Like sand through the hour glass, so are the thirty years of Mortal Kombat! To celebrate the milestone year: NetherRealm Studios has shown gratitude to the fans, players, and developers with a special "Thank You" video featuring dozens of staff -- and what might be the first tease for what's coming next. Watch:

The 130 second clip features some minimally stylish 30th Anniversary design, with dozens of staffers paying homage to the occasion, whom Mortal Kombat Online would like to return thanks and acknowledgements to. Without you we wouldn't have had over a dozen fantastic games to enjoy playing and discussing for all these years!

As great as the history of the franchise has been, we're all looking forward to the future -- and after a few words from stalwart co-creator Ed Boon, we zoom into a structure to follow what appears to be grains of sand, falling until one grain is so close it appears huge -- before it explodes into a galaxy of tiny particles and fragments!

What does the teaser clip mean? It recalls the sands of time that were so important to Mortal Kombat 11 and left us with dangling questions about the future and distant past of MK's reality. Will the Fire God Liu Kang rewrite hundreds of years of history, will Shang Tsung direct the gods in a conquest of all realms, or are these just one of many conclusions that ripple outward across a multiverse of possibilities after Kronika's defeat?

Sand is the domain of Tremor, who returned in the animated alternate future of Mortal Kombat Legends: Snow Blind, and Ed Boon described as "very very likely" to appear in the coming sequel. The Special Forces elemental powerhouse went to a "dream realm" in his Mortal Kombat X arcade ending, but could he have a major role to play in the next stage of kombat? It also recalls the life-like automaton Geras, who served the general theme of Time Keeper Kronika throughout MK11.

Series co-creator kicked off a fresh whirlwind of speculation when he broadcast a mysterious playlist to Twitter. Could this be the beginning of decoding a deeper meaning?

[Related Article: Ed Boon Technically Confirms Upcoming Game & More in Q&A]

We again thank the NetherRealm Studios staff in order of appearance in the Gratitude video: Kingston Lorenzo (Artist), John Vogel (Senior Artist, Cinematics), Jeremiah Waldron (Advanced Software Engineer), Brian Lebaron (Senior Designer), Dan Forden (Audio Director), Fuzzy Gerdes (Senior Producer), Derek Kirtzic (Lead Designer, Systems), Gage O'Connor (Software Engineer), Rich Carle (Director of Audio), Anthony Zeffiro (Senior Advanced Animator), Taro Omiya (Software Engineer), John Martinez (Senior Animator), Andrew Senesac (Advaned Animator, Facial), Jennifer Hedrick (Senior Character Artist), Mizra Baig (Lead Software Engineer), Dominic Gianciolo (Story/VO Director), Tyler Lansdown (Community Manager), Mike Taran (Lead Artist), Hannah Evers (Producer), Jonathan Andersen (Senior Production Manager, Designer), Steve Beran (Director of Art), Jay Biondo (SR Advanced Software Engineer), Dan Roth (Producer), Cole Krivoski (Producer), Kato Moritz (Associate Producer), Joe Berger (Art Director), Antonio Cendejas (Artist, Technical), Tony Goskie (Senior Artist), Josh Slingerland (Principal Artist), Mick Cielesz (Senior Designer, Systems), Ed Fedemeyer (Senior Software Engineer), Ryan Torrey (Senior Animator), Alex Bittner (Senior Animator), Joe Flores (Production Manager), The Environment Team, Quality Assurance Team, User Interface Team, Koretech Team, and series co-creator Ed Boon!

Join us in echoing thanks back to the developer in the comments below and share your thoughts about the details of the sandy teaser. Delve deeper into speculation and wishlists by heading into the Future Mortal Kombat forum!