The Mortal Kombat community has another reason to dislike NetherRealm’s monetization of Mortal Kombat 1 after publisher Warner Bros. Games confirmed plans to sell a seasonal Fatality.
Fatalities are Mortal Kombat’s world-famous match-enders. The iconic “Finish him!” line that plays out at the end of a match offers the winner the opportunity to humiliate their opponent with a typically over-the-top, bloody finisher. Fatalities made Mortal Kombat a standout title when the game first hit arcades in the early ’90s, and they continue to do so today, 30 years later.
Mortal Kombat 1 Shang Tsung “Alien” Fatality
When the vague in-game patch notes mentioned “Halloween Fatality added to the Premium Store,” players reacted with a mix of shock and horror. Did Warner Bros. Games really plan to sell Mortal Kombat 1 Fatality for real money? The community searched the game’s store and found nothing of the sort. Maybe it was a mistake.
And then confirmation came from Warner Bros. Games themselves via the official support Twitter page: “Halloween Fatality will be available in the Premium Shop at a later date, we assume this will be Friday (10/27). “Please keep an eye on the official Mortal Kombat social media for updates on this topic!”
Hello, thanks for this question about MK1! The Halloween Fatality will be released in the Premium Shop at a later date, we assume this will be Friday (October 27th). Please keep an eye on the official Mortal Kombat social media for updates on this topic!
— WB Games Support (@WBGamesSupport) October 24, 2023
The move isn’t unprecedented – 2011’s Mortal Kombat sold Klassic Fatality packs. But that’s something of a distant memory and certainly didn’t stop news of Mortal Kombat 1’s Fatality premium game causing an uproar in the Mortal Kombat community, who were quick to point out that Mortal Kombat 1 was full price Costs $70. Some even spent $100 for the Premium Edition.
Redditor EmotionalAide6932 called paid fatality “absurd.” “I understand the idea behind the Premium Store costumes, but paid Fatality is just too much,” they said. “Is NRS trying to end the game before 2024?”
“People really need to vote with their wallets and not buy this or it will set a really bad precedent,” FistoPuncherelli warned. “Wow, I was pretty frustrated with the shop for costumes in a full-price game, but so was Fatalities?” said GetRealPrimrose. “This has completely validated my decision not to buy the game.” “See how they massacred our franchise,” bmc5558 added. “Are we all living in Shang Tsung’s timeline? DAFUQ is this some insidious bullshit??” said OMFGItsVico.
In a separate thread on the Mortal Kombat subreddit, Kanj0Bazooie called Mortal Kombat 1’s monetization “shabby.” “…this new Fatality will cost 500 [Dragon Krystals, MK1’s premium currency], because God is dead and Satan has decided that we need to buy Fatalities (this better not go away after Halloween). Let’s say you only purchased these premium items and none of the rotating items that are available Also Locked in the store, that’s 4,100 Dragon Crystals, or about $41 IRL! For three skins, an announcer and a fatality. By the way, we’ve been in this game for a little over a month.”
Mortal Kombat 1 has been under fire for its aggressive monetization since its release, and the upcoming premium version of Fatality has become a lightning rod for angry comments about Warner Bros. Games’ approach to microtransactions. “They’re treating this like it’s a free game,” Kanj0Bazooie continued. “These are literally Fortnite prices for items. Except I can play Fortnite for free and didn’t have to spend $130 before (I bought the deluxe edition). This shit is confusing, man, and it took a lot of excitement away from a franchise that is one of my top five favorites of all time. Sorry for the rant, I just Really I don’t like that aspect of the game.”
Now some players fear that Warner Bros. Games will sell other types of match-enders. “I can’t wait to have Mercy, Animalities and Stage Fatalities in the Premium Store,” said Costas00. There was a similar sentiment on social media:
@WBGamesSupport Are you really planning on adding seasonal totes as the only purchase option?
Why does the patch already show information that should be added to the store?
This is a full price game…do you know that? Just give us more things to unlock through the game and not just another cash grab… give us some hope
— ✍️Jakub Kaktus #Artist #Freelancer #ndieDev (@Jakub_Kaktus) October 24, 2023
A $70 game by the way, $120 for the premium edition and we still have to pay for seasonal deaths. Wow! I didn’t know this was a free game? Additionally, you released this game with much less content than your previous titles. Do it better! @noobde @NetherRealm @WBGamesSupport
– KP (@kppossible_) October 25, 2023
This officially means that MK1 is dead then
— sadboi1117 (@travis74270378) October 25, 2023
I won’t buy it, it should be free. I’m just glad they added a lot of good characters from the 3D era. Since I spent the $100 I will get DLC characters but after all the DLC for the game comes out I think I will go back to Street Fighter or Teken
– Shinigami (@Dejay6774770295) October 25, 2023
Fuck @NetherRealm for doing that #Death #PAID #DLC for @Mortal Kombat. I almost think we should shame users who buy and run this finisher @Twitter #BlueChecks to get the publisher to put an end to this rip-off of its customers. pic.twitter.com/VzXqJys9J9
— 𝙈𝙞𝙆𝙚 𝙈𝙘𝘿𝙤𝙣𝙤𝙪𝙜𝙝 🍥 (@MiKeMcDnet) October 24, 2023
And yes, the memes have begun.
The Mortal Kombat community is now waiting to see how much Warner Bros. Games will charge for this seasonal fatality. Given that it is sold in the Premium Store, players are expected to have permanent access to it and not be limited to the latest season.
It’s been a rough month for Mortal Kombat 1. The Nintendo Switch version went viral for its performance issues and poor graphics quality, although NetherRealm released an update for it. Mortal Kombat 1 also appears to have sold fewer copies upon release than its predecessor.
Wesley is the UK news editor for IGN. Find him on Twitter at @wyp100. You can reach Wesley at firstname.lastname@example.org or confidentially at email@example.com.