Is NetherRealm Studios working on Mortal Kombat 12? That seems to be one of the big questions swirling around the fighting game community right now. We know that the studio has been working on a new project ever since July 2021, when the developers announced they were ending support for Mortal Kombat 11 in order to focus on “its next project”.
History would tell us that the studio’s next game would/should be Injustice 3, but in the midst of the Warner Bros Discovery merger, and the vagueries that come from licensing around DC superhero characters, that looks far less likely.
There have also been rumblings of a potential Marvel fighting game too, and given the way that Marvel Games working with studios for new IP’s in the past few years, it wouldn’t be the most outlandish idea. Personally, we think Mortal Kombat 12 is up next, and for everything you need to know about that next game in the series, read on.
14 September Update - Checked for the latest Mortal Kombat 12 news. All the most recent updates are found just below.
IGN had previously tweeted: “The developers behind Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat, Tekken and Guilty Gear are all expected to make announcements during Evo 2022.”
But it turns out that’s not actually the case, at least based on a few quote tweets from NetherRealm’s Ed Boon, who poured cold water on any MK12 announcements, suggesting instead that it was time “for Street Fighter and other great fighting games to be in the sun”.
Ah well, guess there’s always The Game Awards in a few months’ time…
Its time for Street Fighter and other great fighting games to be in the sun! Let's enjoy that! ❤️🙏
— Ed Boon (@noobde) August 2, 2022
The Evolution Championship Series (EVO) for 2022 is now a month away, starting on August 5 and lasting until August 7.
Could we finally get some big news from NetherRealm at the event. We sure hope so!
Get ready for Evo 2022, coming to Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, August 5-7.
Complete your Event Pass and purchase your Arena Tickets at https://t.co/Wpv2rC8zvT.
Have you already planned your trip?
What are you most excited to experience at Evo this year? pic.twitter.com/9lJygLzJjf
— EVO (@EVO) July 3, 2022
The actor for Johnny Cage might be hinting at something going on with Mortal Kombat in a new twitter video released earlier today.
Andrew Bowen, who portrayed Cage in Mortal Kombat X and Mortal Kombat 11, has tweeted a video of himself at the Warner Bros. Studio lot.
What’s even more intriguing is that the background music appears to be from 1988 martial arts movie Bloodsport, which directly inspired the original pitch for Mortal Kombat.
If that wasn’t a big enough clue that something fishy is going on, Bowen swiftly deleted the tweet once it caught fire. We wonder why… (you can watch the video clip below courtesy of another account who grabbed it before it was pulled.
Summer Game Fest starts later today with a confirmed start time of 11am PT / 2pm ET / 7pm BST.
Don’t forget that the third Summer Game Fest takes place on June 9, and promises to showcase “what’s next in gaming with huge new game announcements, world premieres, special guests, and much more”.
It’s also worth noting that the show’s creator Geoff Keighley has let fans know that the show will be “primarily focused” on already announced games. But this isn’t to say it won’t have some new game announcements. Plus with Warner Bros confirmed to be part of Summer Game Fest, it sure would be a good time to announce what NetherRealm is working on. Could it be a new Mortal Kombat? One can only hope.
Either way, tune it, it’ll be fun!
Mortal Kombat 12 Release Date
At the time of writing, there is no official release date for Mortal Kombat 12, since Netherealm has yet to formally announce the game. As we’ve touched on, there’s still a lot of debate as to what the studio is actually working on.
Speaking freely, we think it’s likely that we do see an MK12 reveal in 2022 (in line with the 30th Anniversary celebrations) with an eventual release scheduled for 2023.
Regardless, we know that NeatherRealm usually follows a similar pattern for their release schedules. As the table below shows, we typically see the studio release a new game every two years, and had it not been for the COVID 19 Pandemic and the ongoing Warner Brothers turmoil, they might well have released something by now.
Injustice Gods Among Us
|Mortal Kombat X
|Mortal Kombat 11
Mortal Kombat 11 Aftermath DLC
Mortal Kombat 12 Leaks
28 January 2022 – Jonathan Andersen, a NetherRealm senior production manager may have revealed a big clue that the studio’s next game could be Mortal Kombat 12.
