News Archive - June, 2020
Mortal Kombat Mobile Mileena Proof of Concept Artwork
Artist shares behind-the-scenes design art!

When Mortal Kombat Mobile first launched in 2015, it was an extension of the then-current action found in Mortal Kombat X. In the five years since, NetherRealm has continued to expand the free-to-play lineup with unlockable characters ripped right out of the latest game. One of the artists who worked on the relaunch has revealed a proof of concept image that helped develop a new style for in-game cards. Take a look:

The dramatic digital painting shows Mileena in her main Mortal Kombat X design. It was posted to Twitter by WB Games & NetherRealm Studios artist Jaki Martinez, who explained: "This is an old proof of concept I did (last year I think? Maybe longer.) for Mortal Kombat Mobile when we were exploring a direction for the kards in the game. This was the style we went with."

MK Mobile introduced a new painterly sensibility to its character cards with the 2019 introduction of MK11 versions of Scorpion, Raiden, and Jade. The non-specific 2.0 rebranding was successfully launched last March.

Mileena did not return as part of the playable roster of Mortal Kombat 11, but it seems her image had some small impact on the design of MK Mobile. You can see more of her unique unmasked design in Mortal Kombat X Concept Art and learn about her role in the MK Mobile Mileena Breakdown. Find and discuss additional MK Mobile topics in the Mortal Kombat 11 forum.

McFarlane Toys Solicit Mortal Kombat 11 Kitana & Baraka
Wave 3 action figures!

McFarlane Toys has officially solicited Wave 3 of the Mortal Kombat 11 series of action figures. Kitana and Baraka will join the iconic lineup later this year as the sixth and seventh characters. Take a closer look in new photos:

Toyark shared the glamour shots, reporting expectations for pre-orders coming soon. The typically articulated toys will retail at an expected $19.99 for release some time in September.

Both figures were shown in the earlier prototype stage at February's New York Toy fair. McFarlane Toys released images from the display booth, which you can see by clicking the thumbnails above for a closer look. Waves 1 & 2 also included Scorpion, Sub-Zero, Raiden, Johnny Cage, and the previously previewed MK11 Spawn.

Do the new Kitana and Baraka measure up? Share your thoughts in the comments and tell us who you you'd like to see next! Find more toy news on the Media & Merchandise forum and discuss the latest game on the Mortal Kombat 11 forum!

Injustice: Gods Among Us Free to Download
Injustice for all!

It's been seven years since Injustice: Gods Among Us launched the heroes & villains of DC Comics into a new fighting game franchise. If you never got around to trying it out, or didn't upgrade, now is the perfect time: it's available to download for free on relevant platforms!

That's right! You can download the complete Ultimate Edition right now for no cost from PlayStation Store, Xbox One, and Steam with a 100% discount! Ultimate Edition includes all of the season pass downloadable content, including additional characters: Lobo, Batgirl, General Zod, Martian Manhunter, Zatanna, and Mortal Kombat's Scorpion! This offer will last until June 25th.

Earlier this month WB Games listed a technical role for development of next generation Injustice and Mortal Kombat at NetherRealm studios. At this date there is no confirmation of a prospective Injustice sequel. It's currently unknown if there will be any Injustice announcement made during the 24-hour DC FanDome virtual convention on August 22nd.

What do you think about free games? Let us know if you took advantage of the deal in the comments below. Find and discuss more from the world of DC Comics by diving in to the DC Universe Injustice forum!

NetherRealm Studios Lists Next Gen MK & Injustice Job
Who's next?

A new generation of console gaming looms on the horizon and NetherRealm Studios is apparently gearing up to take Mortal Kombat and Injustice into the next frontier. A WB Games job listing has revealed intentions to develop for the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X. Read on for details:

A listing posted to WB Games Careers on June 4th is searching for a Principal Software Engineer to work on developing next generation graphics for NetherRealm Studios. The listing specifically cites both the Mortal Kombat and Injustice franchises, which have maintained a steady presence at the developer with alternating releases approximately every two years.

NetherRealm, a division of WB Games Inc., seeks a Principal Software Engineer – Graphics to drive the next generation console graphics vision for the Mortal Kombat™ and Injustice™ franchises. As a Principal Graphics Engineer you will work closely with the Lead Engineer and the rest of your peers to develop state-of-the-art graphics technology for the PS5, and XBOX Series X. Your domain will span the entire rendering pipeline and your responsibilities will include optimization, design, and implementation of pivotal new graphics technology.

