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Game Informer - An Argument Against Character Cameos In Games

Vslayer

I'm a gril
Moderator
Premium Supporter
I like guests. I mained Pred along with Cass in MKX. I mained Sub Zero in IJ2 along with Robin. I’m probably gonna main Terminator too.
 

ChatterBox

Searching for an alt.
Premium Supporter
Also, now that I'm thinking about it, Terminator fits into the theme of MK11 better than most characters. It's about time travel and killing and robots. That's exactly what The Terminator movies are about, and the character is an actual time travelling killer robot.
 
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Resistible

MK fan since '92
Also, now that I'm thinking about it, Terminator fits into the theme of MK11 better than most characters. It's about time travel and killing and robots. That's exactly The Terminator movies are about, and it's an actual time travelling killer robot.
Still not the Terminator, the T-800 has no organs. It's just Arnold in movie makeup
 

Lord Snotty

Lord of the Bletherrealm.
Also there is no argument, it's just an ambiguous selfish hypocritical opinion. Learn to write, guy.
Don't you yearn for intelligent critique rather than bloggers writing blogs? Sadly, most reviewers tend to write blogs rather than thoughtful reviews. A real shame.
 

Raidenwins

Raiden Practitioner
Though poorly written, i agree with the spirit of the article. Guest characters dilute the quality of a franchise, or like the author wrote, a franchise loses its soul a little with every new guest. Some people may like them, but the fact is they are doing long term damage to Mortal Kombat. Not to mention they take valuable slots that could be much better used by MK characters, such as Fujin, Reiko, Hsu Hao, Drahmin, Molok, Kira, Havik, Hotaru, Kobra, and so and so forth.

Since i bought the Kombat Pack edition of the game (which in hindsight was a mistake), I suppose I am stuck with the first three guests, but i certainly have no intention of buying any additional ones, just like i didn't buy any of the guests in MKX. That's money you could have potentially gotten from me if you had chosen to stick with MK characters, WB.
 
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Players: "Guest characters suck"
Also players: "Please make more DLC and games"

Developers "huh i wonder what we could do to boost sales. If only there was a shitload of data supporting a certain tactic".

Every guest character that sells well gets you another character made or another sequel. It's not "boo joker is taking Rain's slot". It's literally "well thank god they put joker in, it might sell enough copies that eventually we'll get rain"
 

Raidenwins

Raiden Practitioner
Players: "Guest characters suck"
Also players: "Please make more DLC and games"

Developers "huh i wonder what we could do to boost sales. If only there was a shitload of data supporting a certain tactic".

Every guest character that sells well gets you another character made or another sequel. It's not "boo joker is taking Rain's slot". It's literally "well thank god they put joker in, it might sell enough copies that eventually we'll get rain"
I don't buy that logic. MK characters would sell just as well as any guest ones and would also have the added benefit of not annoying the fan base. In fact, as stated above, WB/NRS are losing money on fans like myself who choose not to buy guest characters, but would have bought MK ones.
 

Spektor

Noob
I like the guests as long as they don't overdo it. MKX had 4 and that was pushing it. Hopefully we don't get more than that this time. If they put 3 in KP2 (assuming KP2 doesn't get canceled) then 6 will be way too many.
 
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Marlow

Premium
Premium Supporter
Not to mention they take valuable slots that could be much better used by MK characters, such as Fujin, Reiko, Hsu Hao, Drahmin, Molok, Kira, Havik, Hotaru, Kobra, and so and so forth.
Other than hardcore MK fans, who even knows who those characters are? DLC characters are supposed to be about creating buzz or excitement to get people to fork over a little extra for these characters, and I just don't see casual players being too excited about that group.
 
I completely agree with this post… I would much rather have Rain, Smoke, Ermac, Syrax, Sektor, Kenshi… than arnold schwarzenegger… it just waters the game down a bit in my opinion. MK11 is making a great push in the competitive community.. yet.. we have arnold schwarzenegger in our game :confused: a little silly
 

Raidenwins

Raiden Practitioner
Other than hardcore MK fans, who even knows who those characters are? DLC characters are supposed to be about creating buzz or excitement to get people to fork over a little extra for these characters, and I just don't see casual players being too excited about that group.
At some point you have to ask yourself the questions, "What is more important to you, creating 'buzz or excitement' or maintaining the artistic integrity of the franchise by staying true to itself? Are you willing to allow MK to keep losing its soul for a little extra cash?" Let's face it, guest characters is essentially the selling out of Mortal Kombat.

