Up until now, NetherRealm Studios’ release calendar was fairly predictable. Ever since the release of the Mortal Kombat reboot in 2011, the developer has moved from Mortal Kombat to Injustice and back again for about a decade. When support for Mortal Kombat 11 ended following the release of its Aftermath expansion, it felt like the announcement of a new Injustice was on the horizon. However, following a report by Giant Bomb’s Jeff Grubb, that may no longer be the case. According to him, NetherRealm may be skipping Injustice 3 to focus on pushing out a new Mortal Kombat, likely the twelfth iteration of the storied franchise.
It all goes back to AT&T’s merger with WarnerMedia and Discovery earlier in the year. There were concerns that some properties were to be sold off following the staggering $43 billion USD deal. Among those was Warner Bros Interactive Entertainment, the parent company of NetherRealm. However, in a message to TheGamer, WB representative Remi Sklar said that the developer was staying on board.
So, what does this have to do with Mortal Kombat 12? According to Grubb, NetherRealm made the decision to pivot away from Injustice for a new Mortal Kombat game, as the latter is more lucrative. The eleventh iteration sold more than 12 million copies by July of this year (cheers, Eurogamer). That’s some big money. Grubb also suggests that if NetherRealm was to be sold soon, going straight into a possible Mortal Kombat 12 could avoid any potential licensing concerns with DC.
Hang up the capes, for now
If the rumors ring true and there is no Injustice 3 on the way from NetherRealm, it’ll be a bit of a bummer. While I don’t count myself a fan of the series, I know it certainly has plenty of them. Four years ago, our sister site Destructoid reported that Injustice 2 sold 1.5 million copies within its first three months. Warner Bros has been mum on overall sales figures, however.
I’m also wondering where NetherRealm can take a new Mortal Kombat. This might lead into spoiler territory, however, so bear that in mind. In the good ending of Aftermath, we see Liu Kang ascent to Fire God and take over Kronika’s hourglass. With the ability to remake and reshape the world as he sees fit, it felt like a good enough ending to the saga. Kang could now recreate the world, meaning there would be untold potential in any future Mortal Kombat game. Well, if any. Of course, it also felt like NetherRealm was looking at another reboot of its already rebooted story. Regardless, it felt like a solid conclusion for the nearly 30-year-old franchise. We’ll have to see just what Ed Boon and company will do to shake up the world of Mortal Kombat.