First reported by The Game Post; the listing has naturally sparked speculation concerning upcoming sequels, with strong potential for a next generation complete edition of Mortal Kombat 11 also likely.

Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath has been given a limited disc release in North & South America. Additional downloadable content expansions are still expected, enhancing the value of any future re-release on new consoles. The studio last dealt with transitioning to new hardware in 2013, when Injustice: Gods Among Us was reissued with an Ultimate Edition port for the newly released PlayStation 4.

[Related Article: Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath Launch Trailer]

The news comes as speculation mounts over the reported potential sale of WB Games. The listing at least shows development continues in the short term, even if the future course for NetherRealm Studios remains slightly uncertain.

What do you think we'll see? Share your thoughts & desires in the comments below and indulge the deepest speculation in the Future Games forum. Find and discuss more from both franchises in the Mortal Kombat 11 and DC Universe Injustice forums.

Sektor & Cyrax Mortal Kombat 11 Concept Art
Artist reveals alternate designs!

The Cyber Lin Kuei returned with a vengeance in Mortal Kombat 11! The initiative was reactivated in story to serve Kronika under the leadership of a newly converted Frost. The return treated us to the Lin Kuei Cyber Assembly arena, and non-playable appearances by Sektor and Cyrax. Take a closer look at the story mode fighters in recently discovered concept art:

The designs were posted to ArtStation by Warner Bros Games Montreal Concept Artist Emmanuel Julian. His concept art shows various designs for Sektor, including one emblazoned with the glowing blue symbol of the Lin Kuei clan. Julian also revealed closeup face plates designed for both Sektor and Cyrax.

The klassic cyber-assassins were non-playable characters in Mortal Kombat 11, but data-mining has produced some evidence within the game code of potentially expanded roles. This concept art does not prove a future full release for the characters, but if they were to be included as downloadable content, additional customizable designs would likely be a feature of their playable expansion.

Similar design art showing Ermac's Krypt cameo design was recently unearthed from the portfolio of another contributing artist from Warner Bros Games Montreal.

[Related Article: Mortal Kombat 11 New Era Launch Trailer]

Sektor and Cyrax debuted in Mortal Kombat 3, where they pursued Sub-Zero as part of the original plot of forced automation by the Lin Kuei clan. Their origin story was repurposed and elaborated upon in the 2011 reboot, but the characters were subsequently killed off in sequel tie-in comics, leading to the invention of a variation-based hybrid character for Mortal Kombat X called Triborg.

What do you think about these designs? Share your review in the comments below and tell us if you'd like to see Sektor and Cyrax make a full return in future DLC. Find and discuss more news & info on the Mortal Kombat 11 forum.

CNBC Reports Potential Sale of Warner Bros Games
Is Mortal Kombat for sale?

It's been a little over a decade since courts approved the sale of Midway Games and its catalogue to Warner Bros. Now a fresh report is claiming parent company AT&T is internally discussing the sale of the entire Warner Brothers gaming division. Read on for the full story:

CNBC reports a source "familiar with the matter" has claimed AT&T is discussing a potential $4 billion dollar sale of the entire Warner Bros Interactive Entertainment division. This would include an extensive catalogue of intellectual property, including Mortal Kombat, and various Warner Brothers licenses, such as Injustice, Batman, Harry Potter, and Lego.

The anonymous source claims major holding companies have expressed interest in the acqusition, including Take-Two Interactive Software, Electronic Arts, and Activision Blizzard. CNBC was unable to get any official comment from applicable parties.

Warner Bros retained their Midway Games Chicago development team, rebranded NetherRealm Studios in 2010. The MK franchise was relaunched shortly after with a 2011 reboot, followed by massively successful sequels Mortal Kombat X and Mortal Kombat 11.

Corporate maneuverings from above in 2016 saw Time Warner acquired by AT&T, with little visible interruption to the MK brand. Rumors of the sale of gaming assets coincide with the ascension of WarnerMedia CEO John Stankey to CEO of the telco giant, while "activist" stake holders Elliott Management call for cost cutting and a reduction of expansion, seeking to capitalize from proven core assets.

