March 2nd, 1999
12:00 PM CST -
IGN64 has 5 Questions with Mortal Kombat co-creator, John Tobias, regarding the Nintendo64 in general.
March 5th, 1999
12:00 PM CST -
If you happened to miss last week's episode, The Serpent and the Ice, no worries. TNT is airing the episode with both Scorpion and Sub-Zero this Monday, March 8th at 11:00 EST/PST.
12:01 PM CST -
Mortal Kombat Conquest episode information for this week's episode, Kreeya. This episode airs tomorrow and Sunday on local UPN and WB affiliates. Check the Threshold MK: Conquest page for times and stations. Also, this is the last new epsiode until the weekend of April 17th
March 10th, 1999
12:00 PM CST -
Videogames.com's Designer Diary features MK co-creator John Tobias talking about Mortal Kombat Special Forces. Here is a snipet from the interview:
JF: What other MK stories like this would you like to elaborate on?

JT: Right off the bat, I'd love to do a Liu Kang story, and I have a few ideas for that. Yeah, I really want to do Liu Kang. The reason why we went with Jax and Sonya was that we wanted to give a bit of variety in whom the player could choose. And then we wanted to focus on a female character and a male character. We have some ideas for Liu Kang, so if we did another one, I'd love to do a Liu Kang game.
March 18th, 1999
12:00 PM CST -
Apparently so, as President/COO of Sega of America, Bernie Stolar, stated in his keynote address at the GDC in San Jose this week. Here's a snippet.
Right now, worldwide, there are more than 100 companies developing games for the system. At launch, look for Mortal Kombat 5 and Ready to Rumble from Midway, Castlevania from Konami, PowerStone from Capcom and Soul Calibur from Namco.