Furthermore, "buzz and excitement" are artificial terms. They can be created at will with a proper marketing campaign. All the MK characters i mentioned above are good, with interesting backgrounds. If handled properly, they could create plenty of excitement. And even further, the way to expand the fan base in a lasting manner is not to sell out for a little extra cash but to keep making solid games, improving, innovating, and staying true to oneself.

This may sound harsh, but i only say it because i love MK and it hurts me to see it going in the wrong direction, just to make more money. The franchise is already hugely popular, it doesn't need to resort to these marketing shenanigans in order to be profitable. And just to be clear, imo most of the responsibility for this is on WB, not NRS. WB is in charge, they make these calls.
 
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At some point you have to ask yourself the questions, "What is more important to you, creating 'buzz or excitement' or maintaining the artistic integrity of the franchise by staying true to itself? Are you willing to allow MK to keep losing its soul for a little extra cash?" Let's face it, guest characters is essentially the selling out of Mortal Kombat.

Furthermore, "buzz and excitement" are artificial terms. They can be created at will with a proper marketing campaign. All the MK characters i mentioned above are good, with interesting backgrounds. If handled properly, they could create plenty of excitement. And even further, the way to expand the fan base in a lasting manner is not to sell out for a little extra cash but to keep making solid games, improving, innovating, and staying true to oneself.

This may sound harsh, but i only say it because i love MK and it hurts me to see it going the wrong direction, just to make more money. The franchise is already hugely popular, it doesn't need to resort to these marketing shenanigans in order to be profitable. And just to be clear, imo most of the responsibility for this is on WB, not NRS. WB is in charge, they make these calls.
This was really well put. I 100% agree -- hold on to the artistic integrity of the franchise and create buzz by adding highly anticipated MK characters such as Rain, Kenshi, Ermac, Reptile, etc. etc. Great post
 

Marlow

Premium
Premium Supporter
At some point you have to ask yourself the questions, "What is more important to you, creating 'buzz or excitement' or maintaining the artistic integrity of the franchise by staying true to itself?
These things don't need to be mutually exclusive. You can have fun interesting guest characters, and still maintain artistic integrity of the franchise. At most I'd guess we're looking at 6 guest characters, out of a total cast of 37. That's basically 16%. To me that's a perfectly acceptable amount of guests. If it gets up to 25% then I think it's gone too far.

Having guest characters like Spawn, Terminator, and Joker is simply going to sell more DLC than characters like Reiko, Hsu Hao, Drahmin, Molok, Kira, Havik, Hotaru, Kobra, and whatever other cutting room floor characters B squad characters there are. Being able to sell DLC is why WB agrees to give NRS a large budget. If you remove guest characters, then you're essentially cutting budget for future games, which means less content and support.
 

Spektor

Noob
These things don't need to be mutually exclusive. You can have fun interesting guest characters, and still maintain artistic integrity of the franchise. At most I'd guess we're looking at 6 guest characters, out of a total cast of 37. That's basically 16%. To me that's a perfectly acceptable amount of guests. If it gets up to 25% then I think it's gone too far.

Having guest characters like Spawn, Terminator, and Joker is simply going to sell more DLC than characters like Reiko, Hsu Hao, Drahmin, Molok, Kira, Havik, Hotaru, Kobra, and whatever other cutting room floor characters B squad characters there are. Being able to sell DLC is why WB agrees to give NRS a large budget. If you remove guest characters, then you're essentially cutting budget for future games, which means less content and support.
I don't want too many, but some are fine with me. It might even make more people play Shang, Nightwolf and Sindel than originally would because they are in a pack with Spawn ect. So it could be helping the lesser known characters out somewhat. I was fine with 4 in MKX but 6 might be too much for me.
 

Marlow

Premium
Premium Supporter
6 is probably on the tipping point for me too. I'm happy with less, and really don't want any more than that.

I'm usually less concerned with the actual number of guests, and more concerned with how they end up playing. I think if the guest is an interesting guest that fits in well with the MK universe and is designed creatively, it can be an awesome experience.
 