While big business plays out like a story from the Mortal Kombat saga, Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath continues to expand the plot and success of the latest installment in the gaming franchise. The recently released Retrocade DLC arena includes reference to several classic Midway Games titles, which could also be part of a WB Games sale.

MK Online will continue to follow this story as it develops. What do you think about another prospective change of hands after the last decade at Warner Bros? Share your thoughts in the comments below and find more stories in the Mortal Kombat 11 forum.

Mortal Kombat 11 June Console Update Notes
1.19 update notes!

A new update patch for Mortal Kombat 11 has been released. Version 1.19 addresses several niggling complaints to various modes, issuing new fixes and updates to several characters, including many minor tweaks to Fujin. Check out the official notes to know exactly what to expect:

    General Gameplay Adjustments
  • Move list corrections
  • Fixed a rare Audio related game freezing issue
  • Fixed some issues with certain attacks using the incorrect Augment Elemental Type
  • Adjusted some overlapping text Menus regarding Augments

  • Kombat League / Online
  • “Find Next Opponent” is once again the first option at the end of a Ranked set and no longer requires a confirmation

  • Towers of Time
  • Fixed some rare issues with the Downburst Augment
  • Missing Towers of Time for some players should be now be working correctly
  • Optimized performance in Towers of Time

  • Stage Specific Adjustments
  • Kronika's Keep - Adjusted how some special moves interact with an opponent hit by the Time Orb Background Interaction

  • Character Specific Adjustments
    • Bombardier Beetle & Bombardier Beetle Amplify can now only be parried by low projectile parries

    • Erron Black
    • Erron Black - The first 3 hits of Ghost Koins (Fatal Blow) no longer allow for Breakaway

    • Kabal
    • Kabal - Fixed an issue with Buzzsaws playing an incorrect animation when hitting an opponent

    • Kitana
    • Kitana - Fixed a rare issue that could result in the Armor from Augment Kahnt Touch This to remain active after certain circumstances

    • Kotal Kahn
    • Kotal Kahn - Adjusted Totem buffs values when there are 2 or more stacks of Totems on screen
    • Kotal Kahn - The first hit of Pinned Down (Fatal Blow) no longer allows for Breakaway

    • Kung Lao
    • Kung Lao - The first hit of Beaten And Broken (Fatal Blow) no longer allows for Breakaway

    • Noob Saibot
    • Noob - Shadow Klones will no longer sometimes continue to animate when hit by some projectile parries
    • Noob - Shadow Slide can now only be parried by low projectile parries

    • Fujin
    • Fujin - Adjusted wind effects on opponent's cloth physics when Bending Wind (Away + Back Punch) is performed
    • Fujin - The final hit of Warped Needle Amplify now correctly works after it has been previously Flawless Blocked
    • Fujin - Fixed an issue with Fujin's Krossbow using an incorrect animation when winning a match under certain circumstances
    • Fujin - Fujin no longer sometimes has incorrect Gear Abilities in some Story Mode fights
    • Fujin - The first hit of Winds Of Change (Fatal Blow) no longer allows for Breakaway
    • Fujin - You can no longer do an extended combo against your opponent after Finish Him with Warped Needle until the Fatality window timeout has occurred

This is a significantly smaller update than the previous Aftermate addition. it is currently available for all copies on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

Got any outstanding concerns or pleased with fixes? Let us know in the comments below! Find and comment on more related topics on the Mortal Kombat 11 forum. You can also vote for and review your favourite characters in the 2020 Supreme Mortal Kombat Champion character tournament!

Artist Shares Mortal Kombat 11 Ermac Design Art
A closer look at Ermac!

Ermac missed the cut for the playable roster in Mortal Kombat 11, but makes a noteworthy cameo in The Krypt mode. The appearance includes a new design for the enigmatic fan-favourite, which the artist responsible shared in more detailed art for the gestalt soul-man. Take a look:

Alex Troufanov is a Senior Character Modeller at Warner Brothers Games Montreal, and shared the rendered design art [above] to his personal portfolio, last month. The image shows a clear front & back view of Ermac's new design, which adapts classic motifs with the addition of extensive gold trim, and paneled layers in his trademark black and red.

Perhaps anticipating the response of eager fans who've hoped Ermac might make a downloadable return, the artist elaborates on his status: "Ermac’s model was one of the characters I created for MK11 while working on the project . Unfortunatly he is not part of playable characters but you can find him dead in the krypt.".

