According to an inside sources at Kotaku (those wily buggers), the development team responsible for Mortal Kombat and its turgid iterations is looking to move on from Midway and form its own company. At the moment, senior members of the team are in negotiations with several unnamed publishers.
Apparently, one of the causes of the breakup is the lack of bonuses paid to the 50 or so developers on the Mortal Kombat team after sales of Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe met agreed upon expectations. Kotaku’s sources also pointed out that the Mortal Kombat team has become increasingly frustrated with how Midway has handled its bankruptcy. The split at this point is not official, and PR reps from Midway insist that the relationship with the d-team is “fine”, but if Midway is out of cash, and the development team thinks it deserves more money, I don’t see how this situation could be remedied.
The real issue going forward for the developers is that they won’t be able to bring the Mortal Kombat franchise with them if they do indeed split from Midway, and they would be forced to abandon their follow up work on Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe that was tentatively titled Mortal Kombat 9. Such concessions would be “tough” said one particularly articulate source.
I’m a little curious what the team is going to do with its newfound freedom, if it gets it, without its marquee brand name. After all, since the original Mortal Kombat came out in 1992, the development team has published 13 other sequels or iterations. They haven’t done much else other than manage this — admittedly — wildly successful franchise. So while it may be in their own best interest to leave Midway, I wonder how they’re going to be productive minus the copyright. Time for some ideating.