NetherRealm Studios Senior UI artist Daanish Syed denounced gamers who are not happy with Mortal Kombat 11‘s ending for Jax in Tower Mode.
A number of gamers had accused NetherRealm Studios and Mortal Kombat 11 of racism after Jax’s ending depicted the character using time travel to get rid of the European slave trade. Not only was the ending called racist, but a number of fans of the franchise called out the company for completely pivoting on Jax’s character, who had originally been one of the most patriotic characters from the Earth Realm. In the ending, he has adopted a new “woke” way of thinking.
In response to Tweet from Okayplayer regarding the fan backlash, Daanish Syed stated, “Don’t call them fans please.”
Don’t call them fans please
— Daanish Syed (@_DaanishSyed) April 24, 2019
As you could imagine people weren’t very happy with the comment.
Those fans aren’t the ones that said to themselves ‘Hey Jax is black, right? Let’s make his arcade ending all about slavery, the only significant thing that a black person could possibly care about.’
— Unranked Chevron (@UnrankedChevron) April 24, 2019
Don’t call us customers either because I’m not buying your game until its priced appropriately at $9.99 or less in a few months, with all DLCs.
— AngryBaneling (@AngryBaneling) April 24, 2019
They are the true fans. Your not. pic.twitter.com/8EK0a6B3ZR
— Bradley easterlord🐰 (@Despicablecomix) April 24, 2019
No, they’re the true fans.
— Larryg (@DeHozen) April 24, 2019
I play MK games since 96, got to play every entry, having it as my favorite franchise for the majority of my life. To a MF like you say i’m not a fan? This is just ridiculous. I AM a fan just by not accepting every shitty decision guys like you bring to peoples favorite games.
— Ricardo Augusto (@ShadowRick_) April 24, 2019
However, there were a number of people who supported Daanish’s assertion that they weren’t fans.
— Tim Static™ (@Tim_Static) April 24, 2019
— ニュームーン (@GALE_NewMoon) April 24, 2019
It’s unbelievable that people are genuinely upset at this ending 😂
— Pat McGowan 🐝🏆 (@LucilleMeDaddyy) April 24, 2019
This isn’t the first time an employee of a major video game franchise has decided to attack fans after they had provided valid criticism of a game. Just last year, EA’s former Chief Creative Officer Patrick Soderlund called fans and potential customers for Battlefield V “uneducated.”
In an interview with Gamasutra, Soderland stated:
“These are people who are uneducated—they don’t understand that this is a plausible scenario, and listen: this is a game. And today gaming is gender-diverse, like it hasn’t been before. There are a lot of female people who want to play, and male players who want to play as a badass [woman].”
He would then go on to tell people not to buy the game:
“And we don’t take any flak. We stand up for the cause, because I think those people who don’t understand it, well, you have two choices: either accept it or don’t buy the game. I’m fine with either or. It’s just not ok.”
Following Soderlund’s comments EA would admit that Battlefield V did not meet their earnings expectations. In fact reports indicate that Battlefield V only sold “half the number of physical copies of its predecessor, Battlefield 1.”
Total War: Rome 2’s Community Editor Ella McConnell would echo Soderlund’s statements when a new patch titled Desert Kingdoms was released for the game.
McConnell would respond to fan criticism writing:
“Firstly, I’ll say it again: Total War games are historically authentic, not historically accurate – if having female units upsets you that much you can either mod them out or just not play. People saying they won’t buy the game because there are too many women in it is fine with us – if that’s their reason, we’d rather they didn’t anyway.”
It’s possible this comment could end up biting NetherRealm Studios just like it bit EA with Battlefield V.
And it’s not the only problem facing Mortal Kombat. Not only has the Jax ending stirred controversy, but the game also features an overt political reference to Donald Trump using the franchise’s most prominent villain, Shao Khan.
It has also been highly criticized for the way it redesigned its many female characters, and removed much of their sex appeal the franchise is known for.
What do you think of Daanish Syed’s comments? Will it affect whether you purchase Mortal Kombat 11? Let me know your thoughts!