About 20 years ago, Midway was at the cutting edge of arcade game development using a unique method of creating very realistic images. By digitizing live actors, shot in front of a green screen, a number of games were developed that had a photorealistic look not found in any other games. Games like Narc, Smash TV, NBA Jam and Terminator 2: Arcade all used this technology. This approach was applied to a number of game categories including sports, gun games, and shooters. One genre, however, had not yet been attempted – the fighting game. In 1991, a small team of four decided to try making a fighting game using digitized graphics. The goal was to make something bold, shocking, and as realistic looking as possible. The game would eventually become Mortal Kombat, the first in a series that have sold over 30 million games.
Mortal Kombat was the “bad boy” of fighting games. It unapologetically depicted blood and had a much more hard-edge presentation than its tamer competition. Mortal Kombat’s bold presentation wasn’t without its controversy, but that only fueled the game’s unstoppable popularity. In addition, Mortal Kombat introduced a deep story and unique characters that also set it apart from other fighting games.
My name is Ed Boon, I was part of that original design team of four and now am the creative director at NetherRealm studios where our team of over 100 has recently shipped the 2011 version of Mortal Kombat. As we approach Mortal Kombat’s 20-year anniversary it’s hard not to think back to where it all started. The first three Mortal Kombat games used the digitized method to create their photo realistic images and truly set the stage for our most recent Mortal Kombat game which retells their stories.
As a celebration of the games that started it all, we are very excited to be offering The Mortal Kombat Arcade Kollection, which contains all three classic games (Mortal Kombat, Mortal Kombat 2, and Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3) available for download from PSN tomorrow, August 30th. Each game has its own unique look, style and gameplay “feel” that’s nothing like the other two. Mortal Kombat II is the preferred game of many players, but Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 is my personal favorite. All three games are complete versions of their original and can now be played online as well.
It’s hard to believe we are coming up on 20 years since the original Mortal Kombat was released in the arcade. Everyone seems to have their own story of when they first saw Mortal Kombat or one of the game’s fatalities. The Mortal Kombat Arcade Kollection is great way to relive those memories and we really hope you enjoy it!