Ermac can be discovered by navigating the subterranean halls of Goro's Lair, to eventually reach the outdoor bottom of The Pit, where his corpse lies impaled upon a spike. Players acquire an amulet from the body that will grant their avatar powers of telekinesis, and the ability to open soul canisters. The amulet can be seen on Ermac's chest in the design art.

Ermac has been a popular subject for concept artists to share: Bernard Beneteau revealed concept art for the 2011 reboot, as well as his own tattered design that caused a stir in 2014. MK Online also exclusively shared Mortal Kombat X concepts thanks to Justin Murray.

What do you think of Ermac's new look and grim fate? Share your thoughts about the design with us in the comments below. Then join more discussion on the Mortal Kombat 11 forum.

Mortal Kombat Mythologies Prop Art Unearthed
The Book of Destiny opens!

In 1997, MK4 took the franchise into the 3D realm of polygonal graphics -- but a second release that same year also gave the series one final extravagant digitized hurrah. Mortal Kombat Mythologies: Sub-Zero expanded the mythos with a platforming adventure that opened the Book of Destiny in live-action cut scenes. Some of its lost pages have been freshly unearthed to reveal the prop's secrets! Take a look:

Former Raiden actor and NetherRealm Studios motion capture artist, Carlos Pesina, posted the rarely seen original documents to Instagram. The three pages appeared in the opening scene of MK Mythologies, playing the part of an ancient tome containing the history of Mortal Kombat, and the conflict between good and evil gods.

The pages include Sub-Zero and Quan Chi line art drawn by John Tobias, with kanji text, and an "Asian esoteric symbol" that appears similar to a feng shui compass.

An exact translation of the Japanese text isn't available, but Pesina did provide greater context for the pages while explaining his technique for aging the final art: "Scanned in line art from Tobias, the MK symbol and an Asian esoteric symbol with kanji text. I had to dye the pages with black tea and burn the edges to get that ancient weathered look. These are the original unvarnished undyed pages, I didn't want to ruin them. Enjoy!" See the finished product in the intro video below.

Raiden possesses the Book of Destiny, which alludes to his struggle with the fallen elder god Shinnok. The thunderer enlists the help of Sub-Zero (aka; Bi-Han) in MK Mythologies to prevent Quan Chi freeing Shinnok, who appears as the final boss of Mortal Kombat 4. This storyline also informed the backstory of Mortal Kombat X.

Was the Book of Destiny everything you imagined it was? Share your thoughts about this lost kontent in the comments below and discuss more MKMSZ nostalgia in the 2D Kombat Klassics forum!

Top Mortal Kombat 11 Players Unite Against Injustice
Charity tournament announced!

As tensions simmer across the United States, and around the globe; some of the world's top Mortal Kombat 11 players are taking action with a weekend tournament to raise funds for change. Kombat Against Injustice will feature a line-up of familiar top players to raise proceeds for the fight to reform law enforcement legislation in America. Read on for more info:

The tournament was announced by Console Gaming League via Twitter, with a bracket of sixteen top competitive players [pictured below]. The battle will be headlined by superstar reigning Evo World Champion and outspoken supporter for several causes: Dominic "Sonic Fox" McClean.

The action will stream live to Twitch on Saturday, June 6th starting at 5:00PM EST, with a $1,000 prize purse provided by Console Gaming League to go to the charity of the Top 4 finalists choosing. Additional donations from the public will go to Campaign Zero: an advocacy group campaigning for data-driven policy solutions to reform policing practises in the United States. Use the promo code Kombat when donating to Kombat Against Injustice and Matcherino will contribute $0.50.

The reported murder of George Floyd while in police custody has been an inciting event for protests in Minneapolis -- where the May 25th death occurred -- as well as other cities across the United States, and around the world. The outpouring of support has been in response to an alarming rate of African-American deaths in police custody. Floyd was suspected of the non-violent crime of passing a counterfeit $20 bill.

Mortal Kombat co-creator Ed Boon has been one of the celebrity voices lending his support to the social movement. On May 30th he tweeted three words across three lines: 'Black. Lives. Matter.' He joined a chorus of acknowledgment that also included another long time Chicago resident: Barack Obama.

The Mortal Kombat franchise has a long history of attracting a diverse global fanbase, with strong representation for African-American players found throughout the top competitive ranks. Few have been as dominant or recognized as Sonic Fox, who also raised over $20,000 last year for the prevention of suicide in the LGBTQI community.

