23 Aug 2021 11:55 AM +00:00

Mortal Kombat 12: Release Date, Leaks & Everything We Know So Far

NetherRealm Studios announced back in July 2021 that they were ending support for Mortal Kombat 11, citing they were "now focusing on its next project". Many believed that this next project could be Injustice 3, with the studio traditionally flipping between their famous fighting game and the studios DC Universe themed fighter.

There had even been rumours of a possible Marvel fighting game too, but recent leaks have suggested that actually, the next entry in the Mortal Kombat series could be the most likely scenario.

If you're keen to know everything about Mortal Kombat 12, then read on.

Mortal Kombat 11 Lord Liu Kang smirking at Kung Lao
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Lord Liu Kang knows what's coming...
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Mortal Kombat 12 Leaks


21 August 2021 -

Many suspected that Injustice 3 was in early development and primed for NetherRealms next release, but according to influential in-the-know journalist Jeff Grubb, that might not be the case (thanks VGC).

Speaking on a new Giant Bomb video, it's implied that the ongoing uncertainty surrounding Warner Brothers Games has led to NetherRealm changing projects.

“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… 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,” Grubb said speaking on the Giant Bomb.

“At the same time, you don’t have to use any of these Batman or Superman characters that might be tied up in licensing if you try to get rid of NetherRealm or sell it to whoever.”

18 June 2020 -

NetherRealm Studio's latest job ad states that the studio is seeking a Principal Software Engineer "to drive the next generation console graphics vision for the Mortal Kombat and Injustice franchises."

Injustice 2
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NetherRealm may have ditched Injustice 3 for Mortal Kombat 12

Mortal Kombat 12 Release Date


It's hard to make any firm suggestions for when Mortal Kombat 12 could release, as it's difficult to know if production for Injustice 3 was initially the priority for NetherRealm over the past few years.

One would suspect that if NetherRealm was working on Mortal Kombat 12, the best-case scenario is that it might release in the second half of 2022, but more likely, we suspect it will launch in early 2023.

Traditionally NetherRealm has released a new game every two years, which you can see from the below list:

  • 2013 - Injustice Gods Among Us
  • 2015 - Mortal Kombat X
  • 2017 - Injustice 2
  • 2019 - Mortal Kombat 11
  • 2020 - Mortal Kombat 11 Aftermath (Expansion)

However, a possible change in direction coupled with the obvious issues for studios brought about by the global COVID pandemic could mean we're waiting that little bit longer for the next NetherRealm release.

Mortal Kombat 11 Aftermath screenshot showing Lord Liu Kang and Kung Lao
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Mortal Kombat 12 Story


We'll try to go more in-depth on the game's full story in another page as it deserves more attention and analysis than a small paragraph. But it seems safe to assume that Mortal Kombat 12 will continue on from the end of the Mortal Kombat 11 Aftermath DLC.

In this story expansion to Mortal Kombat 11, there are actually two endings, depending on if you choose to fight Kronika as Liu Kang or Shang Tsung.

If you choose Shang Tsung, you'll get 'the bad' ending, but if you choose Liu Kang, you get the 'good ending' which is widely regarded to be canon. You can see this just below:

In this ending we see Liu Kang, now 'Lord Liu Kang, God of Thunder & Fire' use the hourglass to create a new history before fading to black. We next see what many believe is the Wu Shi Academy, where Mortal Kombat characters like Kung Lao and Liu Kang were once trained to become Shaolin Monks.


He greets a youthful Kung Lao who Lord Liu Kang has chosen as his new champion. He next explains that they must begin his "training". When Kung Lao asks what he needs to be trained for, Liu Kang does not speak, offering only a smirk as we cut to the credits.

It would suggest that Mortal Kombat 12 is likely the start of a whole new era, potentially decades before most of the previous MK games so far.

Mortal Kombat 12 Characters

Again, we won't do a full deep dive as, like the story, it requires a bit more attention and explanation, especially when it comes to suggesting which characters won't be included.

For now, it seems a safe bet that we can at least expect to see Lord Liu Kang, God of Thunder & Fire as well as this young untrained Kung Lao.