Yoshinori Ono: It's true that a proposal for a Street Fighter character in Mortal Kombat was rejected by Capcom

'But I didn't make the decision!'

Posted by John 'Velociraptor' Guerrero • November 8, 2019 at 1:30 p.m. PST | Comments: 60

With characters like Terminator in Mortal Kombat 11, Negan in Tekken 7, and seemingly everyone who has ever been in a Nintendo game in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, it's unequivocally clear that guest combatants are all the rage right now in fighting games.

We've seen it countless times in fan art and YouTube fantasy fights, but never has Ryu chucked an official Hadoken at Sub-Zero, nor has Scorpion reeled Ken in with his trademark spear. According to a recent Eurogamer interview with Capcom's Yoshinori Ono, that isn't for lack of trying.

Cross pollination has been a growing trend for some time now, but we have yet to see any real marriage of Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat, two of the genre's most recognizable franchises. Mortal Kombat's big boss, Ed Boon, actually did ask for a Street Fighter character to guest star in his franchise, but was rejected.

Eurogamer asked Ono about this directly and the Street Fighter Producer both confirmed and shed further light on the matter.

"It's true that a proposal for a Street Fighter character in Mortal Kombat was rejected by Capcom," he started. "But it wasn't me personally! There were many people at the company that felt that it wasn't a good fit for our characters. I actually met Ed at the Brazil game show and spoke to him personally about it. So it's true - but I didn't make the decision!"

It's not that Capcom isn't one to play ball on this front, either. Obviously, the entire Marvel vs. Capcom series is a crossover endeavor and who could forget the ill-fated Street Fighter X Tekken? In both of those cases, it was Capcom at the development reigns, but they have lent out Akuma to Tekken 7, Ryu to Nintendo for Super Smash Bros. Wii-U, and both Ryu and Ken for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat have long stood as arguably the two biggest pillars of fighting games, (Smash certainly is in that conversation now) but what Ono is saying here does make sense... it's kind of hard to see these two particular IP's mesh together.

It's not to say the obstacles are impossible to overcome, but Mortal Kombat has always taken a more realistic visual route than the relatively cartoon-ish Street Fighter. Also, the fact that MK straight up murders fighters in the goriest ways NetherRealm Studios developers can imagine probably isn't the best selling point for getting mergers with more PG-rated universes started.

What's more, the basic play styles of the two franchises and their respective evolutions over the years have never much lined up. Boon himself alluded to this a bit in an IGN Unfiltered interview.

"There's part of me that thinks that would be such a cool dream," starts Boon. "There's another part of me that says, 'There's no way that would satisfy everybody.' Even if we said, 'okay, it's rated M so we can tear Ryu's head off,' the games play so differently, there's different pacing, there are different fundamentals with both of them."

Obviously, this wasn't enough to deter him from approaching Capcom, but his point still stands with some significant gravity. A Street Fighter transition into Tekken or the extremely versatile Super Smash Bros. does seem a bit easier than into the Nether Realm.

Eurogamer then asked Ono if this was widely just a matter of the two worlds not mixing, and he responded with, "That was the major concern of our licensing."

Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter continue to grow and thrive, and while it doesn't particularly seem to be a match made in heaven, we still hold out for a possible crossover at some point in the future. We could easily see someone like Akuma or Blanka jump into the MK universe, and we'd love to see someone like Rashid get ripped into bite-sized pieces on repeat.

Be sure to check out the full interview as there's much more from Ono regarding the status of Street Fighter 5 as well as the future of the franchise in general.

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