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