Mortal Kombat is one of the most popular franchises to exist. The game’s use of gore and bloody fights made us all fall in love with it. The game also has quite an exciting history. It was developed by Midway Games in 1992. Initially, the game was supposed to be based on Ed Boon and John Tobias’ idea of making a game starring Jean-Claude Van Damme.
However, that idea was scrapped, and a fantasy-fighting game was created. The developers still respected that idea and made a character to honor Van-Damme’s style. Mortal Kombat is also the first game to feature a “Secret fighter,” which remains hidden until the player completes set requirements.
Due to Midway’s bankruptcy, Warner Bros. Entertainment later acquired the MK development team and established it as NetherRealm Studios. The franchise has played a significant role in revolutionizing one-on-one fighting games.
Mortal Kombat Merchandise
As a result of the massive success, Mortal Kombat has a lot of things to keep the fan base engaged. One of those many things is merchandise. Diamond Select Toys happens to be one of the biggest developers of Mortal Kombat merchandise.
However, according to their latest statement in a Youtube Video, things may not look great for the MK merch collectors. If you do not know, Diamond Select Toys is a private company founded in 1999, and since then, they have put out fantastic quality merchandise for various big franchises. Some of the notable ones include DC, Star Wars, and Marvel.
The whole interview provides excellent insight into the process behind Mortal Kombat Collectibles. But, some of his critical statements explained how Warner Bros. is not licensing Mortal Kombat video game merchandise rights.
We started doing Mortal Kombat because we had a relationship with Warner Bros. And Warner Bros. was, at the time, licensing out Mortal Kombat for product. – On 12:36
He further explained that they are working on good terms on other projects, especially the DC. However, the situation has changed for Mortal Kombat, and there is nothing they can do about it.
We’re definitely looking at how we can move forward with (the MK) line. There have been some changes to how it’s licensed, but we’re going to try to keep moving forward and make more pieces. – 30:55
He acknowledged that the merchandise is an integral part of the franchise, so they are doing their best to proceed in the current situation. But we know how strict contracts can be; they can’t extend what they are given if the licenses are not provided. This can heavily affect the production of merchandise for Mortal Kombat video games.
Aside from the new “no games’ mandate, where we haven’t really even pitched them on…obviously, they said we can do stuff from the movie, but we haven’t pitched them on certain characters. As far as the game goes – it’s unfortunate that the situation has changed so much because it would be great to continue to do different characters from different iterations of the game, but we’ll have to see how this all works out. The possibility of going back – going to – the game licensor still exists, but we’ll have to see how it goes finishing out the contract with Warner Bros. – 39-13
On a brighter note, they can still do merchandise on (characters) from movies. This is strictly a “no-game” mandate; as far as we understand, it might change with how the contract finishes. From his statements, we can assume that communication played a crucial role in this.
Warner Bros. put these limitations due to how they were jumping from characters of different installments in the game franchise. The lack of restrictions could have made Warner Bros. take these more seriously. Nonetheless, it is still a bit upsetting that we may not see Mortal Kombat merch coming for the time being.
Warner Bros. No Longer Owns the Rights?
However, there is a slight possibility that Warner Bros. is no longer capable of providing these licenses. That can happen only if the “gaming rights” are now owned by someone else. It can also mean that Warner Bros. wants to focus more on the movie side and allow the franchise to grow there.
It seems unnecessary because they are risking the growth of one side for a chance at another. Regardless, the scale of this situation is not confirmed. There can be a shift in Mortal Kombat gaming rights, which means a massive change to the gaming side. It can also be a “contract thing” between Diamond Select Toys and Warner Bros., which we hope gets sorted out soon.
What are your thoughts on Warner Bros. limiting the production of Mortal Kombat gaming merchandise? Do you think it is as big of a situation as we believe? Let us know below, and we will discuss it with you!