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.
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