Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe Q&A

We catch up with Ed Boon to find out more about the upcoming fighting mash-up from Midway featuring Mortal Kombat.

GameSpot: Now that the news has been out for a while, what do you make of the reaction?

Ed Boon: The initial reaction was a pretty universal "WTF?" There were quite a few people who were very vocal about their opinions and a good number of them were objecting to the idea. At the same time, we understood that this was a reaction to an announcement and a teaser trailer that didn't give many specifics about the game. When little information is released, there are a lot of assumptions and speculation made by people, some of which quickly become (incorrect) facts. Fatalities is a great example of this. I was surprised to see so many stories stating (with so much certainty) that the game wasn't going to have fatalities. As if we made an official announcement. We knew that eventually people would learn the truth and all the confusion would be cleared up. In an odd sort of way, I was actually impressed to see how much passion the MK fans still have for the series. If they didn't care, you wouldn't have seen anywhere near the volume of discussion that came from the announcement.

A sight many never expected to see.

GS: Is it what you expected? Has there been anything surprising?

EB: To some degree, it was what we were expecting, but not at the intensity level and not the volume. We were really surprised how much of the media that don't normally cover video game news covered the story. We were also surprised by how much speculation and assumptions people made about the game after seeing practically zero gameplay. Again, the MK fans never cease to amaze us. If anything, the intensity of their reaction has inspired us to make the game even better.

GS: How has it gone down with DC? You're obviously used to the Internet percolating over game announcements, but this is probably new ground for them. Did you need to explain anything to them?

EB: Going into this, we've had a number of conversations with DC about what people's reactions will be. We have been pleasantly surprised as to how cooperative DC has been with us. They understand that their universe isn't as violent as Mortal Kombat's and that there would be a lot of assumptions that the game would be a "watered-down MK." So from that standpoint, we know that is where a lot of player's concerns would be. With that, our discussions with DC are mainly based on individual items that may or may not be too violent or are not in brand with their characters. Certain animations, blood effects, and sound effects that we have in the game are really pushing the T-rating envelope.

GS: Did you see any reactions out there that stood out as being valid or totally off base?

EB: In terms of valid responses, I've been surprised at how many people are recognizing all the assumptions that are going on. People who've pointed out the obvious of "nobody has even played the game yet" have a very valid point. On the other hand, the people who have assumed things like there will be no blood or fatalities in the game have been totally off base. Unfortunately, this assumption has been made by a good number of players and even some of the press, but you really can't fault them when so little information has been officially announced. Again, over time, all of the details will be revealed.

GS: Did you see any speculation on the roster that nailed it or came close?

EB: I don't think I saw a list that got all of the characters right. But I did see quite a few people using common sense to guess at which characters would be included, and those were the ones who got the most number of characters correct.

This is not a dance--this is fighting.

GS: Has reaction influenced development at all?

EB: To some extent, yes. The MK team definitely wants to please the fans. That has always been our number one goal. At the same time, we understood that a lot of the reaction was from speculation and rumors, so we didn't change things based on someone ranting (incorrectly) that the game was not going to have fatalities. Still, we didn't ignore the reactions as they certainly reinforced how important certain aspects of Mortal Kombat are to the fans.

GS: How's work going? What's gotten done since the announcement?

EB: Since the announcement, we've been in full production mode. A lot of content is being added into the game. Arenas, character models, animations, and sounds. We've also been cranking very hard on our Story mode, which is really going to tell a great story from two perspectives (MK-side and DC-side) that answers all of the questions people have about how these two worlds collide. In addition, we've been refining our different fighting modes (Klose Kombat and Freefall Kombat), so they look, feel, and play just right.

GS: How challenging has it been to revamp the fighting system?

EB: It's been a pretty big challenge. At the same time, it's been nice to reboot the fighting mechanic once again. One of our main points of focus has been the balance between the normal fighting mechanic, the Klose Kombat, and the Freefall Kombat. We want to make sure the amount of time you play in each of these modes feels right.

GS: Have you made any more headway on the fatality versus finishing moves?

EB: Yes we have. All of the MK characters and all of the DC villains will have fatalities. The DC heroes who don't kill that often will have brutalities that will function just like fatalities but don't actually kill the opponent.

GS: What can we look for at E3?

EB: We will be showing four characters and two arenas.

Batman isn't much of a killer, so expect brutalities out of him rather than fatalities.

GS: So now that the door's been opened with MK vs. DC, do you think fans might get MK vs. Street Fighter?

EB: I've never held back my enthusiasm for doing a project like MK vs. Street Fighter. I still think it would be a blast to do. But the reality of the situation is that we are two different companies. That's a tough obstacle to overcome. It's kind of like doing Tekken vs. Virtua Fighter, Die Hard vs. Rambo, Coke vs. Pepsi, "Family Ties" vs. "Growing Pains," Alien vs. Preda...never mind...you get the idea.

