Rarely a moment goes by when Mortal Kombat fans aren't baying for fresh meat, and NetherRealm Studios Chief Creative Officer Ed Boon has thrown himself to the wolves for two intensive Q&A sessions with fans. Read on for details & the latest speculation:
The last half decade has seen a more reserved Ed Boon navigate fervent fandom eager to extrapolate every imagined possibility from his words. The micro-blogging maven cautiously sifted through an onslaught of hundreds of replies received in minutes, mostly side-stepping direct questions about a Mortal Kombat 11 sequel, and specific related details.
"We aren't ready to announce our next game" was the consistent mantra, reissued in different ways to answer questions about what the next game will be, what it will contain, when it will be released, and when we'll know more about it.
When asking broadly how development is coming along, one lucky fan managed to coax an intriguing answer from the creative lead: "Good, but we’ve got more than one pot on the stove." Exactly what that means is open to interpretation, with speculation heavily focused on the potential for multiple upcoming releases.
To date NetherRealm Studios has maintained a consistent cycle of development for both the Mortal Kombat and the DC Injustice franchises, with some overlap, and separate mobile game experiences for both. These remain prime suspects for many, with a mysterious PEGI rating for Mortal Kombat Kollection Online still unaccounted for.
A breach of the GeForce Now service revealed place holders for Injustice: Gods Will Fall and Mortal Kombat XII, with a photograph of a Senior Production Manager's desk further fuelling speculation of prospective dual sequels, at the start of the year. MK11 support officially ended July last year, six months after a return to motion capture with no significant subsequent releases.
Giant Bomb reported insider rumors that Mortal Kombat would take precedence amidst uncertainty fuelled by the corporate merging of WarnerDiscovery. In Las Vegas to accept his induction into the AIAS Hall of Fame, Ed Boon cryptically told GameInformer the next project would make sense.
[Related Article: AIAS Announces Ed Boon as Next Hall of Fame Inductee]
Boon recently polled fans on their interest in MK and Injustice sequels, as well as a much talked about Marvel/DC fantasy crossover game. A similar previous poll generated interest in a remake of the 2005 Shaolin Monks adventure game spin-off. Asked about this, and emulation for Mortal Kombat 4, he noted the difficulties of juggling a new major project with the MK and Injustice franchises, despite having discussed it.
You KNOW we’ve talked about this. But its hard to fit in a big project like that and continuing to make our MK and Injustice games. Some day.— Ed Boon (@noobde) September 24, 2022
Polite reprieve was offered to Smoke and Tremor as die hard fans probed for news about their favourite characters. On the subject of the much-discussed MK Special Forces character, who made his way into Mortal Kombat X DLC and will be seen in the animated MK Legends: Snow Blind, Boon noted, "I’d be surprised if you never saw Tremor appear in one of our future games. But I can’t promise he will be in our next game."
Also uncertain is the inclusion of cross-progression and crossplay for future games, although it's on the table according to the CCO: "We are definitely exploring all that. Can’t promise anything at this point, though." It remains to be seen if multiple games could lead to other compatibility innovations for the genre, as well.
[Related Article: Editorial: The MKvsDC Crossover Nobody Sees Coming]
Although celebrations of next month's 30th Anniversary of the series have largely been left to Boon (and Tobias), the series co-creator did assuage any conspiratory concerns about MK's future: "MK11 was our biggest MK ever. I’d be surprised if we NEVER did another one."
So what does it all mean? Share your theories and hopes for NetherRealm Studios' next game in the comments below. Go even deeper into ideas and speculation in the MK Future forum!