After some intense backlash following Mortal Kombat 1’s horrifyingly expensive Halloween microtransactions, which include a pumpkin-headed, maggot-filled finisher known as a Fatality, developer NetherRealm Studios has announced that folks who bought the pricey execution will get two other ones for free.
The studio posted to Twitter/X on November 9, saying that sometime next week, the Seasonal Fatalities bundle will be available for purchase. This includes three gruesome executions themed around the holidays—Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Winter—with the Halloween fatality drawing ire for its exorbitant price tag. Now, it’s being packaged together with two other final attacks. Mortal Kombat has had microtransactions in the past for things like character skins, most of it earnable in-game. While Mortal Kombat 1 does something similar, it appears to dole out its premium in-game currency too slowly, prompting players to fork over more cash on top of the $US70 game.
Fans were furious about the cost of the Halloween fatality (among others), and expressed their frustrations across social media for what many called “greedy business practices.” Now, after hearing the criticism, NetherRealm Studios is trying to make up for the alleged price gouging.
“Next week, you can access the Seasonal Fatalities bundle, which includes the Halloween, Thanksgiving, and upcoming Winter fatality.,” NetherRealm Studios said. “Those who purchased the Halloween fatality will have access to the bundle at no extra cost. We appreciate your feedback on everything MK1.”
While IGN speculated that the package could run you $US30, a NetherRealm Studios spokesperson said in an email to Kotaku that the Seasonal Fatalities bundle will actually cost 1,200 Dragon Krystals (or about $US10) and will be available on November 17. Getting two additional gory final attacks for free, assuming the other two cost $US10 like the Halloween finisher does, sounds like a pretty sweet deal since you get three for the price of one. However, once again, fans of the 2D fighter aren’t happy with the game’s monetization efforts.
“How about making more ways for us to get dragon krystals more easily just by playing the game?” tweeted user RainyJady, referring to the premium in-game currency you can only buy with IRL money. “That way y’all won’t be getting backlash for those micro transactions.”
“$US36 for fatalities is crazy,” said Twitter user _UltraLuminary.
“[NetherRealm Studios] has finally responded to the complaints.” said Redditor frostmkxcomics. “Now instead of paying 12$ for one fatality, you’re paying 12$ for three fatalities… Pathetic.”
“Still highway robbery —$US12 should get you 1 new unique fatality for every character,” commented Reddit user Lil-Lui-. “[NetherRealm Studios] are professional hustlers.”
Kotaku reached out to Warner Bros. Games for comment.
While Mortal Kombat 1 may be the most recent offender, expensive monetization like this in both free and paid games has been a thing for a few years now. Call of Duty, Diablo IV, Fortnite, and Overwatch all include cosmetics that, while don’t typically give gameplay advantages, are still locked behind expensive paywalls you can only climb with real-world money. It’s a bummer, but unless we refuse to participate, it’s unlikely things will change.
Update, 11/15/23 1:40 p.m. ET: Added clarification from a NetherRealm Studios spokesperson about the cost of MK1’s Seasonal Fatalities DLC bundle.
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