It is no secret that the Mortal Kombat franchise is extremely violent. In fact, Mortal Kombat is very extreme and has been the subject of discussion in the debate on violence in video games. Much has been said about the potential impact of the game when it comes to people playing violent titles, but we rarely hear about the people who make these violent games. While it seems that many developers are able to withstand this kind of violent content, at least one developer of Mortal Kombat 11 was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) after working on the game.
This developer of Mortal Kombat 11, who chose to remain anonymous, spoke with Kotaku about his experience of working on the fighting game. This individual worked in the Mortal Kombat 11 team and, as a result, had to spend many parts of the day constantly watching violent and bloody animations.
Apparently, having to face the kind of graphic violence seen in Mortal Kombat 11, this had a profoundly negative impact on the developer. “I kind of just stopped wanting to go to sleep, so I’d just keep myself awake for days at a time, to avoid sleeping,” he said.
Some of the real life research materials included YouTube videos of hanged people, photos of murder victims in the real world and videos of slaughtered animals.
This particular Mortal Kombat 11 developer decided to turn to a mental health consultant, and it was then that he was given a diagnosis of PTSD. It is not clear if this individual is still working at NetherRealm Studios, but it is implied that he left the company at some point in 2018.
This is not the first disturbing story about the development process of the game. MK11 was also accused of having extreme crunch periods, which also had a negative impact on the health of NetherRealm employees. Perhaps the crunch combined with disturbing images is what eventually led to PTSD diagnosis for this particular developer, and it will be interesting to see how NetherRealm will respond to the situation. At the moment, NetherRealm has not issued any statement on the matter.
Mortal Kombat 11 is now available for PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One.