John Tobias

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John Tobias
Born (1969-08-24) August 24, 1969 (age 44)
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Occupation Comic book artist, graphic designer, video game designer

John Tobias (born August 24, 1969 in Chicago, Illinois) is an American comic book artist, graphic designer and video game designer. Along with Ed Boon he is one of the creators of the groundbreaking Mortal Kombat fighting game series.

Tobias was an artist for The Real Ghostbusters comic book series before joining Midway Games. He worked on the original arcade version of Smash TV before finding success with Mortal Kombat.

He was credited with developing the detailed Mortal Kombat storylines and designing its classic characters, including Baraka, Cyrax, Goro, Jade, Jax, Johnny Cage, Kano, Kitana, Kung Lao, Liu Kang, Mileena, Nightwolf, Noob Saibot, Raiden, Reptile, Scorpion, Sektor, Shang Tsung, Shao Kahn, Sheeva, Sindel, Smoke, Sonya Blade, Stryker and Sub-Zero. Following its arcade debut in 1992, the Mortal Kombat media franchise became a pop culture phenomenon and merchandising bonanza, spawning a host of additional games, as well as two live-action films, toy lines, a comic book series, a live tour and two TV series, among others.

By the end of the 1990s, however, the MK series hit a low ebb. Tobias, along with other prominent Midway staff members such as Dave Michicich and Josh Tsui, left Midway in 2000 and formed Studio Gigante later that year. Tao Feng: Fist of the Lotus, published by Microsoft Game Studios, was the first game Studio Gigante created, followed by WWE WrestleMania 21. Studio Gigante ceased operations in 2005 and Tobias now works as a consultant in the games industry.

Despite being one of the original creators of the MK series, Tobias is not mentioned in commentary or descriptions in the "making of" documentaries for Deadly Alliance and Deception, but was referred to as one of "four people who made" the original Mortal Kombat. However, he can be seen in the commentaries for Mortal Kombat 3 in the collection Midway Arcade Treasures 2. In 2008, Tobias illustrated a pack-in comic with special editions of Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe.[1]

As of September 2012, Tobias is employed by the social games studio Zynga.[2]


  1. ^ Green Lantern, Joker Join MK Vs. DC Universe Line Up, Kotaku, Jul 25 2008
  2. ^ Makuch, Eddie. "Zynga hires Mortal Kombat co-creator". Retrieved 2012-09-18. 

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