News

Mortal Kombat 12: Rumours, leaks, release info and everything we know

Mortal Kombat 12 is coming with all the ferocity of an Outworld invasion. And if rumours are to be believed, it might be closer than you’d think.

Will there be a Mortal Kombat 12 arriving next year? Well, we have some great Mortal Kombat news for you. Yes, there will be! Mortal Kombat 12 will be the first instalment in NetherRealm Studios’ iconic fighter series since 2019’s Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath.

While a Mortal Kombat 12 release date hasn’t officially been announced, there are several reasons to believe the Mortal Kombat next game is coming sooner rather than later. Developer NetherRealm Studios has traditionally alternated between working on Mortal Kombat and Injustice titles.

mortal kombat 12
Image: Mortal Kombat / NetherRealm Studios

However, due to uncertainty regarding the future of parent company Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, it appears Mortal Kombets 12 is being prioritised over Injustice 3. On a side note, you may be wondering when is Injustice 3 coming out exactly? At present, there’s no exact release date for this game, either. However, it will likely be in 2023, according to a number of sources.

The MK 11 release date was April 23, 2019, and that last instalment in the series was a commercial success, selling over 12 million copies worldwide. It would be silly not to try and take advantage of that momentum with a MK 12 release, giving fans another taste of what they love as soon as possible. On top of this, there is a somewhat nostalgic reason to prioritise the development of Mortal Kombat 12 – 2022 will mark the 30th anniversary of the series.

mk 12 leaks
Image: Mortal Kombat 11 / NetherRealm Studios

The 30th anniversary of Earth vs. Outworld

For nearly 30 years, Liu Kang has led the forces of man against the monstrous forces of Outworld, generally feet first. For just as long, Sub Zero and Scorpion have fought to the death, inevitably punctuated by guttural calls of “get over here!”

And for almost three decades, the four-armed prince of punching power, Goro, has fascinated and disturbed audiences in equal measure.

That’s right; Mortal Kombat 12 will celebrate over 30 years of controversially bloody, gloriously nasty gameplay. If the studio can get themselves into gear, that is (otherwise, they might be celebrating 31 years, which doesn’t have quite the same ring to it).

Mortal Kombat 12 in 2022?

As much as fans would like the release of Mortal Kombat 12 to coincide with the 30th anniversary of the series, it’s probably more likely to be unveiled for it.

Fans were reportedly disappointed to not receive any franchise news from series creator Ed Boon at this year’s D.I.C.E. Awards. However, in a subsequent interview with Game Informer, Boon stated the following:

I can say that for ten years, we were releasing Mortal Kombat and Injustice, Mortal Kombat and Injustice. When we broke that pattern, there was a lot of speculation of what we would be doing next. I can tell you there was a reason for it, and when we announce our next game, it’ll make a lot more sense. At this point, I’ll get in a lot of trouble if I say anything more.

Essentially, this means that NetherRealm is breaking their cycle either by releasing Mortal Kombat 12 (or something that celebrates the game’s history) or a new IP. And considering the timing, as well as the recent Mortal Kombat film, our money is on the former.

Still, a 2022 reveal with Mortal Kombat coming in 2023 is probably the most likely scenario. This position has recently been given further weight, with a leaker on Twitter suggesting we’ll hear more about the forthcoming MK12 game before the year is over.

mk 12 rumours
Image: Mortal Kombat (2021) / Warner Bros. Pictures

A fresh start or reboot

The ending of Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath left the series in an intriguing place. Without going into too much detail, the game concluded with Liu Kang beating Kronika and changing the course of history (presumably for the better).

The final cutscene ends with Liu Kang, now referred to as The God of Thunder and Fire, telling a similar but different version of Kung Lao that he needs training (presumably for a new Mortal Kombat tournament).

It appears we are in an alternate reality version of the Mortal Kombat universe, and it’s all beginning again. Perhaps NetherRealm Studios felt that the 30th anniversary was an excellent time to get back to the basics of what made the game special in the first place; without completely discounting decades of lore.

Nonetheless, a soft reboot could prove an elegant solution to the question that undoubtedly plagues the developers of Mortal Kombat 12: what’s next?

This isn’t wholly unfounded speculation either. Earlier this year, NetherRealm employee Johnathan Andersen tweeted an image of a desk containing lots of old Mortal Kombat imagery.

The tweet was quickly deleted after fans noticed an email in the photo’s background urging Andersen to “take extra care with this material“. It makes sense the creative team would be reacquainting themselves with the series’ past if they were planning to reboot it.

mortal kombat 12 leaks
Image: Leaked image by Jandy

The Mortal Kombat 12 roster

The legendary cast of characters has always been a big part of the Mortal Kombat hype train. Martial arts masters, demonic ninjas, cyborgs, gods, monsters and even Rambo have lined up side-by-side to duke it out for dominance.

At last count, there have been 77 different playable fighters across the history of the series. However, they aren’t all equal in terms of fan appreciation.

mortal kombat 12 roster
Image: Mortal Kombat 11 / NetherRealm Studios

If Mortal Kombat 12 is indeed a reboot, they might return to the classic cast of characters. However, as noted above, it appears the game will alter the appearance, personality and role of some of the Mortal Kombat 12 characters underway.

If Liu Kang is now the God of Thunder and Fire, then what is Raiden? Could we finally see Goro’s good intentions grow to match his impressively muscular exterior? We don’t know, but MK 12 is sure to shake up the classic formula. And the biggest surprise might be the Mortal Kombat 12 roster.

Mortal Kombat 12 teaser at EVO 2022?

EVO (Evolution Championship Series) events are the perfect place to announce and premier upcoming fighting games – and fans think we might finally get a glimpse of Mortal Kombat 12. EVO 2022 is scheduled to take place August 5-7 in Las Vegas, USA.

Update (May 19, 2022): Unfortunately, it appears that we might not be getting a big Mortal Kombat 12 update during EVO 2022. In a Twitter exchange, between Mortal Kombat creative director Ed Boon and a fan, it was revealed that fans shouldn’t expect any big Mortal Kombat 12 news soon.

It’s entirely possible that Ed Boon might just be being coy; but it’s probably best to not expect too much in the near future. That said, if there is a MK12 update at EVO 2022 we’ll be sure to post about it on this page.

Reiko? Who?

According to Mortal Kombat leaker rOOr, General Reiko will be in Mortal Kombat 12. Which begs the question, ‘who the hell is Reiko?’

Reiko first appeared in Mortal Kombat 4 as one of Shao Khan’s generals. He has traditionally been a minor character, attracting negative attention by some publications as one of the MK universe’s most boring characters.

Reiko is, however, seeing a bit of a renaissance due to his appearance in the 2021 Mortal Kombat film.

reiko mortal kombat 12
Image: Mortal Kombat (2021) / Warner Bros. Pictures

We’ll do our best to keep this page updated with all the latest Mortal Kombat 12 news and updates.