GS: Thanks for your time.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

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460 comments
WelBluVid
WelBluVid

Is there online play?? I didn't see any so hopefully I missed it! Is the game online playable?

hi-buzz
hi-buzz

I agree with GET SHORTY.. I know Batman and Superman are not killers but in an "MK WORLD" this fantasy should be included with fatalities, plenty of gore and blood...Batman ripping heads off from an MK characters would be AWESOME !!!!

Get_Shorty
Get_Shorty

How about in the story of the MK Universe Batman actually kills people. Come on comics have "what if" side stories all the time. I'll have to keep my eye on this game to see how it turns out.

danwarecritic
danwarecritic

What's next? Fatal Fury Vs. DC Universe? Actually that wouldn't be too bad.

FifaWorldcup03
FifaWorldcup03

Killlo: Iron Man is a Marvel hero...not DC. So no he isn't.

makinUsleep
makinUsleep

i have a question.......is their going to be any stage fatalities???????answer?anyone?looks good tho. cant wait to try this one out,,,

killlo
killlo

next time they need to go with D.O.A YeAH baby!!!!!!!!!!.........

killlo
killlo

Is Iron Man in it?

dj_c4
dj_c4

Excited to try this game when it comes out, it looks great. But is it just me or does the batman model look really awkward. I dunno if it's his fight stance / style or the actual character model. but he just looks weird and awkward to me. Dunno why.

itneverends00
itneverends00

Lol, I love the various comments of "How can this be?" "This would bever happen."...did we forget that MK has no limits when it comes to what "dimension" it takes place in. Each tournament is in a different dimension...honestly I'm surprised something like this didn't happen sooner, not DC specifically since honestly I lost hope in the MK series a while back and I'm still a huge DC fan (worried this is going to give bad press for DC honestly). I will admit that the gameplay looks pretty interesting so far though. Hoping that The Flash (my all time favorite DC hero) is going to be as fun to play with as he is to watch...I'm a pretty happy that he was one of the ones they put in the first showing. All in all, I'm not stoked about this...but I will at least rent it.

ioelej
ioelej

I wasn't real thrilled when the news came out that they were doing MK vs DC, mostly because if they game is half MK and half DC, they have to cut a whole lot of MK characters out. This sucks if you have played a character for many of the installments of the game and suddenly you have to wait for the next version. Conversely; why learn all the DC characters when you won't see them again in subsequent versions. It seems more like a spin-off than a true sequel, I think that is how the public will see it too. It looks good and probably plays well too, but I don't think it is going to be widely successful. I'll probably play it just because I have played all the others.

mikeloder
mikeloder

i agree i just don't see how you would be able to put these 2 universes together for one batman the flash and cat woman aren't even in there normal "suits" i guess and secondly 8 characters? please tell me there will be more

xialon
xialon

Looks amazing. I just hope the game play gets better and Superman gets some Kryptonite shoved up his...you know just to make the game more balanced.

mandujano87
mandujano87

I hope this game turns out great, but I'm definitely skeptical. MK and DC are just too vastly different universes and the DC characters don't look like they would adapt well to the MK world. Batman already looks ridiculous in his grey spandex suit. Who out there was clamoring for this game to be made in the first place? These are two totally arbitrary franchises coming together and I can't imagine it being anything other than absurd. I hope I'm wrong because I would love to have a blast with this game, but the whole idea just seems bizarre. MK vs. SF would be freaking awesome though!

Gksuper
Gksuper

this game CANT suck too bad(if it sucks at all,wich it wont)because arageddon was great character wise,and deception was great story wise,and deadly allience was great overall except konquest,so mk could probably learn from there past games and put together the good parts of each of the games and puul off a kickass game

t3rray
t3rray

I hope this game will be good but i wonder what the story is about and how it connects between the dc and mortal kombat universes.

boldfacelie
boldfacelie

i am getting more and more stoked for this game. i have been really into "armageddon" for the past year or so and i thrilled that they are going to branch out into something so different. i think this game is going to be fantastic.

nikoofus
nikoofus

I think the DC characters looks pretty sweet.

Zygmunch
Zygmunch

This will be an utter crapfest. I'd like to be proved wrong, but since when has a game with low expectations ever been anything other than terrible?

Zygmunch
Zygmunch

This will be an utter crapfest. I'd like to be proved wrong, but since when has a game with low expectations ever been anything other than terrible?

GAMBINO85
GAMBINO85

Glad the fatalities are on there. I think this is gonna be great game cant wait.

mn_vikings
mn_vikings

Yea, this game could be good, but it won't be.

