Mortal Kombat 11 microtransactions exist, but they'll only be applied to cosmetic items that won't be gated behind using real currency, according to producer Shaun Himmerick during a recent livestream. The game is scheduled to release later this month, and series creator Ed Boon had previously stated there would not be any loot boxes, much to the enjoyment of many Mortal Kombat fans.
The topic of microtransactions is always a sensitive one for fans of video games. While Mortal Kombat 11's fighters have taken center stage in the lead up to the game's launch, developer NetherRealm Studios has also been pretty clear that it's looking to make a game that won't rely on any tacky business models. Predatory microtransaction practices, like those that made EA's Star Wars Battlefront II infamous in the community, have soured many fans on the process as a whole, often leading to fair implementations of the business model getting shouted down as exploitative as well.
NetherRealm Studios has obviously recognized this and, in anticipation of the game's launch, has made its policies regarding Mortal Kombat 11 microtransactions very clear so that there will be no surprises come April 23. During the Kombat Kast livestream, Himmerick revealed the existence of time crystals that could be purchased with real-world money and can then be used in the store to buy things like character skins, new cosmetic gear, emotes, and easy fatalities. Himmerick was also very careful in discussing the topic, however, suggesting that none of the purchases could be leveraged for an edge in fights, and that everything the time crystals give players access to can also be earned in-game.
If that deliberate nod to the potency for toxic reactions to Mortal Kombat 11 microtransactions wasn't enough, Himmerick also revealed that the game will award players with time crystals as a normal progression element during gameplay. No matter what, players will have the option to grind for the outfits they're interested in, and time crystals will be a valuable time-saving measure for those who don't have the hours to sink into acquiring extra content.
The major question that perisists regarding Mortal Kombat 11 microtransactions, however, is what the ratio on them looks like in terms of how much time it takes to earn all of the cosmetic rewards. Not being gated is fine, but it also leaves the door open for an extremely harsh system wherein players earn time crystals at a slow rate, artificially inflating the value of time crystals as a result. Given how adamant NetherRealm Studios has been about avoiding the business practices that are the pitfalls of greedy AAA titles, it seems unlikely, but it's still a something of a fear for fans until it is explicitly confirmed to not be the case.
Source: Kombat Kast