of something...we've added some nuances that I think seasoned players are going to notice. We have these fighting stake indicators, which kind of reveal when you are vulnerable during an attack, and also when you can't block, and when you're in the danger zone. I think that's going to educate people a little bit more, [on things like] the risks that you're taking when you do power moves and what have you. So there are going to be a lot of subtleties like that.
As more interviews come in, we will post them here. Thanks to Mortal Kombat Online user mccauslander for sending the news tip!
Game Informer interviews Ed Boon and John Podlasek
Game Informer recently conducted an interview with series co-creator Ed Boon and producer John Podlasek on several topics. Ed Boon first gives some of his comments on the classic MK games that will appear in Midway Arcade Treasures II. It has now been confirmed that they will be ports of the original arcade unit, much like if it was running on MAME. When asked what he thought about the conversion, Ed states:
Well, it’s really weird. You look at the title and it’s called Arcade Treasures and that implies “old schoolâ€? video game type things and that’s what I thought of, games like Defender and Robotron and all that stuff from when I first joined the company. So to me, it’s more a reminder of how long I’ve been here and it’s something that I worked on like 12 years ago and it’s considered “old schoolâ€? and I guess it’s considered “old school.â€? A lot of people were in junior high when those games came out so they’ve graduated from college already.

Ed also shines new light for Mortal Kombat: Deception on what to expect at this year's Electronic Entertainment Expo on May 12-14. From the interview:

We really don’t want people to see it until it’s absolutely finished. So, not every single character will be playable at E3. Not every background will be there. But, a good representation of what the game will be will be at E3.

He goes on to say that there will be 10 playable characters available during the E3 Expo in two weeks. Keep it here as Mortal Kombat Online will soon be making its official announcement of its coverage of the event. To read the interview in full, click here.

Special thanks to forum user Cervantes and Portal Guard user Potent_Seed for the news tip!

Midway Releases Q1 2004 Revenues; Midway Facing Buyout?
Midway Games today issued a press release detailing their revenues of the first quarter of 2004, showing a loss of $14.3 million, as compared with a $9.3 million first quarter loss compared to 2003. From the press release:
Revenues for the 2004 first quarter were $20.1 million, down from $45.8 million in the 2003 first quarter. The 2004 first quarter net loss was $14.2 million, compared with a 2003 first quarter net loss of $9.3 million. The 2004 first quarter loss applicable to common stock was $15.0 million or $0.27 per share, compared with a 2003 first quarter loss applicable to common stock of $9.6 million or $0.21 per share. Revenues for the first quarter were higher than the Company’s updated guidance provided on April 6, 2004 primarily due to continued strong sales of The Suffering, which launched March 8, 2004.

...
“We are pleased with the results of the first quarter and in particular with the product development and marketing achievements accomplished in the launch of
The Suffering. Furthermore, we believe our acquisition of Surreal Software, developer of The Suffering, will increase our internal product development depth thereby strengthening our capacity for creating more high-quality videogames,� commented president and chief executive officer David F. Zucker.
The press release also gave a forecast of Midway's 2004 outlook.
For the quarter ending June 30, 2004, the Company expects revenues of approximately $38.0 million with a net loss of approximately $10.0 million. Midway released NBA Ballers in North America on April 5, 2004 for PlayStation 2 and Xbox and has shipped a total of over 600,000 units to date on the two platforms. The Company expects to release two additional titles in North America during the balance of the 2004 second quarter: MLB SlugFest: Loaded and Psi Ops: The Mindgate Conspiracy both for PlayStation 2 and Xbox. The Company also expects to release The Suffering in Europe during the second quarter for both the PlayStation 2 and Xbox.

“We believe the successful launches of
The Suffering and NBA Ballers are solid evidence that our strategy of focusing on fewer, bigger and better titles is paying off and that changes to our operating processes and personnel are yielding results,� commented Mr. Zucker.

For the year ending December 31, 2004, Midway is raising its outlook for revenues to approximately $148.0 million, representing a 60% increase over the 2003 revenue levels. The Company also revised its outlook for a net loss of approximately $18.0 million for the year, an approximately $97.2 million improvement versus 2003. The Company previously expected revenues of approximately $140.0 million and a net loss of approximately $20.0 million in 2004.
In a related article, IGN and GameSpot are both reporting that Viacom CEO Summer Redstone has announced his intentions to buy a controlling interest in Midway. From the GameSpot article:
However, Midway officials couldn't put a positive spin on what happened after their announcement. The company's stock lost 9.8 percent of its value ($0.95) after Viacom CEO Sumner Redstone announced his intention to buy a controlling stake in the company. Currently, Redstone's National Amusements company owns 49.3 percent of Midway's stock, and, according to papers filed with the SEC, he plans on increasing that to "at least" 60 percent.

