The recent reboot of the Mortal Kombat franchise with the release of Mortal Kombat (aka Mortal Kombat 9) was a shot in the arm for the fighting game genre. Add to this the fact that the game was well received and there's cause for celebration.
Now, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment (WBIE) has issued a press release stating that the newest addition to the MK franchise had sold three million copies worldwide. This makes it the best selling Mortal Kombat game in the franchise's entire history, and the best selling fighting game of the year, according to the publisher's press release.
No doubt, the success of Mortal Kombat is due in no small part to the continued support from NetherRealm in the form of free DLC packs such as the Sektor and Cyrax klassic costumes. The paid DLC hasn't been a slouch either though, and the season pass for the 360 (or the bundled pack on PSN) have also introduced four amazing DLC characters including Freddy Krueger, a new addition to the series and a complete surprise when it was announced at San Diego Comic Con this year.
Of course the bedrock principles of MK have been lovingly restored in this latest game. The push to take the series back to a 2D system of fighting could have been viewed as a marketing ploy to play on old console game nostalgia. However, the graphical fidelity of the game's 2D fighting coupled with the over-the-top fatalities that the game is known for has taken the series back to its 'klassic' roots before the experimentation with 3D arena style fighting.
In the press release Ed Boon, creative director at NetherRealm Studios and creator of Mortal Kombat, said "All of us at NetherRealm Studios are very excited that players have embraced Mortal Kombat. The game was a labor of love for us and we could not be more pleased with its performance. Fan reaction to this latest installment has made all of our hard work worth it."
Some would probably say that this is evident of the fact that Warner Bros. Interactive' acquisition of the MK license was the best thing to have happened to the franchise in a long time. According to Martin Tremblay, President of WBIE, said, "We are very pleased with the success of Mortal Kombat, as it surpassed our expectations in becoming the #1 fighting game in North America released so far this year."
While the claim that Mortal Kombat is the best selling fighting game in America may sound like marketing and PR jockeying the hard sales statistics do seem to support it. A post on Joystiq from last month helps put this into perspective, and states that the worldwide sales figures for Street Fighter IV and Marvel vs. Capcom 3 were 1.6 million units and 2 million units sold, respectively. The number is especially impressive when you look at the release dates: Street Fighter IV was released in February 2009, and Marvel vs. Capcom 3 was released in February this year. Considering that MK was released in April of this year.
Personally, I love the new MK, and, while it is by no means perfect, the game features some very fast-paced fighting with crisp graphics, vicious fatalities, and awesome combos. It also gives the next iteration some things to improve upon in order to deepen the fighting game experience, assuming that the developers decide to make a sequel - which Boon has already hinted toward. Choose your destiny, NetherRealm!
Source: NeatherRealm & Joystiq