Mortal Kombat X may be one of the most popular games of the year but it has also proved to be one of the most divisive. The new fighting game from NetherRealm Studios and Warner Bros. Interactive has caused controversy with its multiplayer region locking, the bugs and glitches in the PC version of the game and the decision to include ‘easy’ fatalities.
Easy fatalities are a shortcut to performing the over the top finishing moves that the Mortal Kombat games are known for However, while some easy fatality tokens are free, additional tokens can be purchased with microtransactions ($0.99 unlocks five, 30 costs $4.99) and players were unhappy with that
But in the latest Mortal Kombat X livestream, which also revealed new info about the Jason Voorhees DLC, series creator Ed Boon shed more light on why they included easy fatalities in the game. Boon told viewers that:
“There are players who cannot do fatalities, especially when it says ‘Finish Him’ and there’s a timer counting down. That’s part of what prompted us to make these easy fatalities. [Before MKX launched], we did research and had focus groups play the game, and easy fatalities was the number one request. Having them helps everyone in that group. It’s for people who will never be able to do a fatality, who will never experience doing fatalities in MK.”
While many people will agree that easy fatalities are useful – they involve holding a trigger and pressing a face button – many Mortal Kombat fans are asking why NetherRealm felt that microtransactions were the best way to help these players. They argue that instead of charging them for the privilege of fatalities, would it not have been better to provide a comprehensive tutorial that would teach them how to do fatalities? Alternatively, NetherRealm could have included an ‘easy fatalities’ mode that provided the shortcut for free, letting more experienced players do fatalities the normal, more difficult way.
Both Mortal Kombat fans and non-MK playing gamers have expressed concerns over the growing trend of including microtransactions in full-price games. Mortal Kombat X certainly isn’t the first game to do this (The Crew and Assassin’s Creed Unity both have them) but there is a fear that by getting players to pay for extra content and features that are as small as this, developers will be focused on making money instead of making a great game.
NetherRealm seems to have meant well, as Boon said they were only trying to help players who found easy fatalities difficult. But perhaps in future, pre-release surveys should ask fans how they want their problems to be addressed instead of just finding out what those problems are in the first place.
Do you think Mortal Kombat X‘s easy fatalities are a good idea? Do you think microtransactions should stay out of full-price games? Leave a comment and let us know.