It looks like future entries in both the Mortal Kombat and Batman series will continue to look as good (read: amazing) as they do now until at least 2014, when we assume they will look even more incredible.
The developers responsible for both properties, NetherRealm and Rocksteady respectively, have signed a deal through parent company Warner Bros. Interactive with Epic Games to utilize nothing but Unreal Engine 3 for the next three years. Both studios have been extremely satisfied (and so are we) with the visuals Unreal Engine 3 makes possible, so why not continue that relationship?
By signing such a deal with Epic Games, NetherRealm and Rocksteady have pretty much solidified that they aren’t going anywhere and plan to pursue projects at least for the next couple years. With both of them releasing new entries in their respective franchises, Batman: Arkham City and the reboot of Mortal Kombat, it makes sense that the two would want to stick around a bit longer.
Talking about the importance of Unreal Engine 3 to the development of Batman and Mortal Kombat, Warner Interactive’s senior VP of development Samantha Ryan had this to say:
"Mortal Kombat and Batman: Arkham City use the engine's state-of-the-art capabilities to provide the important foundation in bringing gamers the experience they are looking for.”
Obviously there are other engine’s out there, namely Crytek’s CryEngine and DICE’s Frostbite 2, which can deliver visuals just as amazing as Unreal Engine 3, but they might not have made the aesthetics of each title possible. Both Batman and Mortal Kombat employ a very gritty realism that fit perfectly with the overall themes of their properties. It’s really hard to imagine Batman looking “prettier” or Mortal Kombat’s fatalities looking anything short of brutal.
Epic Games' VP Mark Rein continued Ryan’s sentiments by saying that:
“[They’re] very excited that the talented production teams at NetherRealm and Rocksteady will continue to make Unreal Engine 3 their exclusive core technology for the next few years to create the exceptional titles they are so known for."
It’s obviously been a mutually beneficial relationship based off the glowing comments from both parties, the tremendous success of Arkham Asylum, and the assumed success of future titles. If things go well with the release of both games, and based on trailers it’s hard to imagine either being anything short of amazing, this could be the start of a very visually beautiful friendship.
What do you think of Mortal Kombat and Batman’s respective studios continuing to use Unreal Engine 3? Can you imagine either of the game’s carrying a different visual style?