At Comic Con 2011, NetherRealm Studios revealed the last (announced) DLC for Mortal Kombat (aka Mortal Kombat 9) – Freddy Krueger. The DLC announcement was received with mixed results from fans, some of which were hoping for an actual MK alum to return (Tanya or Goro, among others) as a playable character. Considering the studio isn’t expected to add any more characters – we may have to wait until the next Mortal Kombat title, presumably Mortal Kombat 10, to potentially take the reins of characters that didn’t make the cut this round.
But what can we expect from the next installment in the series? We spoke with MK creator Ed Boon at Comic Con before the Mortal Kombat: Legacy panel to get an idea of what to expect.
Despite his excitement for the Freddy Krueger DLC announcement, and his pride in the Mortal Kombat roster, Boon made it pretty clear that the team at NetherRealm is primarily focused on the “next games,” not pumping out new MK9 characters.
Though, the fan-favorite game creator doesn’t close the DLC door entirely:
“Our original plan was to do four [characters] and I think it’s all kind of being dictated by a number of things. One is our team’s ability. Obviously, we want to start the next games and what not. And then also demand for it – you know, if it’s just this crazy, ridiculous, success then we have to at least entertain the idea. For the most part [reaction has been positive] and this is the first time we’ve done it, actually the first time that any fighting game has really had a real downloaded character that wasn’t on disc.”
It’s certainly interesting to hear Boon use the phrasing “next games” – maybe another Mortal Kombat spin-off title is also in the works (purely speculation at this point).
As for what to expect from the next Mortal Kombat tournament game, Boon didn’t divulge too many details but reassured us that the game wouldn’t be jumping back into 3D environments any time soon.
“[The return to 2D] was really well received – that was one of the things that people were the most pleased with. You feel at home ducking, jumping, all that stuff.”
No doubt one of the most exciting aspects of Mortal Kombat was the return, and reimagining, of the original arcade gameplay as well as iconic characters. While the title no doubt reinvigorated the franchise, bringing back loads of players that had abandoned Mortal Kombat at some point, the team at NetherRealm faces a tough challenge now that they have to rely on moving forward into uncharted territory (new characters, storylines, and gameplay mechanics). Mortal Kombat was a nostalgia-fueled trip down memory lane with a number of modern refinements – but will another similar experience bring players rushing back for another round?
After a roster of twenty-seven playable kombatants (not including PS3 exclusive Kratos), four DLC characters, and three boss fighters, it’s hard to imagine what NetherRealm can do for a worthy follow-up. That said, given the commercial success of Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe as well as Boon’s interest in horror icons such as Freddy, Jason, and Michael Meyers – maybe we should prepare for a new mash-up title: Mortal Kombat vs. Slasher Films? Just kidding – maybe.
Follow me on Twitter @benkendrick and let us know what direction you’d like to see NetherRealm take Mortal Kombat next?