NetherRealm Reveals Why Mortal Kombat 1 Was Chosen Instead of Injustice 3 (Exclusive)

NetherRealm Studios has revealed why it opted to develop Mortal Kombat 1 as its next title instead of Injustice 3. Over the course of the past decade, NetherRealm has rotated between creating new Mortal Kombat and Injustice games in a back-and-forth manner. With Mortal Kombat 11 being the studio's most recent project, it stood to reason that Injustice 3 would be next up. Instead, NetherRealm opted to buck this trend and make yet another Mortal Kombat installment with MK1. Now, we know the reason behind this decision internally at the company. 

Speaking to at a Mortal Kombat 1 preview event, NetherRealm's lead systems designer Derek Kirtzic explained that one of the big reasons why the studio wanted to make another MK game is because of how MK11 wrapped up. Following the release of the Aftermath expansion for Mortal Kombat 11, Kirtzic said that many developers at NetherRealm were excited about the idea of taking this story in a new direction. Outside of this, Kirtzic acknowledged that the studio's new game engine pushed them to create Mortal Kombat 1 instead as it felt right to develop a new MK game first when utilizing the next-gen tech available. 

"I think we really wanted to get started on the story. After MK11 and Liu Kang being established as the new god and protector of Earthrealm, it was really exciting for us to get into that story and start to explore it," Kirtzic said. "Also with us coming and building it on a new engine, we wanted to make sure that we showed something that looked absolutely gorgeous. And Mortal Kombat really is what we are the best at, right? We love making this game, and so if we're going to just make that step up to next-gen and whatnot, we want to continue the story that we had just been telling."

Although this news might be disappointing to those that wanted to see Injustice 3, it's hard to be too upset about the impending arrival of Mortal Kombat 1 given how good it looks. After having played the game for a sizable chunk of time myself, MK1 is shaping up to be one of NetherRealm's best games in a long time, which really says a lot. If you'd like to read more about what I think of MK1, you can check out our extended preview right here

Mortal Kombat 1 is poised to release later this year on September 19 across PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X, Nintendo Switch, and PC. A beta for the game will be taking place roughly one month prior to launch for those that choose to pre-order the game ahead of time.