NetherRealm Studios are hard at work on their next big video game and an office photo shared by one of the developers has sparked widespread speculation that a rumored Mortal Kombat sequel could be on the horizon. Read on for more about the supposed leak:

Video game sites across the web have seized upon a photo, originally shared by NRS Senior Production Manager Jonathan Andersen, which shows printed out design art from Mortal Kombat and Mortal Kombat II arcade cabinets strewn across a workspace, along with Injustice 2 character designs for Wonder Woman and Brainiac.

Although ripe for speculation, it is the computer monitor partially visible on the right that has sparked most interest. Closer inspection appears to reveal the remnants of a remote design meeting, with references to "MK12" and related topics visible in filenames. Take a closer look below:

The image, reportedly deleted from Twitter around ten minutes later, also appears to include a portion of an internal e-mail noting the sensitivity of video material attached, which should not be shared for public consumption. Visible partial file names include: "Kameo_Ver...", "K1 Talismans v2.docx", "MK12 Mast...", "AllyDev Intentions...", "K1 Plannin...", "dinosaur...", "K1 Reptile...".

The obvious irony of the situation has led many to speculate that the alleged leak may actually be staged, or part of an elaborate practical joke. In December, Andersen's social media activity inadvertently led to fans expecting an announcement during The Game Awards. There was no NetherRealm presence at the show.

Rumors of a twelfth Mortal Kombat solidifed in August when Giant Bomb reported NetherRealm would forego an expected Injustice sequel in favor of more MK. Both "Injustice: Gods Will Fall" and "Mortal Kombat XII" appeared in a subsequent data breach of the GeForce Now service, along with a second MK listing. Content development for Mortal Kombat 11 officially ceased in July.

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Sequel speculation has taken over fandom, but the inclusion of arcade era images in the photograph lingers as Mortal Kombat approaches its 30th anniversary, and nostalgic fans clamor for a modern release of retro klassics. Questions remain over the 2020 European ratings listing for "Mortal Kombat Kollection Online".

Answers will come in time, but for now fans can only imagine what might be next. Share your speculation about the alleged "leak" in the comments below and craft your ultimate wishlist in the Future MK forum!