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Ed Boon implies that NetherRealm Studios' next game won't be Injustice 3 in new interview

Posted by Steven 'Dreamking23' Chavez • February 25, 2022 at 10:11 a.m. PST • Comments: 31

The next generation of fighting games is officially upon us with Street Fighter 6's recent announcement. Capcom's big reveal naturally has fans wondering what's next from other major fighting game developers, and we now have a potential disconfirmation of what NetherRealm Studios — the company behind Mortal Kombat and Injustice — is working on.

Mortal Kombat co-creator Ed Boon was just inducted into the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences' Hall of Fame for his long legacy of work in video games, and in a new interview with GameInformer talked about his journey, how it feels to receive this honor, and more. However, there's a very specific part of this interview that fans are focused on — and it's for good reason. With one of his answers, Boon seems to imply that Injustice 3 is not the next title NetherRealm Studios is currently working on.

Near the end of the interview, Boon was asked about the future for him as a game developer. With his response, the industry legend took the time to share what it feels like to be in the thick of it with game development, and the relief and satisfaction that comes after the project is all done.

"When you are in the middle of it, it can be stressful and taxing on you, but when you are done, and the product is received well, you tend to forget those days – the hard stuff," Boon told GameInformer. He goes on to say that the feeling of accomplishment is what energizes him to move onto the next title, and this new hall of fame accolade definitely makes the struggles worth it.

What comes next is what has fans really talking, though. When asked what was next for NetherRealm Studios, Boon openly admitted to ending a cycle that the community had picked up on over the years involving the company's game releases.

Since Mortal Kombat 9 in 2011 — NRS' first game — the company has alternated between Mortal Kombat and Injustice releases. Mortal Kombat 9, Injustice: Gods Among Us (2013), Mortal Kombat X (2015), Injustice 2 (2017), and Mortal Kombat 11 (2019) make up the launch timeline of the developer's fighting games, and according to Boon, that pattern has officially been broken.

"When we broke that pattern, there was a lot of speculation of what we would be doing next," Boon began. "I can tell you there was a reason for it, and when we announce our next game, it’ll make a lot more sense."

To the fans who have been paying close attention and are reading deeper into what Boon is saying here, it likely means something very telling. With Mortal Kombat 11 being the most recently released game from NRS and the pattern being broken, the implication here is that another Injustice game won't be the title that launches next.

This is a fairly large revelation as fans have been speculating that Injustice 3 is in the works since as far back as Mortal Kombat 11's content support concluding in July 2021.

So what could NetherRealm Studios be working on? What pops up first is a potential Mortal Kombat 12.

MK12 is another one of the projects fans highly suspect is in the works, and one of the bits of evidence fueling that fire came about last month when NRS's Senior Production Manager shared a desk photo that appeared to show a line of code on a PC screen reading "MK12." That being said, many feel this might have been an intentional move and some purposeful misdirection due to leak culture on the internet nowadays.

Even so, another major installment in the Mortal Kombat franchise is a strong bet considering how good of a look that would be as the company's first potentially full-on next-gen fighting game. In addition to that, this year marks the 30th anniversary of the Mortal Kombat franchise, with October 8 being its official birthday, so another big title in the series would be a nice way for fans and the developers to celebrate.

Rumors have also been floating around in recent times that NRS is currently making a Marvel fighting game, and Boon has dropped a few hints over the past year or so that have fanned those flames a bit. The longtime game maker has also gone on record in the past saying that he has had at least one conversation with Marvel about making a fighting game, and he even told GameInformer in 2019 that NetherRealm would "love to make like a Marvel fighting game or a Marvel vs. DC."

What is actually the next game currently in development at NetherRealm Studios is anybody's guess right now, however, it's looking like Injustice 3 can now be ruled out if we take Boon at his word here.

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