It didn't come when we wanted it or how we expected it, but it came; Mortal Kombat 12 is coming in 2023.
Last October marked 30 years of Mortal Kombat, one of gaming's most prolific fighting game franchises. NetherRealm Studios held monthlong festivities celebrating the occasion. Fans hoped a Mortal Kombat 12 announcement, or even better, teaser trailer, would be part of those festivities. After all, by that point, Mortal Kombat 11's content cycle had been over for nearly a year and a half.
— Mortal Kombat 30 (@MortalKombat) October 7, 2022
NetherRealm did reveal the development of a new Mortal Kombat game, but it wasn't Mortal Kombat 12. Instead, it was Mortal Kombat: Onslaught, an upcoming mobile game with Hero Battler/Idle RPG mechanics. It's currently in soft Early Access in the Philippines. As someone currently in that Early Access, I can say it has potential. But it wasn't the new Mortal Kombat game we're really itching at the bits to get our hands on.
Well, fans can rest easy now, as we've finally received confirmation that Mortal Kombat 12's release date is sometime in 2023.
During a recent Warner Bros. earning call, CEO and President David Zaslav announced that they had some ambitious projections for a few titles coming out this year, including Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League and, dun dun dun, Mortal Kombat 12.
You would expect an announcement of this magnitude to have more fanfare. But confirmation is confirmation.
A Heavy-Fisted 2023
It's a slight surprise that we're getting a Mortal Kombat 12 before Injustice 3. Mortal Kombat 11 will have its 4th anniversary this year, but Injustice 2 is turning 6. But then again, Mortal Kombat is the more popular franchise. And with Tekken 8 and Street Fighter 6 releasing this year, NetherRealm can't really afford to waste time establishing themselves in the ninth generation of consoles. They need to come out of the gates swinging, pun intended.
NetherRealm has a lot to prove with Mortal Kombat 12. The story of Mortal Kombat 11 left a lot to be desired, to say the least. With the canonical ending setting up an entire timeline reset, that does give NetherRealm the freedom to take Mortal Kombat 12's story virtually in any direction they want.
As for the fighting mechanics of Mortal Kombat 11, many fans, myself included, found MK11 to be a step backward from MKX, not forward. I prefer MKX's variation system and find MKX's combo system more fluid and enjoyable than MK11. Dare I say that MK11 is perhaps too streamlined in an attempt to appeal to a wider audience? As far as I can remember, MKX's audience was plenty big already.
We'll have to wait and see what NetherRealm does. You can be sure we'll stay on top of any and all Mortal Kombat 12 updates.