Andersen tweeted the image below before scrubbing it 10 minutes later. Eagle-eyed fans spotted that on his monitor was a file named MK12_Mast. Those fans willing to enhance the image further will also spot part of an email that reads “our fans eagerly scrape the internet for any trace … Take extra care with this material.”
Some fans believe this might have been a deliberate leak. We certainly know how much Ed Boon loves to tease fans. NetherRealm has refused to comment on the post, so we’ll just have to wait for an announcement from the studio.
Warner Bros Discovery Merger Issues
21 August 2021 – Many fans would rightly have assumed that the next project after Mortal Kombat 11 would be a new entry in the Injustice series. As we’ve touched on before, that’s partly to do with Netherrealm’s pattern of flipping between each series. However, according to VentureBeat reporter Jeff Grubb that could be about to change.
Speaking on the Giant Bomb podcast, Grubb suggested that the ongoing uncertainty surrounding Warner Brothers Games, and the Merger with Discovery, led to NetherRealm changing projects or potentially abandoning any hope of working on an Injustice 3 project.
“It lines up with the reality and it lines up with what I’ve heard, where Mortal Kombat 12 would make the most sense because that’s a game they know will make money, it will sell well… Mortal Kombat 11 was great, it’s doing well, but if you come out with Mortal Kombat 12 it will also sell and do well,” Grubb said. “At the same time, you don’t have to use any of these Batman or Superman characters that might be tied up in licensing if you try to get rid of NetherRealm or sell it to whoever.”
Mortal Kombat 12 Story
SPOILER WARNING FOR ANYONE WHO HASN’T PLAYED MORTAL KOMBAT 11 AFTERMATH
To get a sense of what to expect in Mortal Kombat 12, fans really need to have played Mortal Kombat 11 Aftermath. The campaign DLC released for the game a year after launch. Alternatively, watch the youtube clip just below.
Those who opt to play as Shang Tsung get the ‘bad’ ending, but those who opt to side with Lord Liu Kang will earn the ‘good’ ending which sees Shang Tsung defeated. Although it’s yet to be confirmed, the ‘good ending’ is widely expected to be canon moving forward.
Following Shang Tsung’s defeat, Lord Liu Kang is then able to use Kronika’s Hourglass to create a new timeline, one which Lord Liu Kang refers to as his ‘New Era’ where hopefully his friends are not ‘lost’ as .
Following a fade to black, we next see the Wu Shi Academy where several Shaolin Monks are training as Lord Liu Kang appears before his ancestor, the Great Kung Lao.
Lord Liu Kang explains that he has chosen Kung Lao as his new champions, before explaining that he must be “prepared” and “trained”, to which a confused Kung Lao asks what for. In response, Lord Liu Kang does not answer, but does start to smirk before the credits roll.
The implication here is that the timeline has been reset and suggests that Mortal Kombat 12 could kickstart a whole new era of Mortal Kombat, potentially hundreds of years before the original Mortal Kombat arcade game took place.
Mortal Kombat 12 Characters List
At this point, it’s impossible to say for certain what characters might be included in Mortal Kombat 12. It all depends on exactly where this new story is going and what implications the ending of Mortal Kombat 11 has on the established timeline. Likewise, if this new game is genuinely set hundreds of years before the first arcade game, it might suggest a wildly different cast of characters.
That being said, when Shang Tsung mocks Lord Liu Kang for being cold blooded – given how he essentially sacrificed his friends to attain the one ending whereby he might save the overall timeline – Liu Kang replies that his friends “are not gone” and will “live again” in his new era. So who knows maybe they will return in some fashion.
For now though, the only characters we can say will be included in MK12 are Lord Liu Kang, God of Fire & Thunder as well as the Great Kung Lao. Will Raiden be in Mortal Kombat 12? It’s hard to say based on the MK11 ending which saw Liu Kang become the god of Thunder. We’ll be sure to keep this list updated as we get more info.