Speaking to Reuters at a conference, Redstone implied he had big plans for the publisher. "You will see very soon an enormous infusion of great creative talent to Midway--and I mean very soon," he said. Redstone also his interest and investment in Midway was purely personal. "I do not look at this as a Viacom agenda," he said.
As we learn more about this breaking story, we will report on it. To read the Midway press release in its entirety, click here. (Adobe Acrobat Reader may be required to view this file.) To read the IGN article in its entirety, click here. To read the GameSpot article in its entirety, click here.

Our thanks to forum members ScorpionKing2003, buterbals113085, and ShingoEX for the heads-up on this story!
TeamXbox Mortal Kombat: Deception Interview
TeamXbox recently sat down with John Podlasek, the producer of Mortal Kombat: Deception, for a three page interview about this upcoming project. When asked about his goals for this next installment, John states:
Our two main goals have been to expand and enhance the core fighting game, and create a unique Mortal Kombat universe full of different gameplay types. By adding multiple fatalities, multi-tiered environments, new and classic returning characters, better fatalities and new weapons in the environments we're really expanding how you think about and play a fighting game.

The other goal was to introduce different modes of play set within the context of Mortal Kombat. The biggest and most challenging one is our new Konquest mode. Instead of a linear path of training tasks like in the last one, we're creating something of an RPG-like experience. If you're into strategy and fighting our Chess Kombat mode has 5 different piece classes and mixes board game thinking with classic one-on-one fighting. And the last mode we're really excited about is called Puzzle Kombat. As you move around all these blocks that are falling vertically, a simulated "fight" tied into the player's progress will be going on in the foreground with mini MK characters. At the end of a round the losing side will have a fatality done to them, or things like a 1 ton weight fall and crush the player like a grape. It's real easy to pickup and play, and very addictive (it's not uncommon to hear yelling down the hallway when people are playing it).

To read the interview in its entirety click here. It also contains several new screenshots, some of which we've already released here.

Midway Officially Announces Midway Arcade Treasures 2!
Midway Games has issued a press release officially announcing Midway Arcade Treasures 2, which is the first Midway compilation to feature Mortal Kombat games! From the press release:
CHICAGO - April 26, 2004 - Midway Games Inc. (NYSE: MWY), a leading interactive entertainment industry publisher and developer, today announced Midway Arcade Treasures 2, a compilation of classic Midway arcade games together on one disk. The sequel to the successful 2003 launch of Midway Arcade Treasures, Midway Arcade Treasures 2 is currently in development and scheduled to ship Fall 2004 for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, the Xbox® video game system from Microsoft and the Nintendo GameCube™ with a suggested retail price of $19.99.

Midway Arcade Treasures 2 features hundreds of hours of classic gameplay action from all-time arcade favorites including the blood-spurting intensity of Mortal Kombat, Mortal Kombat® II and Mortal Kombat® 3, the multiplayer collaboration of Gauntlet® 2, the drug-busting adventure of NARC and the no-holds-barred street fighting action of Pit Fighter™, just to name a few.

"Midway Arcade Treasures has been so well-received that it was an easy decision to give gamers more of what they want while, at the same time, help to evolve Midway's classic arcade titles to today's next generation gaming consoles," said Steve Allison, chief marketing officer, Midway. "Midway Arcade Treasures 2 features many of the arcade era's biggest hits such as, Mortal Kombat, Primal Rage® and Cyberball 2072 that once ruled arcades across the nation."

With Midway Arcade Treasures 2, gamers will have the option of enjoying their favorite games in one-to-four-player game formats, depending on the title, and will experience a collection of classic titles that represent a fresh, new era in gaming relative to other "classic" game compilations. The bonus DVD content in the game will also feature several classic video montages of original commercials, launch trailers and making of the game videos for several of the classic arcade titles included on the disk.
As stated in the press release, the game is scheduled to ship this fall. Keep checking back, as we will post more about this game as we learn it!

To read the press release in its entirety, click here.

