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Mortal Kombat 1's New Microtransactions Are Scarier Than Its Fatalities [Update]

Mortal Kombat 1, NetherRealm’s newest entry in its three-decades-old fighting game series, continues its predecessors’ tradition of pulling gut-yanking, brain-pounding final moves, or Fatalities, to the delight of its gore connoisseur fans. But some of those fans are frustrated. MK1’s recent patch introduces seasonal Fatalities—cool, but you have to pay for them.

Is no body horror sacred? October 23 patch notes indicate NetherRealm issued a ton of gameplay and performance changes to its $70 game, like improved AI and more balanced combat, but it hid the less desirable details about the premium Halloween Finisher among them. It won’t actually make it to the game’s Premium Store until later this week, publisher Warner Bros. Games said on Twitter, but it seems likely that it’s the same themed Fatality Mortal Kombat leakers revealed in September.

Leaked footage shows that, during the Fatality move, you slam a grimacing jack-o’-lantern over your opponent’s face and wait for bugs to slink out. Your enemy then doubles over and you pop their head off with a powerful kick, observing as it flies through space and slams into a front porch decorated for Halloween. The doorbell rings like you’re trick-or-treating, and blood waterfalls around the cracked pumpkin skull. “FATALITY,” the screen announces in vampire red.

Update 10/27/2023 8:24 p.m. ET: The “Happy Halloween” fatality is now up for sale in Mortal Kombat 1‘s Premium Store. It’s price? A whopping $12 USD. Original story continues after the tweet.

It looks like a fun move, and it’s October-ready, but fans stopped feeling as excited about it when they realized they’d have to pay extra for it.

“Pretty bad new precedent set by the devs charging for Fatalities now, and if people pay for it then it will only get worse,” one Reddit user said. “Next they might start charging $0.10 every time we call out our [support fighter] Kameo.”

“Why the hell did I pay for a [$110] Premium Edition […] yet NR has the cheek to try to force more paid content already?” a Twitter user responded to WB Games. “Greedy business practices before quality.”

NetherRealm apparently hasn’t learned from its 2019 game MK11, which gained notoriety among fans for what Kotaku writer Mike Fahey called its “oppressive” grind, which encouraged players to spend thousands of dollars on in-game currency to avoid suffering through tedious amounts of gameplay to unlock rewards. MK1 is also offering a free Halloween Variant, a purplish, cobwebbed middle school dance, to the Cage Mansion Arena, but it doesn’t take the sting out of giving more money to a game you thought you already paid for.


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