NetherRealm Studios' work on both the Mortal Kombat and Injustice games is nothing short of amazing. Because of the studio's efforts, both franchises have been part of the Evolution Championship Series, which is a testament to how well-made their games have been.
With that said, NetherRealm Studios was expected to work on Injustice 3 next, after announcing that it had already finished working on Mortal Kombat 11.
Unfortunately, it appears that this isn't the case.
Why is NetherRealm working on Mortal Kombat 12 first?
Since the 2010s, NetherRealm has alternated its work on the Mortal Kombat and Injustice games. However, according to journalist and industry insider, Jeff Grubb, NetherRealm's next project is Mortal Kombat 12. He claims that working on Mortal Kombat 2 makes "the most sense" because it is the kind of game that makes them money and sells well, citing Mortal Kombat 11 as an example.
Grubb explains that another reason why NetherRealm is working on Mortal Kombat 12 over Injustice 3 is due to the WarnerMedia and Discovery, Inc. merger earlier this year.
According to several reports, the merged company will split up Warner Bros Games sometime in the future. This will result in some studios remaining with AT&T while others will go to the new company. However, none of the reports specified which studios were leaving. This suggests that NetherRealm is erring on the side of caution if what Grubb is saying is true.
On the off-chance that NetherRealm was working on Injustice 3 and lost the license to Batman and others, it would mean that they'd have to scrap development on the game midway.
While NetherRealm's decision to pivot their resources towards a safer project does make sense, it doesn't line up with the earlier reports that NetherRealm's next project is a Marvel fighting game.
Maybe NetherRealm wasn't really working on a Marvel fighting game in the first place. Or, maybe, Mortal Kombat 12 will come after it's finished working on the Marvel fighting game.
At this point, all we have to go on is speculation, guesswork, and rumors. Until we hear more from NetherRealm or Warner Bros Games, it's best to assume that Injustice 3 is in the works. If it isn't, then it's a huge shame because the Injustice animated universe has just begun.