NeverRealm Studios’ Mortal Kombat series has defied all odds to reach the point of success that it has enjoyed over the years. In the early ’90s, the games were considered so violent that they, along with other games at the time, served as a reference point for creating the ESRB. During the ’00s, the shift from its classic 2D fighting origins to a modernized 3D system polarized old-school fans from the newcomers.
In 2011, Mortal Kombat 9 brought the series back to its 2D roots, blending in mechanics from the 3D era and providing a story that served to catch newer fans of the series up to speed with its lore. Following 2015’s Mortal Kombat X and 2019’s Mortal Kombat 11, it’s a safe bet that the series itself will continue to thrive for many years to come.
When it comes to the source of its success, social media presence largely attributes to the success of Mortal Kombat as we know it today. Game director Ed Boon occasionally interacts with fans on Twitter, often in the form of cryptic tweets leading to the possibility of future DLC. Occasionally, eagle-eyed fans able to decrypt such tweets are correct, such as the eventual release of Rain as a DLC character. One such recent tweet refers to the commonly requested collaboration between Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter.
The following day, Boon tweeted another video, this time of an old Indian movie. The man portrayed in the clip delivers a chop to his victim, causing the victim to react in a way not unlike Mortal Kombat 11’s Fatal Blows. In reference, Ed Boon comically makes a note to refer to his “fatality design committee” for further inspiration in the future.
In light of news involving the Arcade1UP cabinets for Killer Instinct, Ed Boon had made a tweet in support of the series getting the arcade-at-home experience. Lauded as one of Mortal Kombat’s direct competitors, Rare’s Killer Instinct has often been compared to Mortal Kombat in terms of its colorful cast and fatality-esque finishers. Even to this day, such comparisons lead to its own fans wondering how a Killer Instinct vs Mortal Kombat title would look.
One of the biggest draws to Mortal Kombat is deciding who makes the cut on the roster. Mortal Kombat Armageddon remains the only game to feature every playable character in the series up to that point. With Mortal Kombat 9, the safest option was to include all classic playable characters. The only new character added to the base roster was Cyber Sub Zero. It wasn’t until Mortal Kombat 9’s DLC that we saw a return of a character from the 3D era, Kenshi, and an original character who was teased for years, Skarlet. The inclusion of Freddy Krueger and PlayStation 4 exclusive Kratos from God of War set the precedent for future NeverRealm Studios’ titles.
With Scorpion appearing in Injustice: Gods Among Us and Leatherface, Alien, Predator, and Jason in Mortal Kombat X, it’s been a mantra to expect the unexpected. Anyone and everyone could potentially find their way in an NRS title, whether as a guest or as a returnee. With the current rumors including DC’s own Deathstroke alongside highly requested fan-favorites, Smoke and Sareena, as plans for future DLC, fans continue to look for any clues from Boon himself.