Presto_07
Presto_07

This game is just going to be another in an ongoing serious of Mortal Kombats. It'll be fun to play the first few games and collect new characters, but in the end all you do is fight. BORING!

iboo01
iboo01

I have a very good feeling this game will flop

SpYdEr_VeNoM
SpYdEr_VeNoM

This is the way I see it. I always thought the ripping in half and punching off heads is completely unnecesary. i am fine with blood, I dont mind this game being rated T. I am still looking foward to brutalities. I dont know what MK is without gore but I guess we will just wait and see...

sw_and_wet
sw_and_wet

MK is always a cool game. according to the interview "The DC heroes who don't kill that often will have brutalities that will function just like fatalities but don't actually kill the opponent"...... so they are not gonna pull out hearts and brains from the MK charactors?....But the MK can kill super heros with brutal fatality, like pulling arms off from superman?! it's kind of unimaginable but still hell lot of fun!

HatchetKill
HatchetKill

oh yeah bring on MK, luv the game, looking forward to checking this one out

carneyfolk
carneyfolk

This game actually sounds better then i thought it was going to be, i will have to keep a close eye on it

daguy209
daguy209

i like mortal kombat i what to kill superman

Alizerothree
Alizerothree

They are STILL milking the MK franchise?! It looks pretty cool tho. :)

300rocks
300rocks

i seriously cant wait for this game. i love mortal kombat (: i wonder what the brutalities will be like.

inchabolas
inchabolas

This will be fun i always want to kill superman with a fatality i cant expect to have it in my hands and DC heroes are a lot of weak guys who used tight cloth Mortal kombat rules

Mourd
Mourd

Umm..to Stafonb.....its easy...if u get ur info.....you will no that Superman is also weak to Magic and Red Sun. seriously, they alredy explained. If you wud read, you would no. They said it too that Superman is weak to Magic, and ALL the MK players are MAGICAL i wud say. so >..superman = OWNED ...but not easily...but yea...he wud get hurt!

stafonb
stafonb

Seriously, its Superman. Nothing or no one can hurt Superman except Kryptonic....... How real can this game be???

namdead01
namdead01

Mortal Kombat kicks DC's ass. going to gave killing superman and batman. mwahahahahaha. With Scorpion of course

Nafe
Nafe

One Question: "Why?"

mtjansen
mtjansen

I don't want to judge, but it looks kind of dumb. How the hell is anyone from Mortal Kombat going to even hurt Superman?

Akivaria
Akivaria

Looks like fun. Can't wait!

gangstamario1
gangstamario1

All i can say is sweet looks awsome and that i can finally play as dc superheroes sweetness and i heard there aming for a teen rating and taking out the fatalities and most of the blood. But isnt that wat mortal kombat is about seriously. But i can deal with the change no hard feelings great graphics to cant wait.

NandoSupes
NandoSupes

I admit that when I saw this first ttime I was like: woah!! what the hell!!lol. but I'm a DC fan. and I always wanted to play a fighting game with DC characters on it,since the JLA fighting game that came out, years ago for the SNES Genesis was not that great anyways. guys give it a break ,you haven't even play the game and you're already passing judgement .

GodzillaRules
GodzillaRules

This game isn't going to suck. Just because it has a T rating doesn't mean it isn't going to be bloody. it just won't be over the top violence like ripping someone in half (which quite frankly never really made much sense counting that if the person was that strong, he would've been able to punch someone's head off with one punch). There's going to be blood, and you can actually see bruises, torn costumes, blood wounds etc. though, the thing i'm really looking for is gameplay. The gameplay looks pretty good from what I read so far, with free falling kombat, close kombat etc. that's what's making me buy this game. if i wanted a gore fest game, i probably would've gotten games like Manhunt, Doom 3, or F.E.A.R, all which are many times more gory and bloody (Doom 3 has blood painted on the walls). btw, I had a fair share of awesome T rated fighting games, like Dragonball Z Budokai Tenkaichi, Super Smash Bros. Brawl, and Naruto Clash of Ninja Revolution. T ratings do not kill games.

ash189
ash189

The DC characters can't just ruin fatalities. They knew the rules when they started fighting badass like scorpion. Anyway it looks really good so far, I'm looking forward to it. Glad there actually are fatalities after all.

venomicninja
venomicninja

i just hope the graphics are good cause from what im seeing in these pics the characters look good but the background doesnt.

jebushank
jebushank

This is gonna suck ass....if this was Mravel vs. Mk then it would be much better. For one Marvel aren't **** like DC, I'm convinced the only reason theres no fatalities for the heroes is that DC don't want to sully the good name and mercy of there heroes which is just stupid in a game where the main point is to basiclly rip your opponent appart and finally ending with a decapation or something. DC clearly dont want to see this happen to there charcters so they took them out...marvel you say?....two words....the punisher

biggama
biggama

this is a hard project. i hope that they can pull it off w/o making it too cheesy which is definitely easier than making it good.

fir5
fir5

This looks really cool. I guess i'll buy it when it comes out.

NNNAAAHHHOOOMMM
NNNAAAHHHOOOMMM

They r making this game to bring back the MK Saga and to Revive Superheros in Video games. This game dose sound filthy tho.