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Rumor: NetherRealm Studios reportedly focusing on new Mortal Kombat game over Injustice due to Warner Bros. uncertainties

But is their next game going to even be one of those?

Posted by Dakota 'DarkHorse' Hills • August 21, 2021 at 3:18 p.m. PDT • Comments: 40

The next project NetherRealm Studios is currently hard at work at is still a complete mystery to the public, but ongoing questions on the business side of things may be pushing their hand in one direction.

Specifically, the Chicago-based development studio may be prioritizing a new Mortal Kombat sequel over a third Injustice title due to the uncertainties brought about by the Warner Bros. and Discovery merger.

Giant Bomb's Jeff Grubb recently stated in a video he'd been hearing these revelations from his sources even if the company isn't in immediate danger of being sold off.

"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," said Grubb. "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."

Rumors began to circulate in 2020 that AT&T was looking to sell off WB's games division, NRS included, to help reduce the corporation's debt.

That never came to pass, however, as the telecommunications giant instead formed a merger agreement with Discovery to essentially combine them together with Warner Media.

The early announcement of this deal led to further rumors and reports that documents showed some of the video game studios would not be included in the merger, leaving NetherRealm still under the AT&T umbrella or shopped around to a new home.

It continued to grow to a point where a WB Games representative had to release a statement to affirm that the makers of Mortal Kombat would remain with them through the merger.

Though they may not be for sale at this moment, the credible sources reporting the rumors suggests those talks were at least on the table, so it would make sense that NRS would still be wary of their fate in the coming months and years.

Injustice being owned by DC Comics and WB could present a licensing problem if the developers were to be spun off in the middle of production or after release, but Mortal Kombat as their own creation would still give them control over their own plans.

These uncertainties could have also very well factored into the six months of silence Mortal Kombat 11 faced before NRS suddenly announced their soon to be best selling title ever would be receiving no more development support.

This is all somewhat under the assumption that their next project in development would be either of those properties, which a good bit of evidence suggests that it's not.

Earlier this summer, an industry insider claimed that the next game to come out of NetherRealm would actually be a fighting game based on Marvel Comics, who are generally viewed as the direct competitors of DC Comics.

NRS Creative Director Ed Boon himself even stated back in May 2020 they "have other stuff in the oven," but obviously he didn't extrapolate further on what that could be.

Since they opened in 2010, NetherRealm has only really worked on Mortal Kombat and Injustice titles on rotation, so it would also make sense they'd want to try branching out to something different for a change.

At this rate, however, fans will still likely be waiting a year or perhaps even longer to learn exactly what Boon and company have up their sleeves next.

Injustice fans may want to begin bracing themselves though that their game may not be next in line like the previous release patters would suggest.

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