During The Game Awards 2018, Ed Boon came out on stage to present the award for Best Sports/Racing Game. As he cued the footage of the nominees, a different video interrupted showing a typically gory battle between Scorpion and Raiden. Mortal Kombat 11 had just been announced, as Boon jokingly brushed it off as an accident. This is the way Ed Boon interacts with his fans - by teasing them.
Ed Boon is one of the key figures behind the Mortal Kombat series and seems to deeply enjoy messing with fans of both this franchise and the other recent hit NetherRealm Studios series, Injustice. Although Boon can be caught teasing new characters or games at conventions and interviews, his most popular method of communication is through his Twitter account, @noobde. This is where most of the sources of YouTube conspiracy theories revolving around the two aforementioned franchises come from. Just a simple three-word tweet from him can cause the sudden appearance of dozens of 20-minute videos pouring over every possible detail. It is difficult to blame them sometimes, as Boon deals out real and fake teases more than most other developers. Here is a brief history of those teases, starting with the most obvious entry.
Ever since Mortal Kombat 11’s release in April, fans were more than willing to air their grievances toward Boon’s Twitter account in response to the notable lack of Mileena from this iteration’s roster. Boon was also more than willing to respond with a persistent string of joke tweets mocking this want from the fans lasting for months. In fact, his most recent poke at his followers was on November 22. Boon responded to a fan’s excited tweet over Sindel’s gameplay by cheekily pretending he was talking about non-existent Mileena.
This, of course, led to his followers digitally shaking their fists en masse yet again, as this was not the first, and certainly not the last, time that he teased an appearance from Mileena. This tease, however, was probably as simple as his teases get. He tweeted a picture in May that contains a screenshot of a past tweet with most words blocked out, leaving only enough letters to spell out Mileena. These are the types of sarcastic posts that almost certainly prove that Mileena is not going to be featured in Mortal Kombat 11. Although, that could be what Ed Boon wants his followers to think.
Of course, it is always possible for her to be added to the game at any time. Indeed, she was killed off in the previous title, Mortal Kombat X, but time travel is a thing in Mortal Kombat and canonical deaths do not seem to mean much as characters are brought back all the time. The fact of the matter is, Mileena is not a playable character in this game as of yet. But, seeing as how Boon recently stated that 2020 is shaping up to be a big year for Mortal Kombat 11, this simply becomes a matter of waiting to see.
Although Boon is a playful character, not every one of his Twitter teases necessarily has to be fake. Most of his teases are usually that of upcoming releases, with one such example being DC Comics’ Joker. A tweet of his from June shows him reciting a lyric to the song “Joker” by Steve Miller Band, teasing the obvious.
Right before the release of Mortal Kombat 11, data miners leaked to Reddit a list of characters that had some sort of in-game files, suggesting that the game’s upcoming downloadable characters were already chosen in advance, as is usual. One of them was Joker. It might have been a no-brainer to think that Joker would make it in but there were only six characters confirmed to be part of the first Kombat Pack, and it seemed like Joker’s spot was going to Evil Dead’s Ash Williams. Ultimately, Joker was announced as a DLC character in Mortal Kombat 11 this past summer. This is clearly not the first time NetherRealm Studios has worked on him as a character. He is also not the only murderous clown to grace Boon’s Twitter page.
Pennywise The Clown
In June, when Ed Boon was asked on Twitter by a fan as to whether or not he could put Pennywise in Mortal Kombat 11, he simply replied with a link to the Stevie Wonder song, “I Wish.” Even though Pennywise’s chances of being in the game are slimmer thanks to Joker (and Boon’s insistence), it does not seem out of the realm of possibility, as Warner Bros. distributed It in 2017.
Maybe Mortal Kombat 11 is not big enough for two crazy clowns. Although, if Nintendo can fit seven Fire Emblem characters in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and have them feel differently enough to the point where they are all competent and balanced in their own way, then maybe NetherRealm can throw in one more clown.
Norville “Shaggy” Rogers
A month after the reveal of Mortal Kombat 11, a mysterious new force took hold of the internet’s attention. It was a force that was all too familiar yet new at the same time because January 2019 marks the time of Shaggy fever. Shaggy from Scooby-Doo was everywhere, a classic cartoon character turned into an omnipotent being overnight.
The internet was absolutely obsessed with Shaggy. It was only a matter of time before someone suggested to Ed Boon on Twitter to put Shaggy in the game, but his initial response was a swift and defeating, “Let me know how that works out for you…”
But hours later, Boon took a little more playful approach and jumped in on the joke by posting a picture of a cosmically powered-up Shaggy. He even doubled down on the joke by asking in an April post if his followers wanted Shaggy in Mortal Kombat 11. Clearly, the likes of Shaggy will most definitely not grace the battlefields of Mortal Kombat 11, but at least Boon is willing to have some fun.
Mortal Kombat 11 is available now on PC, PS4, Stadia, Switch, and Xbox One.