August 17th, 2010
9:36 AM CST -
Earlier this week, four European game retailers (gamemania.be, ShopTo.net, vanstockum.nl & bol.com) all listed a Mortal Kombat Arcade Kollection game for pre-order with a release date of November 2010 for the PlayStation 3. One store even noted that the mystery game will come with a demo for Mortal Kombat (2011). Most of the stores have since removed their listings soon after posting them, but the timing of their listings likely means they were informed of the game was coming before Warner Bros. was ready to announce it.

Was it too much of a coincidence that multiple stores posted the same game, only moments later to have it removed? It appears not.

TRMK has independently confirmed with multiple industry sources that a high definition Mortal Kombat arcade update is indeed currently in development. Mortal Kombat HD Kollection will be a 2D Mortal Kombat Arcade Kollection (MK1, MK2 and UMK3) featuring all-new high resolution in game graphics - not simply upscaled graphics, but sharp, crisp, awesome-looking High Definition graphics.

Unlike Capcom's Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo HD Remix, which required new character drawings, remaking Mortal Kombat in high definition is not as easy. In order to properly recreate the series in HD, Warner Bros. needed to film actors performing the moves like they originally did 20 years ago, just now with better high-definition cameras. Resorting to hand-drawn characters, or using 3D models in place of real actors would just not look right and cause many fans to revolt. However, things are not as simple as that. Since the previous actors are now 20 years older and - in most cases - wouldn't look to be the right age in high definition, Warner Bros. has hired new actors for the various roles and have been busy capturing them over the past few months at a Warner Bros. Studio in Los Angeles. TRMK has also heard that some of the original cast is involved in the filming in some capacity as well.

For an example of the quality of the original captures, take a look at the recently released raw footage from Mortal Kombat 1 over on Daniel Pesina's YouTube account. Clearly back then, the camera used was not of the highest quality. Also, many of the filming sessions were not shot in front of a blue/green screen for easy chroma key. Obviously, a reshoot would be necessary in order to get a proper High Definition worthy image of the characters for an updated Mortal Kombat game.

Since we know the filming was taking place as recently as earlier this month, the latest rumors placing it's release to be before Christmas is questionable. While it is possible, the rumored release is fairly unlikely unless the replacement of the character sprites is one of the final steps left in development. It just seems too close to be possible given time needed for testing, certification, etc. We also doubt that Mortal Kombat HD Kollection is only for the PlayStation 3 unless some really good exclusivity deal was reached with Sony, as currently fighting games for both systems sell fairly well unlike the previous generation of consoles which favored the PlayStation 2.

Finally, we are not entirely sure who is the developer of this "Kollection", as the main staff at NetherRealm Studios is busy with Mortal Kombat (2011). Our guess is Backbone Entertainment, the developers behind the downloadable ports of Mortal Kombat II and Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3. Backbone also were responsible for Capcom's HD "remixes" of Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo and the Super Street Fighter II Turbo. Since we do know for sure that the filming took place in Los Angeles, we're not 100% sure that Backbone Entertainment is involved as they are located closer to San Francisco, CA. We can also assume that the original artists still on board at NetherRealm Studios would be involved in the art updating process as well. However, we still feel like Backbone is the best fit for programming duties due to their history with the classic Mortal Kombat franchise and "HD remix" track record.

There is still a lot we do not know, but with Gamescom this week and PAX Prime at the end of the month, we might get lucky and know a lot more sooner than we think!

Update 9/8/2010: More evidence surfaces for the MK HD Arcade Kollection.
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