In the early '90s, the rivalry between fighting franchises Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter was nearly as important to gamers as the Mario-Sonic standoff. But with one-on-one competition at the core of the gameplay, the fighting genre quietly lost its luster in the core market as arcades declined.
The Street Fighter brand was able to make an unchallenged return to prominence last summer with the acclaimed launch of Street Fighter IV -- which Capcom calls the first "true" SF in eight years.
Now that embattled publisher Midway has been scooped up by Warner Bros. in a $33 million acquisition this year, it looks like Mortal Kombat is on its way back, too. The IP was a primary factor in Warner Bros. buy, and it's to be expected the company makes the most of its purchase. Job listings recently revealed, for example, that Warner's ready to take the franchise into the next generation at last.
Will the old brand rivalry re-ignite? Perhaps surprisingly, Capcom hopes so -- the strength and continued vitality of the fighting genre stands to benefit.