Monday, August 9, 2010

Ed Boon: Constantly Not Getting It 


You guys seem to be angling this new Mortal Kombat as a revival, or reinvention, of the franchise. It's been around for so long; at this point, what's the essence of Mortal Kombat? What are you telling your team, and what are you all trying to recapture with this new one?

Ed Boon: You know, I think it hasn't really been that long since the last MK game came out. It's only been like two years, so from that respect, it's not like a reboot like we've seen... like when Tomb Raider went away for a long time, or Street Fighter, Twisted Metal, and all that. Those games had a long absence.

But from our perspective, the last game we did [Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe] was probably the biggest departure for MK. It was the first T-rated MK game, and we added characters that had never been in a MK game, with DC -- you know, Batman, and Superman, and all that.

So from that standpoint, we just heard a lot of feedback asking, "Is the next game going to be back to an M-rated presentation," and, you know, "traditional" MK? So we really felt that now is just a really great time to explore a reboot of sorts.

You know, we've actually kind of rebooted the presentation and the fighting and all that a couple of times in the past. With Deadly Alliance, in 2002, we did. And so we just really felt like, along with the post-MK vs. DC T-rated thing, and the fact that we haven't rebooted our whole presentation and fighting mechanic in awhile, it was just the perfect time for all that to happen.

I played [MK vs. DC] and it was fun, but there was always the question of whether the series would return to its M-rated roots.

EB: Oh yeah, absolutely. Especially coming from a game that was almost instrumental in defining what an M-rated game was -- just sparking the whole argument that ratings are necessary, which they are. So it's ironic, it's like making a G-rated Halloween movie...

So from that standpoint, yeah, it did really well, but at the same time, it created a great opportunity for us, because it gave us a break in terms of a period of time which there hasn't been an M-rated Mortal Kombat, and created this hunger for a return.

So I guess that I really feel like the planets are aligned, and in so many ways; it's the first M-rated MK on this generation of consoles, our last game was a T-rated game... You know, there certainly is a resurgence of games returning to their classic form; Street Fighter, Sonic the Hedgehog, now the more recent Twisted Metal, and there's just a good amount of this trend that's happening.

Oh good lord Gamasutra, are you serious? Nobody gives a shit about Mortal Kombat games that aren't good. Mortal Kombat games haven't been good since the SNES, and then Mortal Kombat vs DC was the first time you did anything right in fifteen years, because the game was, you know, good. It actually had good fighting game mechanics and didn't bother with open-world bullshit, go-kart racing, coffin minigames, or any of the ridiculous crap and just said, hey, I'm a fighting game. Fight people.

I don't know why it is that Boon and Graft are talking about 'returning to the roots', when 'the roots' was a middling fighter with an absurd fixation on middle-schooler violence. Mortal Kombat vs DC was a good game! "Flee!" Boon seems to say, "Run away! Success and money terrify us! We must stick to middle-of-the-road scraping-by to fuel our jobs!" 

Why not take what you learned from the game that's been best recieved, use that as a tool for making better games in the future, and focus on the core mechanics of the fighter rather than making up all this crap about 'returning to roots'? Your roots sucked; returning to them is just downright ridiculous. 

The guy says they're 'reinventing' it, but then Boon keeps going back to 'revival' or 'return to roots.' Pick one! The first one!

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