According to a blog post over at Variety, part of the filings Midway submitted recently regarding compensation and incentive packages for key employees included a request to give compensation to Mortal Kombat co-creator and team lead Ed Boon for his work on Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe. From the article:

Ed Boon is the co-creator of "Mortal Kombat" and currently the lead designer for for the fighting franchise at Midway. Though he isn't mentioned by name in the bankruptcy filings, there is extensive discussion of a "key designer" who is "responsible for historically the Debtors’ most successful video game series." Later on it mentions that the series had a new release in the fourth quarter of 2009.

The series is obviously "Mortal Kombat" and the designer is Boon. In this filing, Midway is asking the bankruptcy court to approve continued payment of Boon's bonus plan in order to retain his services, which it claims is "critical to maximizing the value of one of the Debtors’ primary assets" (a.k.a. "Mortal Kombat").

Why? Well, he's in charge of making the "Mortal Kombat" games and also the guy who handles most interviews and publicity. If he were to leave, it would be yet another PR nightmare for Midway and would likely lessen the value of the franchise to a potential buyer.

So how much does Boon get for his work? Well for "performance of new release version of the Video Game in fourth quarter 2008 and first quarter 2009" -- in other words, sales of November release "Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe" in the five months when it will have achieved most of its sales -- the bonus is $900,000. In addition, Boon gets $105,000 for other revenue from the "MK" franchise (older games, movies, etc.) in those two quarters.

It should be noted that the end of the first paragraph mentions a "new release in the fourth quarter of 2009". Considering it states it in the past tense, it is almost certain that "2009" was a typo, and that the author meant "2008". There has been nothing so far to indicate the next Mortal Kombat game will be coming out this year. Despite that, some sites such as Kotaku have stated that the next game is scheduled for Q4 2009. We are getting confirmation from Midway on this matter.

In any event, this should be more evidence that Midway considers Mortal Kombat their biggest (if not only) moneymaker and is doing whatever they can to retain the services of its team lead and public face.

To read Kotaku's report on the blog post (with their own commentary), click here. To read the original Variety post, click here.

Our thanks to forum/chat member for the heads-up on this article!

UPDATE - 9:50 AM CST - We have confirmed with our sources at Midway that the "Q4 2009" date given in the Variety blog posting is a typo. While the next game is in development, Midway has not announced a release date for the next MK game and are refusing to confirm one. Therefore, Kotaku's analysis of the next game's release date is based on incorrect information, and should not be seen as accurate. Our thanks to our sources within Midway for the clarification!

UPDATE - 4:45 PM CST - The original Variety blog post has been edited to correct the typo; it now says, "Later on it mentions that the series had a new release in the fourth quarter of 2008."