I don't buy that logic. MK characters would sell just as well as any guest ones and would also have the added benefit of not annoying the fan base. In fact, as stated above, WB/NRS are losing money on fans like myself who choose not to buy guest characters, but would have bought MK ones.
There's no "logic" to it. It's hard fact from previous sales data for both MK9 and MKX, and those aren't the only games that back the trend. Guest characters sell better than in universe in almost every occasion (and the only time they don't seems to be when the source game didn't sell well to begin with).
 

Raidenwins

Raiden Practitioner
There's no "logic" to it. It's hard fact from previous sales data for both MK9 and MKX, and those aren't the only games that back the trend. Guest characters sell better than in universe in almost every occasion (and the only time they don't seems to be when the source game didn't sell well to begin with).
Okk. So why even have a Mortal Kombat game then? Why not call it Warner Bros. The Fighting Game, if money is all that matters?! Why not do some kind of polling of who the highest selling characters are and just make a game with them. Forget MK or Injustice, just make a game with all the highest selling WB characters.

My point is, money is not all that matters. MK sells very well on its own, it sells plenty to justify making more entries in the franchise. It doesn't need to resort to guest characters to survive financially. My point is, MK can survive and thrive financially without losing its soul. In fact, i argue, in the long term, MK would be better off maintaining its integrity and not shelving good, solid, underused MK characters just to make a quick buck off of guest characters in the short term.

Plus, i doubt the accuracy of that sales data you cite. Show me the research. Show me the data proving Freddy Kruger in MK9 sold more than Kenshi, Skarlet, or Rain. Show me the data proving Leather Face in MKX sold more than Triborg, Bo Rai Cho, Tanya, or Tremor. I know one thing for a fact, I didn't buy any of the guest characters in MKX. I had myself a nice, empty area in the character select screen consisting of 4 grayed out spots. So that was 4 X [price of one DLC character] that they lost from me, because i would have spent that money on MK characters.

I remember during the days of MKX some people were saying, "Oh i don't really mind guest characters, 4 is a but much, but it's ok. If it was more than 4 that would be too many and then I would be against it." Now i see some people saying, "Oh i don't really mind guest characters, 6 is a but much, but it's ok. If it was more than 6 that would be too many and then I would be against it." What would those people say in MK12, 8 guest characters is their limit, or maybe 10?!
 
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Okk. So why even have a Mortal Kombat game then? Why not call it Warner Bros. The Fighting Game, if money is all that matters?! Why not do some kind of polling of who the highest selling characters are and just make a game with them. Forget MK or Injustice, just make a game with all the highest selling WB characters.

My point is, money is not all that matters. MK sells very well on its own, it sells plenty to justify making more entries in the franchise. It doesn't need to resort to guest characters to survive financially. My point is, MK can survive and thrive financially without losing its soul. In fact, i argue, in the long term, MK would be better off maintaining its integrity and not shelving good, solid, underused MK characters just to make a quick buck off of guest characters in the short term.

Plus, i doubt the accuracy of that sales data you cite. Show me the research. Show me the data proving Freddy Kruger in MK9 sold more than Kenshi, Skarlet, or Rain. Show me the data proving Leather Face in MKX sold more than Triborg, Bo Rai Cho, Tanya, or Tremor. I know one thing for a fact, I didn't buy any of the guest characters in MKX. I had myself a nice, empty area in the character select screen consisting of 4 grayed out spots. So that was 4 X [price of one DLC character] that they lost from me, because i would have spent that money on MK characters.

I remember during the days of MKX some people were saying, "Oh i don't really mind guest characters, 4 is a but much, but it's ok. If it was more than 4 that would be too many and then I would be against it." Now i see some people saying, "Oh i don't really mind guest characters, 6 is a but much, but it's ok. If it was more than 6 that would be too many and then I would be against it." What would those people say in MK12, 8 guest characters is their limit, or maybe 10?!
Because licensing is fucking expensive and brand recognition both works and is a nightmare. See DC vs MK, a perfect example of how NOT to do guest characters and why they can be a problem (no you can't have superman kill a guy, i don't care if that's the selling point of your game).

As for the rest seriously WHY do you think they are doing this? Because it DOESN'T make them more money? It's literally someone's job to analyze this sort of shit at any major compnay, there's a reason it's a trend