Despite NetherRealm’s usual release pattern, it’s claimed that Mortal Kombat 12 is its next project and not Injustice 3.
For years NetherRealm has alternated releasing new Mortal Kombat and Injustice games, one after the other. With support for Mortal Kombat 11 officially over, many assumed that Injustice 3, a new entry in its DC Comics fighting game series, was now its next project.
However, it’s claimed that the studio is instead prioritising Mortal Kombat 12. Both it and Injustice 3 have already been confirmed thanks to job ads from last year, but there is no official information on either game.
According to journalist and insider Jeff Grubb, NetherRealm is focusing on another Mortal Kombat game rather than Injustice 3 because of licensing complications that could arise if/when Warner Bros. lets go of NetherRealm.
Earlier this year, it was revealed that WB Games is being broken up. Basically, some of WB’s studios will remain with the company while others will be spun off into a new company that’s being formed with the Discovery channel.
It is unknown which studios are being let go and, from the sound of it, not even NetherRealm knows what’s happening. If it were to start making Injustice 3 and then be transferred to this new company, or even sold off entirely, it would be much more difficult, perhaps impossible, for NetherRealm to use characters like Batman and Superman, as they are Warner’s property.
According to Grubb’s sources, and his own theorising, this makes Mortal Kombat 12 a safer bet for the studio and it’d also make it easier for Warner if NetherRealm wasn’t tied up with a DC 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.
‘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.’
If this is the case, then this also probably rules out the rumoured Marvel fighting game that some believe NetherRealm is working on. Although that already sounded extremely unlikely, since it would require Disney giving the Marvel rights to one of its biggest competitors and Warner agreeing to promoting its own competition.
As a result of this it sounds like the very future of the Injustice series is now uncertain. The franchise could easily continue without NetherRealm, though, as it has already spun-off into a comic series and even has an animated movie adaptation in development.
As for Mortal Kombat 12, considering how the previous game’s story played out, it’s likely to act as another reboot of the series rather than continue the story arc that began in the 2011 Mortal Kombat game.
Alternatively, it’s possible that the next game may not literally be Mortal Kombat 12 and that instead NetherRealm will use this opportunity to create a spin-off in the vein of fan favourite Shaolin Monks – a remake or sequel to which has been rumoured for years.
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