John Tobias (born August 24, 1969 in Chicago, Illinois) is one of the co-creators (the other being Ed Boon) of the groundbreaking Mortal Kombat fighting game series for Chicago-based Midway. He is credited with developing the detailed storylines and designing many of the characters. Following its arcade debut in 1992, the MK franchise exploded into an overwhelming phenomenon and merchandising bonanza, spawning a host of additional games, as well as two movies, toy and apparel lines, a comic book series, and a 1996 live tour, among others.
Tobias also worked on Mortal Kombat: Annihilation as the co-screenstory.
In some point between 1999 and 2000, Tobias was planning to leave the company to branch off and try his hand at independent development (which was Studio Gigante) and with other prominent Midway staff members, he left Midway in 1999 during the production of Mortal Kombat: Special Forces. After producing two poorly-received titles, a Mortal Kombat-like fighter called Tao Feng: Fist of the Lotus and WWE: Wrestlemania 21, Studio Gigante was closed down.
As of 2012, Tobias works as a consultant in the video game industry, and is employed by the social game studio Zynga.
During the making of Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe, Tobias worked in the official comic tie-in.
Despite being one of the original creators of the Mortal Kombat series, Tobias has never been mentioned in any sort of commentary or description on how Mortal Kombat began, such as the ones found in Deadly Alliance and Deception. However, he can be seen in the commentaries for Mortal Kombat II and Mortal Kombat 3 in the Midway Arcade Treasures 2 game. The removal of his head from the Pit Bottom arena in Mortal Kombat Trilogy and subsequent dropping of Tobias references from that point forward could further indicate a legal coverage of obligation to John from Midway.
- The character named Noob Saibot is actually John Tobias and Ed Boon's last names backwards (Boon makes Noob, Tobias makes Saibot). However, ever since he has left Midway, the character has been less and less referred to as Noob Saibot and more to as just Noob, like in Mortal Kombat: Armageddon and Mortal Kombat: Deception, where the character is called Noob by the announcer (Noob-Smoke in Deception & Unchained). The rumour that was spawned by this stated that the "Saibot" name had to be removed due to legal reasons, however, this is not actually true. The most logical explanation is that "Noob" was taken directly from "Noob-Smoke". In Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks, Mortal Kombat: Armageddon's Konquest mode, and Mortal Kombat (2011), he is referred to as Noob Saibot, despite the game's HUD only ever showing "Noob" until Mortal Kombat 11 where the "Saibot" name was fully kept.
- John Tobias graduated from the American Academy of Art in Chicago, Illinois.
- http://www.trmk.org/features/interview_taofeng_john_tobias/ John Tobias' interview
- http://archive.gamespy.com/interviews/february03/tobias/ John Tobias' another interview
- John Tobias at the Internet Movie Database