Mortal Kombat 11 is the best selling video game of April and May 2019. On his Twitter account, NDP’s gaming industry analyst Matt Piscatella reported that MK11 became the first game in 10 years to top the charts on 4 major platforms simultaneously. It has nearly doubled results of the previous installments in the series. Our colleagues from GamesMojo.com figured out the reasons for such a stunning success of the new Mortal Kombat 11.
NeatherRealm is a kind of a game development studio that makes an in-depth analysis of the market and always considers what could have been done better. Its latest toolkit and groundworks resulted in brand new fighting experience. More blood and gore, or brighter fatalities could have made it successful without any significant gameplay changes. But anyway, NeatherRealm has revolutionized the genre. It’s still the MK you’ve seen before, but several times more thrilling. As Creative Director Ed Boon said to GamesRadar, “We definitely don’t want anybody to play Mortal Kombat 11 and go ‘oh, it’s just Mortal Kombat X with prettier graphics and different characters.”
MK11 offers a diverse universe with more content than any chapter in the series. If you don’t like Mortal Kombat X for hardcore mechanics and hard-to-reach combos, then the new game will change your mind. At last, developers managed to deliver frictionless access to the full range of attacks, even for casual players. Boon said that they wanted to bring the camera closer to action to make gameplay feel more intense and dynamic, but strategic and approachable at the same time. At GamesMojo.com, we also noticed that it became easier to taste every little piece of tactics due to the lower movement speed.
NeatherRealm knows that players prefer some modes of MKX more than the rest. That’s why they decided to create each mode as an alone-standing self-sufficient project and it worked out. It’s hard to overestimate the amount of effort. Every movement, pose, and facial expression is a result of actors’ hard work. The actor-scanning method that was used for Injustice 2 was applied here at its best. Lead character artist used 62 DSLR cameras to scan poses and expressions of every single actor. This process made the development pipeline incredibly busy but was worth it in the end.
The ridiculous story mode looks even more impressive than the best action-packed fighting movies. Character animations, together with exquisite camera work, bring the perception of the screenplay to the new level.
The production philosophy behind Mortal Kombat development is strongly tied with the Injustice series. Ed Boon believes that it’s impossible to create games of MK11 scale without switching between projects. Instead of distraction, this practice allows the creative team to generate new ideas more productively. Implementation of UX, VO, animation, voicing, and anything else for Injustice gave birth to new mechanics and production methods in MK pipeline and vice versa.
That’s how NeatherRealm members learn on their own experience. They don’t have to stop working to reboot. They move focus on different tasks instead. One can argue that it’s a way to the burn-out, but the results speak for themselves. Over 11 million copies were sold in April, and we expect that it will remain in the top-10 until the end of the year.
Gigantic work has been done since Mortal Kombat 1. Developers did their best to preserve and improve everything they gained over 25 years. Mortal Kombat 11 is a celebration of everything that happened to the series. The studio faced many challenges, and today, their final game establishes the new standard of action fighting games. GamesMojo.com recommends it not only to experienced fans of the previous installments but to everyone without exception. It’s a milestone in the history of video games.