was privileged to visit Midway Chicago's
offices to talk with studio head, Scot Bayless
. In the interview
a few ideas about how the studio decides where to spend their time and effort in developing ideas that not only will make a lot of money, but makes sense for their intellectual property and branding they've built with long running franchises such as Blitz
and Mortal Kombat
When pressed, Bayless
believed that bringing Mortal Kombat
to the Nintendo DS
might sell a lot of copies, it just didn't make sense to him to have the time and effort put into a project that wouldn't further the franchise.
"But to be honest, I would be skeptical about putting an M-rated, unlicensed football game on certain platforms. That platform is aimed at an audience that isn't interested – or if they are interested, their Moms and Dads won’t let them play it."
"The same is true of Mortal Kombat. I'm not going to be a big fan of putting it on Nintendo DS. It would be hard for me to believe that's a good idea. It might even be able to make some money, but it's not a great use of our time."
On the other hand, with Mortal Kombat: Armageddon
heading to the Nintendo Wii
early this year, Bayless
seems very excited about the potential for the Mortal Kombat
development team to come up with some very unique and over the top ideas.
"Our goal is to create great IP,” Bayless concludes. "And to project that IP wherever it makes sense. So are we excited about Wii? Yeah, actually, we are. You should see the proposals that are showing up in my inbox. It’s awesome."
"My experience at the - E3 - show was, this-" Bayless makes broad, sweeping arm motions "-doesn’t work. Or it works kind of marginally. What did work was this-" Bayless makes controlled, tight motions. "I think that makes a pretty big impact on how you design your game."
"The other thing all fighters live and die on is responsiveness," he continues. "Right now, there are some profound questions about that controller and timing. But is it interesting? Is it an interesting problem? Heck yeah!"
Despite a Wii version of Mortal Kombat: Armageddon announced for spring of 2007, Bayless remains generally hesistant about bringing Mortal Kombat to a platform known to draw a young audience, adding, "Is there something else we might do with Mortal Kombat that could be appropriate for that audience? Maybe. We’re actually kicking some ideas around. Does this mean Mortal Kombat for Kids? Bayless laughs. "We can’t tell you what they are, but they’re pretty cool."
While there may never be a new Mortal Kombat
game on the Nintendo DS
, it seems like the MK Team
is hard at work at creating a unique experience for the Nintendo Wii
and the next Mortal Kombat
for the latest generation of consoles. Read the rest of the interview over at Gamasutra.com