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Ed Boon Interview

Interview: MK co-creator calls for Street Fighter collaboration

Midway's Gamers' Day event was in a swish Las Vegas Hotel, the tunes were pumping and the drinks were flowing, but there was no time for rest for Mortal Kombat co-creator Ed Boon.

His new game, Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe, had just been announced and everyone and their mothers wanted a chat with Mr. Boon about the new venture.

Getting within a five meter radius of Boon was like scrumming at the front of a Rolling Stones gig, but we fought off the lions and got in there for an interesting chat about the new game, the state of the fighting game genre, oh... and his wishes for a Street Fighter vs. Mortal Kombat game.

Yeah, now you're interested...

How did the DC Universe collaboration come about?

Ed Boon: I've always been a big fan of other fighting games. I play all of the big fighting games in the genre - Tekken, Virtua Fighter, Street Fighter and so on. I've always wanted to cross over with another series.

When I was a kid I remember buying the Spiderman vs. Superman comics and that was the coolest thing to me because they never originally existed in the same world. There's a novelty to that.

So, we actually pursued some crossing with some of these other fighting games but it never really panned out. So when this was presented to us by one of our marketing people, it was something we had seen done before with Capcom and Marvel, and we thought that it would be cool to do a really dark, sinister version of that. So not like a cartoony vibrant approach, our approach was like a dark Batman Begins-style flavour.

It's interesting that you say you pursued crossing over with other fighting games...

Boon: Yeah, but I think the underlying thing that was always a problem was that it was always our competition. If we were to do a Street Fighter vs. Mortal Kombat game, who's going to develop it, and who's going to own the rights to it? It's that kind of issue.

So the proposals were put together but it couldn't be worked out...?

Boon: Yeah. I did a couple of write-ups and whatnot on it, and sometimes we'd get really close to it but issues like our representative for the other company left the company for some reason, and that reset the whole thing back to beginning.

That's such a shame, because a Street Fighter vs. Capcom game would be cool, we'd love to see it...

Boon: Me too. I still want to see it happen.

Maybe after Street Fighter 4 passes by you guys could sort something out...

Boon: Maybe.

So how will the game handle the crossover with DC. I mean, for example, Batman doesn't kill people, does he?

Boon: Exactly. There are a number of constraints that we've had to work around. For instance, Superman is invincible. Why would he even fight Sub-Zero when he can move at the speed of light.

Fortunately, the Mortal Kombat games are based on the supernatural, magic and all that stuff, and that's one of Superman's weaknesses. So we have characters from our MK world that have these super powers and that goes some way to explain why there would be any kind of a match at all between Superman and Sub-Zero.

The storyline will underline that whole theme, as well as why these two universes are merging, the magic and powers involved, and how this basically weakens Superman a little and heightens the strengths of the other characters.

So what is the story with MK fighters facing off with Batman and crew?

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