    It was well known that Midway hired Eurocom to develop a Mortal Kombat title for the Sega Dreamcast. MK4:Dreamcast was going to feature higher polygonal count characters and levels, with a few new exclusives like new characters and levels. Unless Midway took up the development of this title, it's pretty safe to say that this isn't the title to replace the successor to MK4 Arcade. All that was known about the successor to MK4 Arcade was that it was on hold while the MK team helped with the development of MK4:Dreamcast and then venture into a totally non-MK related project using the Zeus II graphics chip. In some early interviews with MK co-creator, Ed Boon, it was stated that MK5 would be using the successor to the Zeus graphics processor in MK4 Arcade. If this indeed is the successor to MK4 Arcade it probably would be too much of a shock to anyone. With the recent technological advances in the home PC and console gaming platforms, arcades are becoming a financial black hole for many. Unfortunately, this means that previous arcade machine developers are having to retool their business model to accomodate these new machines. If there is one thing that Midway knows, it's how to make serious revenue profits with their Mortal Kombat franchise. Midway has never put themselves in a position where they have all of the eggs in one basket. They're very aware of what works with their franchise, and I don't see Midway being in the position to rely on the sales of Sega's latest console. If at all, this will be more than likely an exclusive release on the Dreamcast console followed by other versions on other platforms. Dreamcast is currently the highest performing console slated to be in the market during 1999; however, it's hard to pass up on the Playstation and Nintendo64's install bases, but their hardware is technically inferior compared to the Dreamcast. If it is Midway's plan to make the Dreamcast version of Mortal Kombat the successor to MK4 Arcade, the Dreamcast hardware is certainly capable to handle a game that would have features beyond what MK4 Arcade offered. Of course, that would mean you have to buy a Dreamcast to play the successor to MK4 Arcade, MK5. I hope that this isn't the situation we're going to be faced with come September. Unfortunately, not too many President/COOs make mistakes during keynotes at GDC regarding official release titles for their latest console machine. Thanks to Jason Sizemore and Benjamin Kimble for the heads up.
March 22nd, 1999
12:00 PM CST -
Last week at the GDC, Sega of America's COO/President, Bernie Stolar, stated that "Mortal Kombat 5" was going to be a launch title for the Sega Dreamcast. If you read our last update, you saw that I was very skeptical of this announcement and decided to follow up on this story to find out what exactly is going on directly from Midway. I received a response from MK series co-creator, Ed Boon, who was very involved with Eurocom during the porting of MK4 to Playstation and Nintendo64. Ed said that "The Dreamcast version will be based on MK4, not MK5." From this response, we can safely say that Mortal Kombat 5 is definately going to be a seperate title from the Dreamcast version of Mortal Kombat. Furthermore, to clarify that Midway Home Entertainment was not responsible for this mixup, I received a response from Midway Home Entertainment's PR department that the Dreamcast version of Mortal Kombat is still untitled. It sounds like current plans have not changed. Eurocom is still developing an enhanced version of Mortal Kombat 4 for the Dreamcast and the Midway crew is still planning to develop Mortal Kombat 5, which won't be a direct to Dreamcast game. It seems like all of the confusion has been settled; however, the question of why Sega would have made such a huge mistake in front of the entire game industry at the GDC still remains. Was the mistake intentional? Was it a PR stunt put on by Sega officials to hype the Dreamcast against Sony's announcements of the Playstation 2 hardware? Sega was contacted for a comment; however, they have not responded as of the time of this posting.
March 26th, 1999
12:00 PM CST -
According to Gamespot, Babbages has a list of games slated to be available for the US launch of Sega's Dreamcast, and Mortal Kombat 5 is on it. The list looks extremely similar to the games mentioned in Bernie Stolar's keynote speech at the GDC. Since the GDC was a gaming industry event, Babbages was definitely in attendance. This list has some controversy to it. It looks exactly like the list Sega mentioned in their keynote address. In fact, they're in the same order they were mentioned in the keynote, with exception to Soul Calibur and Power Stone being switched. In particular, the first few games listed in the report on Gamespot are "Sonic Adventure, Virtua Fighter 3tb, Cart Racing, NFL Football, NBA Basketball, Geist Force." In the keynote text, "Sonic, VF3, CART, Football, Basketball, House of the Dead 2 and Geist" are all in the same sentence. With the exception of House of the Dead 2, these titles are exactly in the same order. So, this news doesn't really confirm anything about whether or not MK5 is definitely the title of the Dreamcast version of MK. I still stand by the responses I received from Midway employees. Furthermore, I just don't see the reasoning behind the possibility of Midway sharing their most successful franchise with Sega. This clearly has to be a publicity stunt put on by Sega. I'm surprised that Midway hasn't come out with a formal response to this matter in order to protect their franchise. I've sent off another e-mail to Sega, but they just aren't responding. Conspiracy?
March 30th, 1999
12:00 PM CST -
Midway today issued a press release warning investors about their expected fiscal third quarter revenues. Even though Midway is expecting $.01 to $.03 per share this quarter compared to $.18 during the same period last year; they still see the coin-operated market as a good market for them.
While the Company believes that sales of its coin-operated video games have been affected by weak market conditions experienced in the coin-operated video game industry generally, the Company expects that coin-operated video game revenues for the second half of fiscal 1999 will exceed coin-operated video game revenues for the same period of fiscal 1998.

    Basically what this says is that even though the arcades are doing horrible, Midway is still finding a way to make it work for them. This is good news for anyone fearing that Mortal Kombat 5 is going to be a direct-to-home title. Furthermore, later in the press release, we get to the defining statement on what the official title of the Dreamcast version of Mortal Kombat.
The Company believes that its home video game product line for its fiscal year ending June 30, 2000 will benefit from a greater number of hit coin operated titles and new direct-to-the-home only video games. In the first half of fiscal 2000, Midway expects to release into the home market, in addition to third party titles, the following six internally developed products: NFL®Blitz(tm) 2000, NBA® Showtime:NBA on NBC®, MK Special Forces(tm), Gauntlet® Legends, Ready to Rumble(tm) Boxing, and Mortal Kombat®4-DC. This compares with the two internally developed titles released in the first half of fiscal 1999: NFL Blitz and Rush 2:Extreme Racing USA.

    Finally, we're given an official statement to the public regarding the title of the Dreamcast version of Mortal Kombat. Even though it can be argued that it's only being called Mortal Kombat 4-DC internally, it's safe to assume that it's not going to be titled Mortal Kombat 5. It's unfortunate that Sega hasn't recantered their statement made at the GDC. Many mainstream and Dreamcast oriented websites are touting MK5 as being one of the vindications of Sega's comeback into the console market. With recent key personel departures and poor sales figures in Japan, Sega has something to worry about. Announcing Mortal Kombat 5 being a launch title does not help Sega out in the long run. It may have turned heads and detracted attention away from Sony and their Playstation 2; however, the day will come when Sega will have to own up to their mistake and dissapoint those expecting MK5 to be a launch title.
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