NetherRealm Studios is primarily known for two franchises these days: Mortal Kombat, which needs little introduction, and Injustice, a newer property that features Superman, Batman, and other popular DC Comics superheroes.
Being that Mortal Kombat 11 was NetherRealm’s last game, Injustice 3 being its next project seemed like a no-brainer to most fighting game fans, but GamesBeat journalist Jeff Grubb has claimed otherwise.
In a new Giant Bomb video, Grubb suggests that NetherRealm might actually be set on developing yet another Mortal Kombat title, presumably Mortal Kombat 12, for obvious reasons that include the franchise’s latest milestone. As reported in late July, Mortal Kombat 11 has sold over 12 million units worldwide, cementing the title as the best-selling Mortal Kombat ever and the relevance of the franchise.
“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.
But the idea of NetherRealm going with Mortal Kombat 12 instead of Injustice 3 makes even more sense when the current state of WB Games and its parent company, WarnerMedia, is considered.
Due to WarnerMedia’s upcoming merger with Discovery to form what could be a very different entertainment company, WB Games’ future is uncertain in that it could be broken up, with various studios such as NetherRealm falling under new ownership. Something like that would obviously complicate a project like Injustice 3, which involves more intricate licensing.
“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,” Grubb explained.
The last Injustice game that NetherRealm Studios developed was Injustice 2. Released in 2017 as a direct sequel to 2013’s Injustice: Gods Among Us, it continued the story of Superman becoming a dictator after he is tricked by the Joker into killing Lois Lane.
A new development took place earlier this year, when AT&T announced it had agreed a deal to offload WB Games parent WarnerMedia, which will merge with Discovery to form a new standalone company billed as “one of the largest global streaming players”.
The transaction, which is anticipated to close in mid-2022, will see AT&T receive $43 billion and its shareholders receive stock representing 71% of the new company.
While WB Games wasn’t mentioned in May’s announcement, a spokesperson told Axios the deal will see it broken up in some form. “Some of the gaming arm will stay with AT&T and some will go with the new company,” they said.