The cadence of NetherRealm releases used to be something you could set your watch to. Ever since the franchise reboot of Mortal Kombat 9, the Chicago-based fighting game studio has been on a steady two-year cycle alternating between the Mortal Kombat series and the DC fighter Injustice. This pattern has produced three Mortal Kombat games and two Injustice titles with a presumed third Injustice title that, theoretically, would have been announced and launched within the last year. But it wasn’t.
For whatever reason, the pattern was thrown off after Mortal Kombat 11, the most recent title in the series. Rather than reveal a new Injustice, NetherRealm instead released the Aftermath story expansion to MK11. It sent the message that the studio was choosing to focus on that game rather than quickly move on to the next title.
Now, NRS has confirmed that Mortal Kombat 11 has officially wrapped up its extended development and the team is ready for the next project.
NetherRealm is now focusing on its next project and after more than two years of supporting Mortal Kombat 11, DLC for the game, including characters, has come to an end.
— Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate (@MortalKombat) July 2, 2021
With the future of WB Games, of which NetherRealms is an owned subsidiary, somewhat unclear, it probably made the decision of what the studio’s next project should be a little harder to discern. It’s not likely, but it is possible, that NRS would not even have access to the DC license by the time the next game comes around.
They also just might want to get out of this cycle. Five games since 2009 is a long time to maintain this same alternating pattern. Maybe they want to make something new, perhaps something that’s not a fighting game. Maybe those rumors about a Marvel game are actually true? If they’re ready to say they’ve wrapped development on Mortal Kombat 11 and are talking about their next project, they’re probably at least confident about whatever it is.