For years, video game players have changed the time and date on their hardware, whether it be PC or console, to go back in time or into the future, accessing removed content or content yet to come.
Now, Mortal Kombat 1 players are changing the date on their console to avoid paying for skins that were once available through gameplay — the latest twist in what has been a tumultuous launch for NetherRealm’s gory fighting game.
First, some context. This week Mortal Kombat 1’s already aggressive monetisation sparked yet another backlash after some skins previously available as part of Invasions mode in Season 1 were made available to buy from the in-game store for Dragon Krystals, the game’s premium currency. NetherRealm had previously said players would need to wait for a season to return if they missed its skins, but that appears now not to be the case.
Mortal Kombat 1 All Characters
In response, Mortal Kombat 1 players, perhaps inspired by time-manipulating character Geras, found success changing the date on their console to make the Season 1 skins available to unlock for free and, upon reverting their console back to the correct date, brought those skins into the present.
Twitter / X user @iScreamFGC posted to warn Mortal Kombat 1 players not to buy these skins. “All last season’s Items can be purchased by changing the date on your PlayStation 5 to any date before November 11” they posted alongside video evidence. “Load up your game, buy all of last season’s items and you can complete last season’s Mesa! When you’re done change date back to present day and you keep everything!”
DO NOT BUY THIS 🚨🚨🚨
ALL Last Seasons Items can be purchased by changing the date on your PS5 to any date BEFORE 6th November!
— iScream (@iScreamFGC) November 20, 2023
@iScreamFGC used this date change exploit on PS5, but redditor AdmirableEstimate258 reported it also works on Nintendo Switch: “I never completed a Mesa last season since I only got the game a couple days before the season ended, I tried the date glitch (October 13 is what I used) and went to Invasions, I did the first fight and it gave me every skin in the Mesa (including Order of Darkness Scorpion). Unfortunately the portals softlock you to not go any further in other Mesas so you can’t get the recolors, which means you can get the seasonal recolors for free. The image is from me putting my date to the current and all skins are still there.”
Redditor ShadowMajick also verified the exploit with a video, warning players: “Don’t buy the Season 1 skins from the Premium Store. You can literally just turn the date back on your console/PC and you can access the full seasonal store from the Spectre season anyway.”
As you’d expect, trying to travel into the future to unlock unreleased content doesn’t work. No Peacemaker or Homelander just yet, then.
The furore over these skins has as much to do with Mortal Kombat 1’s FOMO-filled monetisation as it does publisher Warner Bros.’ continued silence over concern about how it’s running the live service portion of the full-price, $70 fighting game. Publisher Warner Bros. has repeatedly failed to issue comment on the backlash, despite various flashpoints including the sale of seasonal Fatalities for real-world cash.
You’d expect NetherRealm will want to clamp down on this date switch exploit, if it wants to maintain the integrity of its monetisation plan. Perhaps a hotfix or emergency patch will be issued. But this is no new problem for the series. Mortal Kombat players did the same thing with Mortal Kombat 11 to complete towers they’d missed. It’s a tradition at this point.
There’s a lot happening in the world of Mortal Kombat 1. IGN has reported on players starting to discover hidden Brutalities, including one for popular DLC character Omni-Man. Mortal Kombat 1’s controversial Seasonal Fatality Bundle, which features unique Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Winter Fatalities, is now live.