LONDON - April 18 , 2008 – Midway Games Inc. (NYSE: MWY), a leading interactive entertainment software publisher and developer, today announced Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe, licensed by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. When a cataclysmic force merges conquerors from two universes, conflict is inevitable. Kombat forces friends to fight, worlds to collide, and unlikely alliances to be forged. In order to save all they know, the heroes and villains of Mortal Kombat must wage war against the combined might of the DC Universe (DCU). How can either side prevail when rage blinds them to the dark threat poised to destroy them all?
For the first time ever Scorpion, Sub Zero and the warriors from Midway's billion-dollar fighting franchise face off against Batman, Superman and other iconic and powerful DC Super Heroes, featuring signature attacks for both sides and a unique and intertwining storyline, written as a collaboration between the Mortal Kombat creative team and top comic scribes Jimmy Palmiotti (Painkiller Jane, Marvel Nights, Jonah Hex, 21 Down) and Justin Gray (Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight, JLA Classified, Punisher Red X-Mas, The Resistance) MK vs. DCU is slated to ship for the PLAYSTATION3 computer entertainment system and Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system from Microsoft in Fall 2008.
"It is a truly unique and extremely exciting effort to be teaming up with Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and DC Comics for the first Mortal Kombat game on next generation platforms," said Ed Boon, co-creator and executive producer for Mortal Kombat at Midway Amusement Games. "The DC Universe characters are some of the most popular and enduring characters in the world. By combining them with the Mortal Kombat mythology, all new gameplay modes and features, plus a completely unique storyline crafted by top comic writers, players will now be able to answer the question: what would happen if Batman fought Sub Zero?"
"Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe will provide a wide audience of fans and gamers match-ups of their favorite characters in battles like they've never experienced before," said Scott Johnson, Vice President, Business Development for Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. "Midway's new Mortal Kombat gameplay paired with DC Comics' popular characters will offer players a multitude of combat options and incredible face offs."
"For the first time, players will be able to go toe to toe with DC and MK characters in both arena and story mode," said John Nee, Senior Vice President, Business Development for DC Comics. "We've worked very closely with Midway to bring an authentic DCU flavor to their Kombat and the result features our characters like they've never been seen before."
About MK vs. DCU
For the first time ever Scorpion, Sub-Zero and the Mortal Kombat warriors battle with Batman, Superman and other popular DC Universe Super Heroes. Choose your side and challenge your opponents with a new fighting system including Freefall Kombat and Klose Kombat along with dynamic multi-tiered environments. Plus, pick your favorite character from MK or DCU and pursue a fighting adventure in the new single player mode with an intertwined storyline and two unique perspectives.
In development at Midway Amusement Games in Chicago, Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe is not yet rated by PEGI or ESRB.
For the latest game information, trailers and more, please go to www.worldscollide.com.
GameSpot: Now that the news has been out for a while, what do you make of the reaction?
Ed Boon: The initial reaction was a pretty universal "WTF?" There were quite a few people who were very vocal about their opinions and a good number of them were objecting to the idea. At the same time, we understood that this was a reaction to an announcement and a teaser trailer that didn't give many specifics about the game. When little information is released, there are a lot of assumptions and speculation made by people, some of which quickly become (incorrect) facts. Fatalities is a great example of this. I was surprised to see so many stories stating (with so much certainty) that the game wasn't going to have fatalities. As if we made an official announcement. We knew that eventually people would learn the truth and all the confusion would be cleared up. In an odd sort of way, I was actually impressed to see how much passion the MK fans still have for the series. If they didn't care, you wouldn't have seen anywhere near the volume of discussion that came from the announcement.
A sight many never expected to see.
GS: Is it what you expected? Has there been anything surprising?
EB: To some degree, it was what we were expecting, but not at the intensity level and not the volume. We were really surprised how much of the media that don't normally cover video game news covered the story. We were also surprised by how much speculation and assumptions people made about the game after seeing practically zero gameplay. Again, the MK fans never cease to amaze us. If anything, the intensity of their reaction has inspired us to make the game even better.
GS: How has it gone down with DC? You're obviously used to the Internet percolating over game announcements, but this is probably new ground for them. Did you need to explain anything to them?
EB: Going into this, we've had a number of conversations with DC about what people's reactions will be. We have been pleasantly surprised as to how cooperative DC has been with us. They understand that their universe isn't as violent as Mortal Kombat's and that there would be a lot of assumptions that the game would be a "watered-down MK." So from that standpoint, we know that is where a lot of player's concerns would be. With that, our discussions with DC are mainly based on individual items that may or may not be too violent or are not in brand with their characters. Certain animations, blood effects, and sound effects that we have in the game are really pushing the T-rating envelope.
GS: Did you see any reactions out there that stood out as being valid or totally off base?
EB: In terms of valid responses, I've been surprised at how many people are recognizing all the assumptions that are going on. People who've pointed out the obvious of "nobody has even played the game yet" have a very valid point. On the other hand, the people who have assumed things like there will be no blood or fatalities in the game have been totally off base. Unfortunately, this assumption has been made by a good number of players and even some of the press, but you really can't fault them when so little information has been officially announced. Again, over time, all of the details will be revealed.
GS: Did you see any speculation on the roster that nailed it or came close?
EB: I don't think I saw a list that got all of the characters right. But I did see quite a few people using common sense to guess at which characters would be included, and those were the ones who got the most number of characters correct.
This is not a dance--this is fighting.
GS: Has reaction influenced development at all?
EB: To some extent, yes. The MK team definitely wants to please the fans. That has always been our number one goal. At the same time, we understood that a lot of the reaction was from speculation and rumors, so we didn't change things based on someone ranting (incorrectly) that the game was not going to have fatalities. Still, we didn't ignore the reactions as they certainly reinforced how important certain aspects of Mortal Kombat are to the fans.
GS: How's work going? What's gotten done since the announcement?
EB: Since the announcement, we've been in full production mode. A lot of content is being added into the game. Arenas, character models, animations, and sounds. We've also been cranking very hard on our Story mode, which is really going to tell a great story from two perspectives (MK-side and DC-side) that answers all of the questions people have about how these two worlds collide. In addition, we've been refining our different fighting modes (Klose Kombat and Freefall Kombat), so they look, feel, and play just right.
GS: How challenging has it been to revamp the fighting system?
EB: It's been a pretty big challenge. At the same time, it's been nice to reboot the fighting mechanic once again. One of our main points of focus has been the balance between the normal fighting mechanic, the Klose Kombat, and the Freefall Kombat. We want to make sure the amount of time you play in each of these modes feels right.
GS: Have you made any more headway on the fatality versus finishing moves?
EB: Yes we have. All of the MK characters and all of the DC villains will have fatalities. The DC heroes who don't kill that often will have brutalities that will function just like fatalities but don't actually kill the opponent.
GS: What can we look for at E3?
EB: We will be showing four characters and two arenas.
Batman isn't much of a killer, so expect brutalities out of him rather than fatalities.
GS: So now that the door's been opened with MK vs. DC, do you think fans might get MK vs. Street Fighter?
EB: I've never held back my enthusiasm for doing a project like MK vs. Street Fighter. I still think it would be a blast to do. But the reality of the situation is that we are two different companies. That's a tough obstacle to overcome. It's kind of like doing Tekken vs. Virtua Fighter, Die Hard vs. Rambo, Coke vs. Pepsi, "Family Ties" vs. "Growing Pains," Alien vs. Preda...never mind...you get the idea.
GS: Thanks for your time.