The harsh reality of bankruptcy is fast becoming common place for major developers in the gaming industry. Slightly ahead of the curve, Midway Entertainment filed for Chapter 11 in early 2009. The predicament meant the inevitable sale of assets -- including the company's cash cow, Mortal Kombat -- but ironically enough, the state of MK never looked more certain.

With a purchase by Warner Brothers secured mid-2009 [full story], Mortal Kombat, and the team responsible, was quickly secured for a new era. The series effectively hit the restart with the numberless April 2011 release, but as The Chicago Tribune highlights, the legacy of the Midway years is still very much alive in the work of NetherRealm Studios.

We first learned of a change in engine in 2007, when MK figurehead Ed Boon told Game Informer that the team would be exploring the Unreal Engine in their next instalment [full story]. The game that resulted was Mortal Kombat versus DC Universe -- the first game to make use of Epic's traditional FPS engine in a fighter, and the last game to be produced by the Chicago team for Midway.

Very little time is spent lamenting the days of Midway, but the Unreal Engine 3 continues to be the platform NetherRealm games are built on. In April, Injustice: Gods Among Us will be the latest title to make use of the Epic system, but as Boon freely elaborates [in the article], the work involved requires considerable effort and innovation from the team themselves.

"We're always making advancements to our version of the Unreal Engine 3 graphics engine," said Ed Boon, creative director, NetherRealm Studios. "This game has much more dynamic lights in terms of lighting the environments and the characters. It showcases a lot more detail than what we had going in the last 'Mortal Kombat' game. In addition, we have a faster rendering engine, so we can put more out on the screen than 60 frames per second. We have a great memory manager that lets us have multiple arenas for any fight, so you can knock someone from one arena into the next. Injustice is reaping the benefits from all of these steps forward that we took since 'Mortal Kombat.'"
- Ed Boon (NetherRealm Studios Creative Director, Chicago Tribune, January 2013)

Throughout promotion for the new game, NetherRealm have made conceited efforts to separate Injustice from their better known fighting series. The opportunity to branch-out into WB's well known superhero properties has been seen as a chance to flex their conceptual muscles, leaving the martial arts influence behind in favour of Gods Among Us -- operatic, super-human battles that destroy the surrounding world before the fighters [more].

"Our main goal was to do another fighting game that was completely different than 'Mortal Kombat,'" said Boon. "When we joined the Warner Bros. family, we looked at their wealth of intellectual properties and the DC heroes seemed like a great fit for it. We had actually worked with them before on 'Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe' and we wanted to do something that was focused on celebrating the whole exaggerated world of super heroes. So instead of doing things like swinging a sword, you swing a car. Instead of knocking somebody down, you throw them through a building. We really wanted to exaggerate all these events and create this hyper-realistic battle of the god's world and that's what 'Injustice' is."

Injustice: Gods Among Us arrives for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 & Nintendo WiiU April 16. Australia can look forward to a simultaneous release April 17; Europe aren't far behind, April 19. All regions can pre-order versions of the Collectors Edition and PDP Fight Stick Battle Edition at respective local chains.

Don't miss CVG's exclusive first-look at Lex Luthor in action, as well as many more intricate details in the latest Gods Among Us trailer. Get the lowdown on the currently confirmed cast and character rumors in our magazine hype wrap-up. Discuss these topics and more in the DC Universe Injustice.