Warner Bros. Digital Distribution and Machinima.com today announced the original digital media series “Mortal Kombat: Legacy” premiered to over five million views since its debut last Tuesday, making it one of the most watched films on YouTube over the past week. The next highly anticipated episode is now available to view at http://www.youtube.com/show/mortalkombatlegacy . Directed by Kevin Tancharoen (“Fame”), and starring Michael Jai White (“The Dark Knight”) as Major Jackson ‘Jax’ Briggs, Jeri Ryan (“Star Trek: Voyager”) as Sonya Blade and Darren Shahlavi (“300”) as Kano, this series produced by Warner Premiere takes gamers deep into the history of the warriors they know and revere.
The first of nine action-packed episodes of “Mortal Kombat: Legacy” entitled “Jax, Sonya and Kano Part 1” debuted on April 12 exclusively on Machinima’s YouTube channel, the dominant entertainment network for videogamers on YouTube (www.youtube.com/machinima). Episodes will be released weekly and feature popular characters from the franchise, including Scorpion and Sub Zero, and culminate in an event featuring Cyrax and Sector to cap off the series.
“Kevin Tancharoen delivered an amazing production that millions of fans around the world are enjoying,” said Thomas Gewecke, President of Warner Bros. Digital Distribution. “We couldn’t be more pleased with the reception it’s received. This is truly a testament to the quality of the series and the ongoing popularity of the Mortal Kombat characters and franchise.”
Machinima has grown rapidly to be among the top entertainment channels on YouTube, serving over 2.3 billion video views in 2010. Its core audience of males 18-34, heavily influenced by gaming and gaming culture, represent a new aesthetic and cultural shift in mainstream entertainment consumption. The network’s scale and ability to engage this hard to reach and influential audience segment create a compelling alternative to traditional online and offline distribution outlets.
“The global numbers we’re seeing on ‘Mortal Kombat: Legacy’ rival the viewership of most cable series,” said Allen DeBevoise, Chairman and CEO, Machinima, Inc. “The combination of Machinima’s strong network, Warner Bros.’ content and YouTube’s platform is part of the new era of video entertainment networks.”
“YouTube offers content owners the ability to reach the largest online video community on the planet,” said Chris Maxcy, Director of Content Partnerships at YouTube. “Machinima is among one of the most popular partners on YouTube because they understand how to engage this community. The impressive performance of the first episode of Mortal Kombat: Legacy reaching nearly two million views in a 24 hour period demonstrates the power of both Warner Bros.’ great content and Machinima’s impressive network.”
“Mortal Kombat: Legacy” is an anthology of nine live action episodes and brings to life the motivation behind each character’s participation in the Mortal Kombat tournament. Each episode will provide never-before-revealed insights into characters featured in the upcoming videogame as well as the game’s universe. Kevin Tancharoen, Aaron Helbing and Todd Helbing serve as writers.
The latest iteration of the award-winning videogame, “Mortal Kombat,” marks a triumphant return to the series’ mature presentation and a reinvention of its classic 2D fighting mechanic. Driven by an all new graphics engine, the fan favourite Fatality is back and presented in more gory detail than ever before. In addition, “Mortal Kombat” introduces a number of new game-play features including tag team and a deep story mode. “Mortal Kombat” was developed by NetherRealm Studios, led by “Mortal Kombat” creator and creative director Ed Boon.