Mortal Kombat 11 will feature new characters, but focuses on returning characters to make fans happy

Mortal Kombat 11 is going to have some new characters, but series co-creator Ed Boon has made it clear that the focus this time around is more on bringing back fan favorites. Here's what he had to say in a Game Informer interview.

I think Mortal Kombat X probably introduced more brand-new characters. The D’Vorahs, and Ferra & Torrs, Cassie Cage and Jackie, probably more than Mortal Kombat 11. I think Mortal Kombat 11 will introduce some new characters, but we have 80 characters or something, there’s always this passion to seeing your favorite character returning, Skarlet or Baraka. Baraka’s a big one. People were pissed when Baraka wasn’t in MKX. So I think if we had like a needle, it’d lean a little bit more towards servicing those players who want to see their favorite return.

Wandersong dev reveals how he came up with the game's main character

Wandersong isn't exactly your typical game. You play as a singing bard that only has his voice to aid him through his journey. How does one come up with such a unique idea? Wandersong creator Greg Lobanov reveals the details in a new interview.

I had the idea for the main character when I was singing in the car while careening down a highway. The larger story was loosely inspired by my experience living on my bicycle and riding across the USA in 2014 and 2015. What made it all click was when I came up with the music wheel interface though... I wanted to try turning a controller into an expressive musical instrument.

Check out the full interview here

Suda51 shares a special message for the launch of Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes

Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes is finally upon us, an none other than developer Suda51 has recorded a special video message to welcome Travis back into the world of video games. Let's hope his return is met with a warm welcome!

Thanks to Sligeach_eire for the heads up!

Gunman Clive HD Collection was mostly up-and-running on Switch in a week, has been ready to launch for 2 years now

Gunman Clive HD Collection just recently saw release on the Switch, but it's actually been ready to go for quite some time. Developer Bertil Hörberg actually had the game up-and-running on Switch in about a week's time, and had it fully ready to go within the span of a month. Turns out that all happened back between Nov. and Dec. 2016.

Wondering why Gunman Clive HD Collection didn't release all the way back then? Hörberg says that a number of factors lead to holding the game back, including Nintendo's initial decision to hold back ports that didn't include new content. Some might remember that a handful of devs were struggling to get their games on Switch at first, and this was due to Nintendo blocking their release. Nintendo didn't want the eShop flooded with ports of games lacking new content right out of the gate, but obviously Nintendo has completely removed those restrictions now.

Thanks to Sligeach_eire for the heads up!

Niantic CEO talks Pokemon GO's road to success, engagement with fans, and future plans

Niantic CEO John Hanke couldn't be happier with out Pokemon GO went in 2018. It was a great year for the game, and people were flocking back in droves. In an interview with BusinessInsider, Hanke discusses the journey the team has been on with Pokemon GO, and where it could lead in the future.

- Niantic spent the months after launch "on our heels," trying to patch the game up on the fly
- in 2017, Niantic took a step back to make new hires, and build a plan
- in 2018, the team achieved a "regular pace of updates," which will carry into 2019
- player engagement was way up in 2018 from 2017
- Niantic keeps up with the "Pokémon Go" community via Reddit
- Niantic tries not to let fan feedback drive its overall product strategy
- fan feedback is very useful in fine-tuning an idea once it's out
- when Pokémon trading and battling came out, Hanke says fans highlighted all kinds of little problems, which lead to solutions
- Nintendo and the Pokémon Company have been very pleased with both "Pokémon Go" and "Pokémon: Let's Go"
- they are looking for more "synergies" between the game and the core franchise

Yes, Masahiro Sakurai plays Smash Bros. Ultimate for fun

You'd think Sakurai would be burnt out on Smash Bros. Ultimate by now. Years in development, and continued work on DLC. Surely he doesn't even want to think about the game when he leaves work. That's not the case at all, as Sakurai reveals in his latest Famitsu feature. Check out a translated snippet from the feature below, courtesy of NintendoEverything.

