MK11: Ed Boon talks Mileena, mini-games and leveraging Mortal Kombat history

Last week, Mortal Kombat 11 received its biggest update to date: three new characters, a massive story expansion and a full rework to how augments are applied to boot.

On top of that, we saw balance changes and characters – or should that be kharacters – jostled for the best positions on the tier-lists once again.

Ed Boon – creative director at NetherRealm Studios and co-creator of Mortal Kombat – sat down with us to chat about this big new entry in MK history, reflect on its past, and give us some insight into the inner workings of NetherRealm Studios as a whole.

Here's what he had to say.

The story expansion is significant, what made you decide to continue the story campaign for this expansion?

ED BOON: The last several games that we have developed at NetherRealm Studios have been supported throughout the year of their release with additional characters and other features. Then, historically we would offer an updated version that contained all of the content released throughout the year. With Mortal Kombat X , we wanted to raise the bar and added four brand-new characters in a version we called Mortal Kombat XL .

Our fans loved it so we decided to raise the bar even higher for Mortal Kombat 11 . Not only does the Mortal Kombat 11:Aftermath expansion include new characters (Fujin, Sheeva and RoboCop) but for the first time we are building onto one of NetherRealm‘s most unique features, our story campaign.

We always want to surprise Mortal Kombat fans with something new and unexpected.

There’s a lot of stuff in the free update that celebrates Mortal Kombat legacy – Stage Fatalities, Friendships and so on. How do you choose the right things to bring back over other legacy features, such as Babalities or similar?

ED BOON We are fortunate enough to have had a number of Mortal Kombat features really resonate with players over the years. However, there are so many of them that we cannot possibly include all of them in every game.

So, we sometimes give them a break (for a few years), then bring them back with a vengeance using the latest technology. People haven’t seen Friendship moves since Mortal Kombat was a 2D sprite game!

So, we knew it was time to do something really special by bringing them back. Player’s loved the return of Babality moves in Mortal Kombat9 , so naturally it was Friendships’ turn!

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  • We’ve seen you on Twitter, being vocal about some characters you don’t want to bring back (Mileena…) When browsing the roster of MK characters from the past, how do you decide who to bring back? Do you take into account move sets , lore, ‘cool factor', or elements of all of the above?

    ED BOON: Actually, I’ve never seriously said that I don’t want to see Mileena come back to MortalKombat . Most of the time I am just teasing the fanatics who demand she be added 100 times a day.

    I love to have fun with that. Mortal Kombat has about 80 characters in its roster now. So, we tend to look back and occasionally revive a character who hasn’t been seen in a long time, like we did with Fujin in Aftermath .

    We do take into account the story because some characters existed in different parts of the timeline so we need to stay somewhat consistent with the narrative that we are telling.

    But move sets and “cool factor” also play a big part in which character we decide to bring back.

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