Mortal Kombat gets secret balancing updates

By Jeff Mattas, Apr 20, 2011 5:30pm PDT

Say goodbye to infinite combos! NetherRealm has revealed that they've incorporated a clever piece of new tech in Mortal Kombat that allows them to make behind-the-scenes adjustments to game-balance without requiring folks to download annoying patches.

Mortal Kombat series creator Ed Boon remained secretive about the exact nature of how the technology worked when he revealed its existence to Eurogamer, but did refer to it as a "mini-update."

"We've seen other fighting games, including our own, have characters we wish were more balanced, more powerful or weaker," explained Boon. "So we devised a system that lets us modify the rules of the game, dynamically."

While not confirmed by Boon, these covert updates sound very similar to the tactics employed by other titles, namely to circumvent the arduous console certification process. Super Meat Boy's 'Teh Internets' gave owners of XBLA version of the game free levels, and Monday Night Combat has also been receiving invisible balance updates in a similar way.

Even if the idea is not entirely new, it's true that the length of the certification process for official patches makes it tough for developers to deliver timely game-balancing updates. Given that exploits and balancing issues are both cancerous to the fighting genre, Boon's promise to "monitor what things players may have an issue with and then correct them as needed," sounds like a great way to keep the fighting fair - at least until you rip out the other guy's spine.

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