Our thanks to forum member buterbals113085 for the heads-up on this story!
Midway Reveals Midway Arcade Treasures 2 to GameSpot!
GameSpot has just posted an article reporting that Midway has officially announced their upcoming compilation game, Midway Arcade Treasures 2! This is the first Midway compilation game featuring the first three Mortal Kombat games. From the article:
Priced at $19.99, Midway Arcade Treasures 2 is scheduled for a fall 2004 release on the Xbox, PlayStation 2, and GameCube. The Xbox version of the collection will let players post their high scores on Xbox Live, which will also list world champions. Depending on the game, up to four players can play Midway Arcade Treasures 2.
No mention is made in the article about Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3, nor is online play mentioned. The article also calls the games "ports", which might suggest that these are not the original arcade ROMs run through an emulator. We will hopefully know more come E3.

To read the article in its entirety, click here.

Our thanks to forum member Thelonius-Monk for the heads-up on this update!
Game Informer Provides Four-Page MK: Deception Preview!
The latest issue of Game Informer has hit newsstands, containing a four-page preview of Mortal Kombat: Deception! This issue sheds some new light on the game, and confirms some rumours that had been making the rounds. This article is more of an interview, with members of the MKD design team answering the magazine's questions.

The first point brought up is the character list, and John Vogel confirms that the boss is the Dragon King, and "he's been very 'deceptive'." Steve Beran confirms some of the returning characters: Baraka, Mileena, Noob Saibot, Smoke, Tanya, Ermac, Sindel, and Kabal are all returning. In addition, Luis Mangubat confirms that Liu Kang will be returning as both a ghost and a zombie. The reason for Sub-Zero's altered appearance is also explained, as they wanted to make him look more Chinese and distinct from Scorpion. Herman Sanchez also gives the names of some of the new characters, such as Kira (a female Black Dragon member, whose sketch is shown in the magazine; her costume looks similar to Sonya's), Dairou (a ronin samurai with a score to settle), Ben (a martial arts champion; possibly the source of the "Ken Masters" rumor?), and Ashrah (a mystical demon huntress).

In terms of gameplay, Ed Boon revealed that the characters will again have three different fighting styles, but that they will be even more distinct from one another this time around. Stage weapons were also touched upon, as Jay Biondo explained the stage weapons were much more powerful than standard weapons, but harder to get to. He explains that "getting these weapons will be a challenge, as they are placed near death traps, hidden in secret locations, and sometimes even encased inside other interactive background elements." In the realm of combos, Ed Boon explained that each fighting style and character will have more combos, but each character will also have "break out" moves (similar to combo breakers from Killer Instinct?). As he explains, "This should really even the playfield when fighting against someone who has mastered a character's combos."

They also discuss fatalities as well. Carlos Pesina confirms each character will have two "tasty" fatalities. In addition, he explains, "Unlike Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance, limbs can be severed and there will be several Fatalities that take advantage of this new feature. One example would be the fatality in which the attacker rips the opponent's arms off and then beats him with them." A couple of new stage fatalities are also seen in the form of concept drawings. The first shows a multi-layer ice cavern stage, where characters break through floors of ice. If a character is knocked through the bottom-most one, he is devoured by the gigantic ice worm lurking below. In another, a large structure shaped like a dragon's mouth is at the side of an arena; when a character is tossed into it, it chomps down like a rock crusher and crushes the character within it. In addition, Mike Taran gives an idea of what to expect:
"... you will see opponents get buried in rock avalanches, smashed by giant steel presses, ripped to shreds with grinders, eaten by giant slugs, gored with spikes, shaved into chunks with spinning blades, boiled in lava, impaled on stalagmites, or cut to pieces by lasers... Awww yea!"
The article also covers Konquest, Chess, and Puzzle Kombat modes. Nothing really new is covered concerning the first two modes, but Nick Shin gives a bit of new detail concerning Puzzle Kombat:
"You select a character that's unique by their special move abilities. Some of them have offensive power moves that fill up your opponent's screen, while others have defensive moves to help clear our your own screen. Each background in this game mode is also unique in that you get to see Fatalities performed on the victim of a poorly played game. Oh yeah, both of these games modes will be playable online."
As always, we are not able to post scans of this article. However, this issue should be available at your local newsstands, so go on out today and pick up your copy!

