Mortal Kombat 12 is coming this year. During its quarterly earnings call, parent company Warner Bros. Discovery confirmed the existence of the highly-anticipated fighter sequel with “ambitious launch projections.” NetherRealm Studios has remained quite secretive about this project. But in June, Andrew Bowen, voice actor for Johnny Cage in the Mortal Kombat games, tweeted a video of him at the Warner Bros. parking lot. This caused fans to assume that a new iteration was in development, though director Ed Boon later told IGN that it was for a separate project. With Warner Bros. themselves announcing the game now, it seems Boon was lying after all.
“And there’s lots more to come, including the highly-anticipated Mortal Kombat 12 and Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League — games also set to release this year, with ambitious launch projections,” Andrew Slabin, Executive VP, WBD, said in the earnings call. Creator Boon also jokingly acknowledged the silent announcement on Twitter asking people if they had heard any news about Injustice 3. Both are developed by NetherRealm Studios. While fans were expecting to see the Injustice threequel as well, games journalist Jeff Grubb shut it down in 2021, claiming that the studio was prioritising the next Mortal Kombat game. At the time, NetherRealm’s future with publisher WB Games seemed uncertain, as overall owner AT&T was looking to sell sections of its gaming business.
“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…”, Grubb said on his GiantBomb show. “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.” Since 2013, NetherRealm has alternated between releasing Injustice and Mortal Kombat. However, going for the latter made sense and was safer since director Boon essentially created those fighting characters and the franchise. Meanwhile, DC Comics and its characters are owned by Warner Bros. and it would have caused licensing issues at the time. Even more so, if NetherRealm was sold off to another publisher midway through Injustice 3’s development.
2023 promises to be an exciting year for fighting game fans, as the aforementioned Mortal Kombat 12 will go up against Street Fighter 6 and Tekken 8. In our 8/10 review of Mortal Kombat 11, we criticised its repetitive formula that follows a similar style to the Injustice games but offers a lot more control. “It stands out as the best entry in the new trilogy and presents you with a lot to explore, learn and even master.”
If things go as planned, Mortal Kombat 12 is likely to release on all major platforms — PC, PS5, and Xbox Series S/X. Moreover, expecting an old-gen PS4 and Xbox One release isn’t far-fetched, given it’s a competitive esports franchise.
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