After being lambasted by the gaming community upon Mortal Kombat 11's launch earlier this April, developer NetherRealm Studios and publisher WB Interactive are walking back the game's controversial grind and rewarding players who continue to stick with the game in its next update. The proposed changes are likely to bring some players back into the fold, but it remains to be seen if other fans' trust in the franchise can be regained.
Just prior to the bloody fighter's release, early footage and opinions of microtransactions and artificial grind in Mortal Kombat 11 were already making their way around the internet, and many prospective players didn't like what they were seeing. Once they got the game themselves, many players' fears were confirmed, with one report claiming that unlocking everything in the game's Krypt mode would run players over $6,000. That claim has since been contested by series creator Ed Boon, but the fact remains that both the game and the developer are under heavy public scrutiny. That's true now more than ever, with rumors having surfaced from within NetherRealm that the studio enforces exhausting crunch policies.
Seemingly aware of this backlash, NetherRealm is rebalancing the Mortal Kombat 11's extant grind and giving out in-game rewards to players. According to WB Games, an update that went live for PS4 players today will reward them with a Community Gift of "500,000 Koins, 1,000 Souls, 1,000 Time Crystals, 500 Hearts" for their trouble. The Community Gift, coming to other platforms when the scheduled roll-out of the rebalancing update allots, are available to all PS4 Mortal Kombat 11 players who redeem the offer by "May 6, 2019, at 8 am CST/6 am PST."
As for the actual balance changes, it is the game's maligned Towers of Time that are getting the most major adjustments. Among a laundry list of much-needed fixes are increased Koin and Heart rewards and an "adjusted AI difficulty curve." If WB's official Reddit thread on the matter is anything to go on, the core Mortal Kombat seems pleased with the update. PS4 users there report that their Heart and Koin output from the Towers of Time has significantly increased, but it's not yet known if this update has eliminated Mortal Kombat 11's grind issues all on its own.
In a sickly case of irony, the low pay and excessive labor hours put into Mortal Kombat 11 in its launch state of avarice by NetherRealm developers likely had to be tested and undone by the employees in a similar state of crunch - if claims of the company's abusive crunch policies are true, that is. Either way, it almost seems that it would have been easier to simply release the game in the state that this update has brought, but the ever-hungry eye of WB Interactive could hardly ever be expected to allow something like that.