Mortal Kombat 11's Retrocade Arcade Treasures
Klassic arcade machines!

The newly released Retrocade is one of the most unique arenas in Mortal Kombat 11, adding multiple meta-textual twists to the already impressive Tournament stage. Beyond its MK franchise deepcuts lies a background filled with Midway Arcade Treasures. These are the games remembered:

Retrocade left: Klassic Reptile and Ermac cutouts from 2011 decorate the arcade.

Primal Rage
Released August 1994; Primal Rage launched a fighting game franchise developed by Atari Games. It featured a post-apocalyptic future overrun by seven playable prehistoric creatures of peace and chaos. Each is worshipped by primative human clans who survived the cataclysmic meteor strike that plunged "Urth" into a new Stone Age.

Essentially Mortal Kombat with dinosaurs; Primal Rage put a unique twist on standard fighting games of the time, introducing inverted button & directional inputs for special moves, and a mechanic for devouring worshippers to gain mid-match bonuses. Like MK, it became a target for parties concerned with the depiction of violence in video games. Home console ports were handled by Probe and Bitmasters. The arcade cabinet is prominently displayed on the far left of the Retrocade.

In Defender the objective was to rescue humans in an early multi-buttoned arcade space adventure. Released in 1981, it revolutionized the arcade shooting of Space Invaders by turning it on its side, and adding horizontal scrolling in both directions. A mini-map at the top of the screen helped players navigate the simple landscape as they hunted down alien invaders. Fail to save captured astronauts and they return as hostile mutants out for revenge!

Eugene Jarvis led development on the landmark laser-firing arcade klassic, which was released by Williams. You can see the arcade machine tucked away in the background of the left side of the Retrocade, next to a poster for Hydro Thunder and behind the Ermac cutout.

Rampage World Tour
Fans of giant-monster movies got their first taste of kaiju carnage in 1986 with the initial arcade release of Rampage. Players took control of George the giant gorilla, Lizzie the giant lizard, or Ralph the giant werewolf, razing metropolitan battlefields while fending off the attacks of the military, and other passing vehicles.

Midway's Rampage was everything the title suggested, spawning an unstoppable franchise of sequels and home ports, as well as the 2018 live-action adaptation starring Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson! Humans were definitely back on the menu in the 1997 World Tour sequel, as were other power-ups that could be discovered while climbing and smashing through buildings across the entire globe! The arcade cabinet is nestled beside Defender, partially obscured by the Retrocade projection screen.

The Grid
A game that needs no introduction to old school MK fans! Developed by the MK team for arcade release in 2001: The Grid was a third-person arena shooter that could support up to six players with linked arcade machines. Similar in tone to Smash TV, it presented the deadly run & gun action as a major league bloodsport of the future with an over-the-top host, and tongue-in-cheek violence.

The Grid is not only fondly remembered for its early take on multiplayer battle arena style gameplay, but also its incorporation of MK4 inspired guest characters: Scorpion, Sub-Zero, and Noob Saibot. The neon green Grid logo can be seen on two arcade machines pressed up against the back of the Retrocade's right side.

Another deeply nostalgic retro cut; Joust was a Williams Electronics cabinet released in 1982. The platforming arcade klassic gave players control of a knight riding a flying ostrich who must defeat rival enemies on buzzards across a rock and lava laden 2D arena. The game included two-player co-op mode and can be seen influencing various memorable titles, including Nintendon's Mario Bros. It was part of the original Midway Arcade Treasures collection, and can be seen on the far right of the Retrocade, behind the speaker and change machine.

Retrocade right: Deception Scorpion cutout, The Grid, Joust, and a slushee on the change machine.

Courts approved the sale of Midway Games and its library of video games and intellectual property to Warner Brothers in July, 2009 [full story]. The acqusition most visibly led to a relaunch of Mortal Kombat in 2011, but these MK11 references highlight the broader possibilities of the Midway catalogue.

Retrocade, Dead Pool, Soul Chamber, and Kronika's Keep arenas are all part of a free update released to Mortal Kombat 11 last week! Take a closer look at the meta-stage and tell us what you think of the arcade easter eggs in the comments below. Find and discuss more from Aftermath on the Mortal Kombat 11 forum!

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