I’ve been playing Smash Bros. on-and-off too. Of course, I was able to fiddle around with it here and there during development, and I still play it with the rest of the staff during our lunch breaks. That being said, I’m still able to enjoy it as it is on my own Switch back at home. I spend my days sending my spirits out to scour for resources, sending them to training Dojos, and leveling up any Legend class spirits I have. In the long run, I plan to play until I’ve collected every spirit; other games take priority, though, so I’m making my way through it all at a leisurely pace.

Don't expect DLC for Wandersong

Wandersong dev Greg Lobanov is ready to move onto new games. He's actually working on three different ideas right now. Sadly, that means the world of Wandersong is coming to an end. In an interview with LootPots, Lobanov closes the door on any potential DLC.

As far as the story goes, I feel it like it ends in a really nice place. I don’t really feel like I want to bother the characters any more or ask them anything else. I feel like they’re pretty set. If I had a really strong idea for DLC, and maybe it’ll happen down the road, maybe I’ll change my mind about it. But right now everything is good, where it should be.

Nintendo president talks eSports, Switch sales, Nintendo Labo response, continued 3DS support, China, mobile plans, and much more

Nintendo President Shuntaro Furukawa recently did an interview with Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun, which we've covered a bit already. Furukawa made statements on Smash Bros. Ultimate sales and Switch momentum in general. Now we have a full rundown of what was said in the interview, and it contains a bunch of different topics. Check out the summary below.

- Nintendo has taken elements of eSports into consideration when developing games
- this includes the perspective of the audience and competitors
- Nintendo is looking into making eSports events not about “large prize money”, but to increase its “contact points” with fans
- Nintendo forecasts future growth (for Switch) in Asia, as the market that hasn’t been particularly strong
- Nintendo has “things yet to be done” in Asia
- if possible, Furukawa wants to tackle the challenge of entering the mainland Chinese market
- Furukawa wants to bring more Nintendo smartphone apps overseas
- 3DS has turned into an affordable console for entry-level players and children
- compared to the Switch form factor, the 3DS is “light and compact”
- the Switch business is isolated from the 3DS business, and both can co-exist
- Nintendo has no plans to discontinue 3DS at this time and will continue to support it
- Furukawa sales it's “unfavorable” to compare Nintendo Labo sales to the sales of other popular first party titles
- Nintendo Labo sales during the holiday season saw a bump
- Nintendo hopes to turn Nintendo Labo into an evergreen product
- Nintendo does not have plans to connect all of their smartphone apps with games on traditional hardware
- one goal of making smartphone apps is to increase the fans of a certain IP
- monetization of smartphone apps is different from traditional console games
- Nintendo is committed to release “two to three” smartphone apps within the year
- Nintendo is closely monitoring Switch sales trends during the end of year and new year holiday season
- Furukawa does not have the exact figure on how many Switch units were sold
- this means Furukawa isn't yet sure if they'll hit the 20 million Switch units sold in the current fiscal year
- with Switch approaching its 3rd anniversary, it will be more important than ever to deliver “fresh” software to consumers
- Nintendo wants to highlight the versatility of the Switch to consumers

Alien: Blackout dev says if the game came to consoles, they'd pick Switch first

Alien: Blackout is the next video game to take us back into the Alien universe, and it's coming out on mobile devices. A lot of fans would like to see the game move over to traditional platforms, and it seems the developer has at least some interest in that as well. In an interview with DualShockers, Vice President of developer FoxNext Games, TQ Jefferson, says if the game would hit consoles, their first pick would be Switch.

“I think Switch is a good one to bring up and we’ve certainly seen many games go from mobile to console or more likely console to mobile. If I had to pick a platform to put it (Alien: Blackout) on, I’d pick Switch.”

Nintendo says the Koopalings aren't Bowser's kids, but Bowser Jr. is

Ever wonder just how Bowser. Jr. and the Koopalings are related? In an interview with Nintendo Life, Nintendo's Akira Otani is asked that very question. While the answer might not be as detailed as we would hope, at least we get some kind of info.

As far as the Mario & Luigi series goes, it really is in Paper Jam that the Koopalings became more featured. The character setting for Koopalings is that they aren’t Bowser’s children, they just work for him! That’s the same for Bowser Jr.’s Journey, but the Koopalings have to take care of Bowser Jr. because he’s the boss’ kid.