In an interview with GameRevolution published on January 19th, 2019, producer Trevor Traub talked about the upcoming release of Mortal Kombat 11 on home consoles and PC, as well as finally giving gamers some details on what to expect from the Nintendo Switch version of the game.
Traub revealed that there is no lead SKU for the game, so the porthouse Shiver Entertainment isn’t necessarily a porthouse since they aren’t porting the game from another system. Instead, they’re co-developing the game in alignment with NetherRealm Studios to ensure that Mortal Kombat 11 runs as well as it does on Nintendo’s hybrid hardware.
However, given the fact that the specs on the Switch are not the same as the Xbox One or PS4, especially in handheld mode, the developers did have to make some sacrifices in order to maintain peak performance on the little Switch that could. Traub explained…
“I actually really like the Switch build. I like the Joy-Con controller more than I thought. We’re trying to reach as many people as we possibly can. So we’re going to take that opportunity. […]
“There are special geometry reductions that happen to make it work on the Switch. The end product is actually really fantastic. We’re actually not developing it in house; it’s being developed by Shiver Studios. They’re developing it at the same time as us so it’s sort of a co-development. There is no lead SKU.”
So what do you, as a gaming community, make of this?
Obviously sacrifices have to be made given the technological ceiling of the Switch, but it sounds like Shiver Entertainment is could be on the right path. They don’t mention anything about having to cull lighting, downgrade shaders, or pull out a lot of the special effects. Traub only mentions having to reduce the geometry, which makes sense. Fewer triangles wearing down the GPU means better frame-rate in overhead performance.
My only reservation is that Shiver Entertainment is a relatively new studio. It was apparently founded back in 2012 and is made up of a lot of veterans who have worked on projects like Call of Duty, FIFA, Madden and some of Zynga’s projects. To date, it doesn’t make any mention of Shiver having shipped any of its own titles, and there doesn’t appear to be any mention of the outfit having worked with fighting games before, or the Unreal Engine 4, or any of Nintendo’s past hardware.
So as far as I’m concerned it’s a complete toss-up in terms of what to expect from the performance of Mortal Kombat 11 on the Switch. I suppose it’s one of those things where we’ll have to wait for some gameplay footage to emerge to see how it all plays out on the hybrid console ahead of its release on April 23rd, 2019.
(Thanks for the news tip zac za)