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Mortal Kombat 1 has fought its way to nearly 3 million copies sold

WB Discovery's David Zaslav had no trouble touting the bloody success of NetherRealm's Mortal Kombat 1 in its opening months.

Justin Carter, Contributing Editor

November 8, 2023

2 Min Read
Liu Kang and Kenshi in NetherRealm's Mortal Kombat 1.
Image via NetherRealm.

NetherRealm's Mortal Kombat 1 is nearing the 3 million mark, according to Warner Bros. Discovery head David Zaslav. During the company's newest earnings call, he revealed the fighting game has sold quite well since its mid-September release for the PlayStation 5, PC, Xbox Series X|S, and Nintendo Switch.

The game, which functioned as a universal reboot for the established fighting franchise, was said to be a big driver for WB's games business for the year. It was also notably the first game from NetherRealm in the wake of the WB Discovery merger, which has left the games division unaffected by its larger media purge and gutted projects.

"Games have been a very successful and steady segment for Warner Bros. for over a decade," noted Zaslav. "[We] benefitted from the release of Mortal Kombat 1. In 2023, we've released two of the industry's top 10 console games."

The second game would be Hogwarts Legacywhich he called "the number one game this year." Developed by Avalanche Software, the action RPG has seen "more than 700 million hours to date" in terms of playtime, and will release on the Nintendo Switch in the coming weeks. 

Speaking to Hogwarts, Zaslav said its success throughout 2023 "helps build and revitalize the entire Harry Potter franchise." Earlier this year, he revealed JK Rowling's child fantasy books would be revitalized with an HBO series. 

Looking forward, Zaslav said WB's games division will place a greater emphasis on live-service titles, along with multiplatform releases and free-to-play extensions. "Ultimately we want to drive engagement and monetization of longer cycles and at higher levels," he said.

"We are currently under scale and see significant opportunity to generate greater post purchase revenue," Zaslav continued. "We're clearly punching above our weight and we're just getting started."

In the immediate future, two of WB's live-service titles will be the free-to-play game MultiVersus and Rocksteady's Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League. The former, from developer Player First Games, saw consistent popularity due to an extended beta period and went offline in June ahead of a full release in 2024.

Meanwhile, Suicide Squad was originally scheduled to release this past May before being delayed to February 2024. The co-op title starring a roster of DC Comics villains has suffered from tepid reactions as the larger live-service shine has faded throughout 2023. 

At time of writing, it's unclear what Zaslav's declaration means for Monolith Productions' Wonder Woman game currently in production. LIkewise, he made no mention of video games that are intended to be a part of filmmaker James Gunn's larger DC Films universe.

About the Author(s)

Justin Carter

Contributing Editor, GameDeveloper.com

A Kansas City, MO native, Justin Carter has written for numerous sites including IGN, Polygon, and SyFy Wire. In addition to Game Developer, his writing can be found at io9 over on Gizmodo. Don't ask him about how much gum he's had, because the answer will be more than he's willing to admit.

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