Until not too long ago, NetherRealm Studios had taken up a pattern of alternating between Mortal Kombat and Injustice games, though of course, as we now know, the studio’s next title will be bucking that trend, with Mortal Kombat 1 set to launch later this year, following the release of Mortal Kombat 11 in 2019. So why exactly is it that the developer decided to step away from the DC fighting series and decided to deliver another entry of its own franchise instead?
Speaking in a recent interview with IGN, when asked the quest, NetherRealm boss and game director Ed Boon said that in addition to the impact of COVID, the primary reason for that was the studio upgrading from a heavily modified version of Unreal Engine 3 to Unreal Engine 4 (that’s right, not 5), and that doing Injustice 3 first would have meant a longer gap between Mortal Kombat games than the developer was comfortable with.
“We did go to a new graphics engine,” Boon said. “We really wanted to be careful with COVID and all that stuff and everybody staying safe. So there were a bunch of variables involved that eventually made us realize, ‘Okay, let’s do another Mortal Kombat game and hopefully we’ll get back to the Injustice games.'”
However, Boon also says the door isn’t shut on a new Injustice game “at all”. Whether that means that’s what NetherRealm will work on after Mortal Kombat 1 is done remains to be seen.