Many gamers in Indonesia and around the world grew up with the Mortal Kombat series ever since the good old days of the Super Nintendo and Sega’s Mega Drive, but the game’s publisher has just pulled a fatality on local gamers’ hopes with the bombshell that the latest entry in the series, Mortal Kombat 11, will not be released in Indonesia.
In a tweet to WBGames, an Indonesian user asked why the game — slated for an April 23 global release — was not available on the PlayStation Store. WBGames replied with this:
Mortal Kombat 11 will not be released in the Indonesian market to ensure that we are compliant with local laws within that country. Our decision may be further reviewed at a later date. We appreciate your understanding.
— WBGames Support (@WBGamesSupport) April 17, 2019
It’s not clear what “local laws” WBGames was referring to nor whether this was an act of self-censorship by the publisher or if they were made to pull the game off the shelves by Indonesian authorities.
In a corresponding tweet, WBGames says that those in Indonesia who have pre-ordered the game will be entitled to a refund.
Graphic improvement aside, judging from the trailer below, Mortal Kombat 11 doesn’t seem to be more or less ultra-violent than the previous games in the series. No Mortal Kombat games had ever been banned in Indonesia previously.
That’s not to say Indonesia has never toyed with the idea of gaming censorship. In March, the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI), the highest Islamic clerical body in the country, said it was considering issuing a fatwa (religious edict) prohibiting Muslims from playing violent games like PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) in light of the New Zealand mosque shootings. No such fatwa has been issued since.