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Mortal Kombat 11: Are microtransactions ruining the game?

Gautam Nath
ANALYST
Feature
116   //    25 Apr 2019, 17:05 IST

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NetherRealm's Mortal Kombat 11 just released a few days ago and it is currently one of the most trashed and negatively received games on Steam for the PC. The base game costs $60 and like many examples of AAA games today, the full price doesn't seem to get you everything in the game.

Players can earn skins, characters, fatalities, brutalities and more by grinding through the single-player mode. But NetherRealm has also stuffed the game with microtransactions for players to unlock these without playing the single player mode. Even if you have the time to grind so much, it takes a lot of time and effort to unlock these things.

Reddit user AccomplishedPoet8 has calculated that it costs about $6440 to unlock all the skins in the game. This was a rather disputed figure since most skins are not for sale and even Game Director Ed Boon has said so. But it doesn't address the core problem of microtransactions in the game.


The currency system in Mortal Kombat 11 is also unnecessarily complicated. Here are the currency units available to players:


  • Real Money - You can use real money to purchase characters, skins, etc. Getting the character Frost will cost you $6 but you can also unlock her in-game.
  • Time Krystals - These are used to purchase skins. You can get 500 for $5 allowing you to unlock skins. You can also earn them in-game
  • Koins - These are acquired frequently in-game and they are used to get Loot Chests which gives you a chance to unlock skins and other things.
  • Soul Fragments - Used to open new areas in the Krypt
  • Hearts - These are earned by brutalities and fatalities and used to unlock special items in the Krypt

This is not the first time a huge company has riddled their already expensive game with microtransactions. Some other examples include Star Wars: Battlefront II and Call of Duty: Black Ops 4.

While they will capture a market that actually spends this much money on the game, it is a kick in the face to players, especially dedicated ones. These microtransactions are similar to what mobile developers do, except their games are mostly free. It's become harder to find an AAA title which doesn't want to squeeze as much money as possible from its player base.

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