Science & Tech

Mortal Kombat 1: Nintendo Switch version will be fixed, says boss

NetherRealm Studio

Mortal Kombat 1 – the new game in the long-running series – is out.

But the Nintendo Switch version of the beloved beat-’em-up has been getting a bit of a kicking vs its Xbox and PlayStation rivals.

Fans have been posting side-by-side comparisons showing the gulf in graphics and criticising the game’s overall performance.

Series creator Ed Boon tells BBC Newsbeat the hybrid console’s version will “absolutely be getting an update”.

“And a number of the the concerns of the issues that had come up will absolutely be addressed,” he says.

“It would have been ideal for us to have released the version that we absolutely wanted.

“But anything that we’re finding a problem with is on our list and is going to be fixed.”

One of the common criticisms of the Switch version is its price – it costs the same as the more advanced PS5 and Xbox Series editions.

The game – a soft reboot of the series’ timeline – was ported to the Nintendo machine by Shiver Entertainment and Saber Interactive, rather than main developer NetherRealm Studios.

But Ed’s message to fans who’ve bought or are thinking of buying the title on Switch is that “it will be supported, like we did with Mortal Kombat 11”.

“Anything that we see that is not acceptable will absolutely be addressed,” he says.

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Away from the Switch version, critics have had kinder words for the other editions with both the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 versions logging respectable scores on Metacritic.

And one thing that’s got fans talking is the inclusion of Jean-Claude Van Damme.

Ed tells Newsbeat why getting the actor – who appears as a skin for series regular Johnny Cage – why that’s a big deal for the series.

“When we made our very first Mortal Kombat game, before it was even called Mortal Kombat, we wanted to make Van Damme the video game,” he says.

But in 1992, Ed says, the 80s action star was understandably not in a rush to work with “two guys in their 20s saying hey we want to make a video game based on you”.

“So I could see why he would say no,” says Ed.

Instead, they created Johnny Cage, the cocky movie star with a strong resemblance to the “Muscles from Brussels”, as Van Damme is known.

Ed says the team tried “a few more times” to recruit Van Damme, “but the planets would not align”.

“Until 30 years later they did,” says Ed. “And here we are with Mortal Kombat 1 – the ultimate kind of full circle moment.”

Tom Maday

Mortal Kombat’s characters are one of its stand-out features, and fans think they may have found hints about upcoming special guests in the latest game’s files.

One of the names floated is Ghostface, from the Scream movies.

When Newsbeat asks Ed about these he says we’ll have to “wait and see”.

“We always have seeds that are being planted that might not pop up until a year later,” he says, but adds that a lot of time and research goes into these.

Despite the criticism of the Switch version, Ed says Mortal Kombat has continued to grow and the past few releases have been the biggest sellers to date.

“I don’t know how many games that have been around for 30 years are at their peak,” he says.

“That’s a really special kind of thing, where players are still with us, players who are now grown up with their own kids, still playing Mortal Kombat.

“That just blows my mind.”

Follow Newsbeat on Twitter and YouTube.

Listen to Newsbeat live at 12:45 and 17:45 weekdays – or listen back here.

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