Our thanks to all those who wrote in concerning this story, and especially forum/chat member GuiltyByDesign for providing us a copy of this article!
Play UK Article Gives New Details on MK: Deception!
The UK magazine Play has provided a new article in Issue 113 , talking about Mortal Kombat: Deception! Although not too much new is shown, there are a few interesting details provided in the magazine.

First off, a stage fatality is demonstrated with a series of pictures, with Ashrah kicking Nightwolf into a molten steel forge. As Nightwolf recovers and tries to crawl out of it, the forge comes smashing down, flattening him against the molten steel. The stage this takes place in appears to be the same stage in which Ashrah was seen fighting Scorpion in an earlier update.

The multi-level stages are also touched upon in the article, with the first indications of how deadly moving between stages can be. From the article:
But this is Mortal Kombat and here knocking an opponent into another area can have much more serious consequences. Not only will any fall do a lot of damage (and have a visual impact on the landing area), but there's a chance you could fall into one of the numerous traps - these could be spikes, rotating blades and grinders to name but three. And you aren't going to survive one of these.
The article also gives a bit of insight as to what some of the events will be like and what point your character in Konquest becomes eligible for inclusion into the other game modes.
Certain events will only become available at a specific location and a specific time of day and some information will even be misleading, hence the name Deception. You begin as a 16-year-old fighter and end as a 60-year-old master, your custom fighter now ready to enter (and be selected) in the world of the Mortal Kombat Versus mode.
The article also gives a description of the Chess game. The main new information given in the article is what characters are chosen as the pieces.
Now imagine each piece on the board a character from Mortal Kombat - characters in different roles that you've decided on. So, say Scorpion is the character you're best versed in, you might want to make him your 'Queen' piece. No good with Sub-Zero? He could be your 'king'. Players take turns in moving their pieces with the objective being to defeat your opponent's 'King' piece - but whenever two pieces meet, a battle ensues. This is dealt with in time honoured fashion - with a round of the Mortal Kombat fighting game. Weaker pieces will have less energy than the stronger ones. Simple. There are also special squares on the board which can act as traps (springing pieces straight off the board without any combat) or will restore energy, again making the match more strategic. The idea is that each game of Chess will last no more than 10-15 minutes in total, with each player moving his pieces quickly around the board - there won't be any two-day Chess marathons here.
Also, the article has two renders/images of note. The first is of a decaying/rotting fighter clad in a ninja-like costume; current rumours in the MK community refer to this character as Skab. The other is the image of Sub-Zero, which is the same as other previous images of him, with one difference: he now has the trademark scar over his eye.

As always, due to copyright issues, we cannot post scans of the article. If you live in the United Kingdom, this issue of Play is available on newsstands now!

Our thanks to the many users who wrote in, giving us the heads-up on this story!
German Magazine Reveals MK: Deception Gameplay Footage!
In just a matter of days after a German division of the Official Playstation 2 magazine released their exclusive details from Mortal Kombat: Deception (yet some considered inaccurate by earlier reports from our sources within Midway), another German magazine entitled PlayZone has also come across exclusive assets. Though we haven't seen the magazine for ourselves, apparently a DVD was bundled with the latest issue that actually contains the first released concrete game play footage. The rip of the DVD, which first surfaced off of a German fansite, World of Mortal Kombat, provides the first look at what appears to be an early beta of the game. Like the screenshots in our previous update, it still contains elements from MK: Deadly Alliance. In time these details will probably change. We urge everyone to consider the video unofficial, as we'll get a much clearer look at where this game stands come E3 next month. The video gives short clips of the interactive environments, the new online Konquest mode, the new board and puzzle games, and death traps. At first glace we thought the portion where Scorpion is fighting Quan Chi was taken directly from Deadly Alliance, but if you look closely in the picture below you can see a graphic near the character's name that also appears in the board game. We're not sure why old game models are used in that fight scene, but with the game such in an early form it could just have been a test. Though this doesn't officially mean Quan Chi is back for Mortal Kombat: Deception, chances look good.

For those who were having trouble finding or getting the version at World of Mortal Kombat working, you can download the video in MPEG format coming in at 8.4 MB by clicking here.

Four New Screenshots and Two Renders From MK: Deception!
We have managed to acquire new media from Midway's upcoming Mortal Kombat: Deception. The first two images are renders; the first one shows Baraka about to swing what appears to be the Beetle Lair's stage weapon. The other shows Mileena pointing her sai at some unknown opponent.

