Mortal Kombat has long been hailed as a cornerstone in the fighting game community, bringing together players with its iconic characters and their distinctive fatalities. However, with the introduction of a purchasable fatality in Mortal Kombat 1, the community is in an uproar. Let’s delve into what sparked this controversy and the implications it might have on the gaming landscape.
A Historic Shift in Game Dynamics
Traditionally, each combatant in Mortal Kombat boasted exclusive fatalities as a part of their unique skill set. This changed dramatically in Mortal Kombat 1 when, for the first time, a multi-use fatality was introduced. This meant that any character could execute this particular fatality, but there was a catch – it had a price tag.
The fighting game’s shop was recently updated, introducing various cosmetics, including the “Happy Halloween” special move. Priced at a whopping 1200 dragon crystals, this move has been deemed by many to be a blatant push towards a “freemium” model. Comparatively, the price is almost half of their first Kombat Pack which is valued at $10 USD.
The backlash was instantaneous. Players took to Reddit and Twitter voicing their discontent, criticizing the game for what appeared to be a deviation from its original, player-focused ethos.
Halloween fatality + store update pic.twitter.com/UuCeacVdf7
— iScream (@iScreamFGC) October 27, 2023
Not the First Controversy
This isn’t the first time Mortal Kombat 1’s shop has come under fire. Just weeks ago, a skin featuring the likeness and voice of Jean Claude Van Damme, intended for the character Johnny Cage, was introduced. At 500 dragon crystals, the skin wasn’t advertised as exclusive to premium editions, but its addition was met with significant disapproval from players.
It seems this might be the direction Netherrealm Studios is taking with its famed fighting game. While focusing on a shop that predominantly sells aesthetic elements, it’s evident that they still intend for the Kombat Pack to remain the primary differentiation on the battlefield. This is because it offers access to upcoming characters, adding tangible gameplay value.
Change or Continue with the Decision?
The introduction of paid fatalities marks a potential paradigm shift in the way game developers approach in-game content. As more titles explore new monetization methods, balancing profitability with player satisfaction becomes crucial. For Mortal Kombat, the question remains whether Netherrealm Studios will heed community feedback or continue on its current trajectory.