August 13th, 2010
1:00 PM CST -
Long-time friend of TRMK, Trash, sends along word that game retailer GameStop will feature the highly anticipated Mortal Kombat (2011) at the GameStop Manager's Conference 2010 at the Grand Hyatt San Antonio, August 28th - September 2nd.

As you can see, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment will be pulling out all the stops with building custom arcade-style cabinets for demoing the game at the meeting. The mockup images of the cabinets feature the well-known classic Midway design, a MadCatz tournament arcade stick and a large LCD screen attached above the cabinet for crowd viewing.

Here's hoping that the kiosks / arcade cabinets make it to actual GameStop stores!

In addition to this GameStop employee only event, the public will also be able to play Mortal Kombat soon! We've gotten word that Mortal Kombat (2011) will be playable at GamesCom Germany next week, as well as at PAX Prime 2010 in Seattle early next month. This cabinet could make an appearance at those events as well if it's been created already. We hope to hear from fans once they get their hands on the game.
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.
August 18th, 2010
12:32 PM CST -
Today NetherRealm Studios unveiled two new characters and stages for Mortal Kombat (2011) at Gamescom 2010 in Germany. The two new characters are Kitana and Cyrax, who look great as they are very recongizable yet also have some new distinct stylings. Along with the new Kombatants, they unveiled updated versions of the Jade's Desert and the Belltower stages from Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3. Word is that the sand in Jade's Desert swirls around you in a very amazing way. NetherRealm Studios was kind enough to send along a few screenshots to show our readers as well, enjoy!

 
 
 


Be sure to click on the thumbnails above for the "ULTRA HD" (7680 4320) versions of the screenshots, which is also perfect for desktop wallpapers of all shapes and sizes!

Update 2:20pm CST: IGN has a great writeup on the game from GamesCom. Included in that write up is a description of Cyrax's fatalities.

Johnny Cage's fatality is a throwback to the original Mortal Kombat where he'll uppercut the loser's head clean off, and then rip the torso right off the waist. Or robot Cyrax takes his saw blades and sheers the opponent's body into five pieces that stay together, finishing him up with a body-shattering kick.

August 25th, 2010
4:54 PM CST -
Last week representatives from NetherRealm Studios went to GamesCom in Germany and X'10 in Canada. In addition to the two characters revealed, some additional info was revealed in various interviews that have since been posted over the past week. We embedded the interview videos below, but here's a recap of what we learned so far this week.

With regard to characters, the bosses will likely locked at the start of the game. On the other hand, the majority of non boss characters will be unlocked and playable at the start of the game. I'm sure they'll hide a special character or two for us as well to find, but we will likely not know anything about them. We were also told that the Story Mode will be almost two times longer than Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe.

As far as online goes, big improvements are on the way according to Kotaku's interview with Ed Boon. The game's online mode will be able to rebalanced after release on the fly via various hooks implemented into the game. This is huge because previous games were seldom patched due to various reasons beyond the team's controls. Now they'll be able to tweak the game to make sure it's nice and balanced for those playing online. Thusly it should hopefully find a home as a featured game at upcoming EVO tournaments. Ed also said there is a possibility that they make make a PC version of the game.

Another common question was the DLC plans for Mortal Kombat. The team is looking to not only allow downloadable characters, but also stages and maybe even Fatalities. This is a bold move to have so much available. It would be an awesome way for them to expand the game beyond just making people buy another game like Super Street Fighter IV did. But anytime DLC discussion takes place, some fans get upset by thinking they are paying for things already included in the game. This is not the case here, as they are looking for ways to EXPAND the game after release. Thankfully an anonymous producer at NetherRealm Studios wrote a blog defending and clarifying their DLC plans. The article is a great look into what they are trying to achieve in this next game with regards to DLC and is a must read. Here's an excerpt:

What we are trying some strategies on, and this is what Ed alluded to in his article, is a method that once we start working on DLC, we can get it in the hands of all players, whether they purchased the DLC or not. We are still working out if this is possible, but in an ideal world, you'd be able to fight against a DLC character even if you have not purchased it...and that somehow requires us to get the content onto your machine. We're going through a lot of negotiations to see if we can make this happen...it may not be possible, but we are certainly trying to do something we think would be a very cool way to make DLC "seamless" in terms of both those who chose to purchase any new content and those who would prefer not to.


Kotaku also had an additional discussion with Ed Boon, in which they talk about the future of NetherRealm studios. Our favorite game The Grid was mentioned to be picking up steam before the Midway collapse of 2009. Also a sequel to the beloved Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks is also mentioned as a possibility to see a release eventually.


Ed talks with with Germany's MK Universe at GamesCom.


GameSpot interviews Ed Boon at GamesCom


Producer Hans Lo sat down with G4TV at GamesCom


Executive Producer Shaun Himmerick talked with Console Creatures at X'10 in Canada

August 30th, 2010
11:14 PM CST -
This week the Gamestop 2010 Manager's Meeting is in happening in San Antonio, Texas. The first day of the event was today and was mostly a day full of demos, including a Mortal Kombat (2011) Fatality Montage by MK Producer Hector Sanchez. Tomorrow the show will open for hands-on play of many games at the event, including the new Mortal Kombat. As we mentioned earlier in the month, Warner Bros. has created some custom Mortal Kombat cabinet kiosks for the event. One of our many kontributors at the event passed along some photos of the massive stage area along with the new cabinets. Along with the stage is an area where you can put your head thru a hole for a photo as either Mileena performing a fatality or Johnny Cage's torso being held up by Sub-Zero. Pretty funny.


  


  


We are hoping that these cabinets may eventually roll out to Gamestop Stores nationwide, or be just be used at other upcoming gaming events like this weekend's PAX Prime in Seattle. Either way they look very neat, and may become collectors items if they ever fall into the public's hands.

Also this stage will be host to a giant Mortal Kombat tournament tomorrow from 6-9pm CST. There seems to be various raffles and prizes being given away as well like t-shirts, headbands, etc. Hopefully some lucky winners get to take the cabinets home as well! We will have a few friends at the show tomorrow and hope to be posting their detailed hands-on impressions of the game for everyone tomorrow.
August 31st, 2010
12:42 PM CST -
IGN PS3 has released not only a new interview with Ed Boon today, but also an awesome new teaser trailer for Mortal Kombat (2011). This new "Shadows" trailer features the shadowy silhouettes of various fighters battling it out. The trailer features the song Another Way To Die by the Chicago based band Disturbed from their newly released album Asylum. Check it out:



Also released earlier today is a sequel to the first Mortal Kombat Paperalities video by Eric Powerup. It's a must watch along with his very retrospective Mortal Kombat Observations Part 2. We've included the Mortal Kombat II Paperalities Below:



Thanks to friend and TRMK forum member PEBKAC for the tip!

Update 9/1 Added an better format courtesy of MK Kommunity Manager Rigo Cortes
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