The next four images are actual gameplay shots. The first and second image show Konquest mode; they show the character on the busy town streets, with the character name at the lower left, the location at the lower right, the date at the top right, and a compass at the top left. The third and fourth screenshots are in-battle matches, with lifebars and style indicators the same as MK: Deadly Alliance. The third shot shows Baraka using his weapon style, his Baraka Blades, against Sub-Zero's Gojuryu style. The fourth screenshots shows Mileena in what appears to be an alternate costume, using her Sai style against Ermac and his Thoraxe weapon style.

As can be seen in these screenshots, the game appears to be coming along nicely. Keep your eyes peeled; we'll post further news as we receive it!
EXCLUSIVE: Three New MK Deception Screenshots Available!
Our sources within Midway Games have sent us three screenshots from the upcoming Mortal Kombat: Deception! The first image features Mileena delivering a stab to Ermac courtesy of her sais, while on the ship arena. The second image has Scorpion in the foreground, pulling a speared Sub-Zero towards him. The third image shows us what might be our clearest image of Ashrah yet, as she delivers a kick to Scorpion's chest in a tower stage.


Our thanks to our sources within Midway for these images!
German OPM Gets Deception Info, Pictures
As strange as it is, the German division of Official Playstation 2 Magazine got exclusive pictures and information that isn't in any American publications. Since we acquired a copy of the magazine (written in German), and translated it into English, here's what's new. Midway Games has gone on record as saying some of the information is inaccurate; so unfortunately not everything in the article is 100% true. With that in mind, here's what the article had to say:

  • Added to the list of new characters are Tanya, Smoke, Liu Kang's Spirit, Skab (another dead looking guy), Dairou (who you may remember from MKDA's Krypt), a female replacement for Kano, and Ken Masters (We're pretty sure that last one was intended to be a joke, but there it is.)
  • They also mention the possibility of Sektor and Kabal, probably in Konquest Mode
  • Hotaru is described as an evil Samurai
  • The 5 different realms that can be explored in Konquest Mode are: Earthrealm, Outworld, Netherealm, Orderrealm and Edenia
  • As in MKDA, most of the motion capturing will be done by Carlos Pesina (who played Raiden in MK1 and MKII)
  • No 4-Player mode this time, but perhaps in a future Mortal Kombat.

Again, keep in mind that Midway has said SOME of the information is inaccurate, and hasn't specified which is correct and which isn't.

Interestingly enough, Ed Boon mentions in the interview that MKDA had sold 3 million units. This is a much bigger figure than the 1 million something it was at not too long ago.

Special thanks go out to VainQueur, tgrant, MortalKombatde and Gambid (of MK Secrets) for the news this time!

UPDATE: We have spoken to Midway's internal media relations team about the information in this article, and they have said, "The news source was an outdated and unofficial gameplay document that was not intended for media use. The unofficial information was taken without prior consent or approval from Midway Games and therefore should not be considered accurate and/or official Mortal Kombat news." Therefore, this validity of this news is still very much in question; we'll learn more as we get closer to E3. Our thanks to Midway for the heads-up on this information!

New MK:D Articles Surface
More and more print magazines are coming out with pictures and information on MK: Deception. The Official Playstation Magazine and EGM magazines are available in news stands now.

Although MK Online has already reported all the information in the mags, the OPM magazine is definitely worth checking out. There is a picture of Sindel in her alternate costume fighting what appears to be either Li Mei or Mileena, but could possibly be a new character (not 100% confirmed yet). There's also a really nice looking, previously unseen, concept sketch of Sub-Zero in it.

Lastly, the OPM magazine has another MK related article, this time on Midway Arcade Treasures 2. They confirm the appearance of Mortal Kombat 1, II, and 3 though we're still not sure if the third MK could really mean Ultimate or Trilogy. They have screenshots of the classic MK's in this article, but they do not appear to actually be from the MAT2 disc itself.

Thanks to CAMK and many others for the tip!

Get MK:DA Free By Pre-Ordering Psi-Ops
Preorder Psi-Ops and get MK:DA Free GameSpot has announced that if you pre-order Midway's upcoming game, Psi-Ops, you will receive a copy of Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance for free! Since Midway let Mortal Kombat Online have a sneak peak at this game at last year's E3, you can take it from us that this game is worth it even without MKDA. But if you've been waiting for some reason to get your own copy of MKDA, then here's a great reason!

Thanks to everyone who mailed in and let us know!