When Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter II was fighting for supremacy in the arcade scene, Nintendo, Rare, and Midway collaborated to bring about an arcade masterpiece called Killer Instinct. The game went on to become a cult icon that has always been revered even years after Killer Instinct Gold was released for Nintendo 64. To see the game in action on an arcade machine:
What took Microsoft so long to release a Killer Instinct? Licensing problems. You see, Killer Instinct was never really owned by Rare by itelf. Ever wonder why it was never released for Genesis, but all related Nintendo hardware such as Super Nintendo, GameBoy, and Nintendo 64? It’s because Nintendo and Rare signed an exclusivity agreement that extended across all Nintendo consoles. On top of that, Nintendo owned Rare Ltd.
The other obstacle is that Midway was on the brink of falling off the face of the earth, that fate came true in 2009, when Midway went into bankrupty. Warner Bros. eventually bought out Midway, turned it into Netherrealms Studios. All obstacles were removed after Microsoft purchased Rare Ltd. from Nintendo. Thereafter, Microsoft pushed Rare to create Kinect-focused sports games to compete against Nintendo’s WiiFit-type games. Developers spoke out against Microsoft saying that Microsoft put a creativity block on Rare – they brought it up to Microsoft but they shunned it.
After months of teasing, whispers, and little hints – such as a trademark filing for “Killer Instinct,” Microsoft revealed Killer Instinct for Xbox One…
I expected it, but I didn’t think Microsoft would announce it, reveal it, and the game looks just as edgy as it did in the arcades… Cooooommmboooooo breaker!