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Ed Boon responds to fan requests for toned down violence options for Mortal Kombat 1

Posted by Dakota 'DarkHorse' Hills • August 29, 2023 at 8:01 p.m. PDT • Comments: 68

Alongside the multi-colored ninjas, violence, blood and gore have been a key pillar of Mortal Kombat's identity for over 30 years though that's not everything people show up to see.

There's been some added discourse lately as to whether Mortal Kombat 1 should include some sort of violence toggle option, and series co-creator Ed Boon recently provided his thoughts on the matter.

During an interview with IGN, the outlet asks the Chief Creative Officer at NetherRealm Studios directly about the possibility of a "streamer safe mode" that limits the gore on display.

"The dilemma, I don't know if I'd call it dilemma, but the thing that I think about is, let's say we had a mode that turned off all the blood or something or didn't have fatalities or something like that," replied Boon. "Part of it is... part of the definition of Mortal Kombat is those things.

And so to strip away an entire layer of it, do we really want that to be the main representation that is of the game online? It's not the whole presentation. Now, granted to me it's not like, 'Okay, so that's a deal breaker. We're never going to do it.'

I'm always trying to think what can we do to keep the spirit of what the game is, but also allow streamers, because I'm fully aware of streamers, to show the game and make content based on the game. I think that's the dilemma."

From his answer, it's easy to read that NRS has at least thought of the idea, but there's no mention of them actively looking into it or having done so at all for the new game.

Although they refer to it as a streamer mode, this is something that would benefit players beyond just content creators since not everyone wants to be flooded with blood and bones breaking on screen all the time.

In our own polls on the matter, nearly 70% of our readers responded that MK1 should include a violence toggle option while over half responded that they would use it or likely try it out.

It's not like this would be anything new for the series either. Original home ports of the first Mortal Kombat game had blood off by default, and there continued to be options or different modes all the way up to Mortal Kombat 2011 with its no blood code.

So it's only been since Mortal Kombat X that NetherRealm has gone full in on the violence while making it even more painful and realistic looking.

A lot of that probably comes down to how well the games sell consistently because if your fighting game is pushing 10+ million copies all the time, you don't really need to chase an "outside audience" who isn't down for some Fatalities.

Moreover, that's additional resources, planning and development that would need to go into designing and implementing such a less violent mode that teams are less likely to go after unless they need to.

From the way Boon talked about it, we almost assuredly won't be seeing anything like that at launch for MK1 and sounds rather doubtful that's going to happen at all unless more players push for that to happen.

Other fans are going to continue to argue, however, that opening that door leads to a slippery slope that could change or take away what so many have fun with in Mortal Kombat.

An option would be a welcome addition, but at this rate, Mortal Kombat 1 is going to sell millions and millions of copies with or without it and make Warner Bros. and NRS a bunch of money starting next month.

You can find the full interview with Ed Boon on IGN.

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