Ed Boon shared a happy snap with his Japanese counterpart at this year's Brasil Game Show [above], where the pair discussed the rejected proposal for a Street Fighter guest character in the latest installment of Mortal Kombat.
Ono recounted the situation in an interview with Eurogamer, explaining that the final verdict wasn't his decision: "There were many people at the company that felt that it wasn't a good fit for our characters.".
Although Street Fighter has crossed over with many franchises, including American comic book publisher Marvel and rival developer SNK, it has rarely dabbled in the kind of extreme violence typified by Mortal Kombat. To date, most of Mortal Kombat's guest fighters have come from R rated movie franchises, with a notable exception made with toned down finishing moves for 2008's Mortal Kombat versus DC Universe.
Ed Boon did say he wanted to get a Street Fighter character in Mortal Kombat but wasn't allowed. Was it you who denied it?
It's true that a proposal for a Street Fighter character in Mortal Kombat was rejected by Capcom. But it wasn't me personally! There were many people at the company that felt that it wasn't a good fit for our characters. I actually met Ed at the Brazil game show and spoke to him personally about it. So it's true - but I didn't make the decision!
Is it just the fact the two worlds don't mix?
That was the major concern of our licensing.
Mortal Kombat has lots of guest characters from various different universes. Is that something you might consider for Street Fighter?
We don't necessarily rule anything out. We've had our share of crossovers over the years - Marvel vs. Capcom, Tatsunoko vs. Capcom. From Ed Boon's side they had Injustice that had various universes colliding. It didn't work out this time, but Capcom is interested in doing that kind of thing. If we can get something we feel good about, we could move quite quickly to make that happen.
In 2010, former NetherRealm Studios developer Hector Sanchez called the eventual crossover between franchises "inevitable". Indeed, both series can still be readily found side by side in various action figure and merchandising lines.
The aesthetic and philosophical differences between the two series is ultimately what makes a crossover difficult, but so intriguing. The chance to see Mortal Kombat's icons reinterpreted with the visual flair of Street Fighter is an interesting one, but negotiating creative ownership and development of such a title may mean waiting for the stars to align. Capcom's Street Fighter X Tekken showed the dangers of an overcrowded market, leading Namco's counterpart title to be abandoned.
Capcom has resisted the temptation of crossover characters in its extensive mult-season run of 22 Street Fighter V downloadable characters, but iconic anti-villain Gouki appeared as a narratively integrated guest in Namco's recent breakout success Tekken 7. Ono himself notes that Capcom is open to these kinds of deals, and under the right circumstances, "we could move quite quickly to make that happen." A post-release exchange of DLC may be the most fitting way for a crossover to occur in future sequels.
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