The Mortal Kombat community has yet another reason to dislike the monetisation of NetherRealm’s 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 victor an opportunity to humiliate their opponent with a typically over-the-top, gory finisher. Fatalities helped Mortal Kombat stand out when the first game hit arcades in the early nineties, and they continue to do so now, 30 years later.
Mortal Kombat 1 Shang Tsung ‘Alien’ Fatality
And so, when 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 a Mortal Kombat 1 Fatality for real-world money? The community searched the game’s store and found nothing of the sort. Perhaps it was a mistake.
And then came confirmation from Warner Bros. Games itself via the official support Twitter page: “The Halloween Fatality will be featured in the Premium Shop at a later date, we expect this to be Friday (10/27). Please keep an eye on official Mortal Kombat social media for any news on this topic!”
Hi, thanks for this question about MK1! The Halloween Fatality will be featured in the Premium Shop at a later date, we expect this to be Friday (10/27). Please keep an eye on official Mortal Kombat social media for any news on this topic!
— WB Games Support (@WBGamesSupport) October 24, 2023
The move is not unprecedented — 2011’s Mortal Kombat sold Klassic Fatality Packs. But that is something of a distant memory, and certainly hasn’t stopped news of Mortal Kombat 1’s premium Fatality kicking up a stink within the Mortal Kombat community, which was quick to point out Mortal Kombat 1’s full-price, $70 price tag. Some even forked out $100 for its Premium Edition.
Redditor EmotionalAide6932 called the paid Fatality “absurd”. “I get the idea behind costumes on the Premium Store, but paid Fatality is just too much,” they said. “Is NRS trying to kill the game before 2024?”
“People really need to vote with their wallets and not buy this, or it’ll set a really bad precedent,” FistoPuncherelli warned. “Wow, I was frustrated enough with a shop for costumes in a full priced game, but Fatalities too?” said GetRealPrimrose. “This has fully solidified my decision to not buy the game.” “Look how they massacred our franchise,” added bmc5558. “Are we all living in Shang Tsung’s timeline? DAFUQ is this dastardly bulls**t??” said OMFGItsVico.
In a separate thread on the Mortal Kombat subreddit, Kanj0Bazooie called Mortal Kombat 1’s monetisation “scummy”. “… this new Fatality is going to cost 500 [Dragon Krystals, MK1’s premium currency], because God is dead and Satan decided we should have to buy Fatalities (this better not go away after Halloween). Assuming you only bought these premium things, and not any of the rotating items which are also locked to the store, that’s 4,100 Dragon Krystals, or roughly 41 IRL dollars! For three skins, an announcer, and a Fatality. We’re a little over a month into this game, by the way.”
Mortal Kombat 1 has come under fire since launch for its aggressive monetisation, and the looming premium 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 I didn’t have to cough up 130 bucks beforehand (I bought the deluxe edition). This s**t is baffling, man, and it’s killed a lot of excitement for a franchise that’s in my top five favourites of all time. Sorry for the rant, I just really don’t like this aspect of the game.”
Now some players are worried Warner Bros. Games will sell other types of match enders. “Can’t wait to have Mercy, Animalities, and stage Fatalities in the premium store,” Costas00 said. It was a similar sentiment across social media:
@WBGamesSupport are truly planning to add season fatalities as only buy option?
why patch already show info those should added to shop?
This is full price game…do You know this? Just give us more stuff to unlock via game not just another cashgrabs … give us some hope
— ✍️Jakub Kaktus #artist #freelancer #ndieDev (@Jakub_Kaktus) October 24, 2023
A $70 game btw, $120 for the Premium edition and we still need to pay for seasonal fatalities. Wow! I didn’t know this was a free-to-play game? On top of that you released this game with way less content than your previous titles. Do better! @noobde @NetherRealm @WBGamesSupport
— KP (@kppossible_) October 25, 2023
This officially means MK1 is dead then
— sadboi1117 (@travis74270378) October 25, 2023
will not be buying it should be free im just glad they added alot of good 3d era characters i will be getting dlc characters since i spent the 100$ but after all the dlc for the game come out i think i will go back to street fighter or tekken
— Shinigami (@Dejay6774770295) October 25, 2023
Fuck @NetherRealm for making this #Fatality #PAID #DLC for @MortalKombat. I almost think we should shame users who buy and perform this finisher, like @Twitter #BlueChecks to make the publisher stop this fleecing of their 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 just how much Warner Bros. Games will charge for this seasonal Fatality. Given it will be sold in the Premium Store, the expectation is players will have access to it forever, as opposed to being limited to the latest season.
It’s been a rough month or so for Mortal Kombat 1. The Nintendo Switch version went viral for its performance issues and low quality visuals, although NetherRealm has released an update for it. Mortal Kombat 1 also appears to have sold fewer copies at launch than its predecessor.