The Death Of NRS: Celebrating 30 years of ‘Mortal Kombat’


(Courtesy of NRS Studios)

Logo for NRS Studios, creators of the ‘Mortal Kombat’ and ‘Injustice’ Franchise.

     In April 2011, ‘Mortal Kombat 9’ had come out, starting a new era for the FGC, also known as the fighting game community. After the release of this game, two years later a new game was released, which focused more on the DC Comic series known as ‘Injustice.’ 

     This series follows an alternative timeline in which the usual protagonistic hero, Superman, becomes a strict dictator of Earth, killing criminals and “punishing” them for light crimes. Batman, however, disagrees with Superman’s ways and rises against his evil ways to stop him from causing more chaos.

     The game, ‘Injustice: Gods Among Us,’ followed the same timeline as the series that it is based on. This well-respected game made the NRS scene skyrocket with the competition, having creative characters with unique moves and special abilities that overall just made the game fun to play.

     Once the game had come to a finish, ‘Mortal Kombat X’ had been released in 2015, which many people believe is the “perfect fighting game.” With high damage characters and extreme fatalities, this game is never a bore. Today, the game is still well-liked and respected in the FGC, and is still widely competed in.

     The ‘MKX’ scene brought in some big names in the competitive scene of ‘Mortal Kombat.’ One of the best-known players in the scene is Dominique “SonicFox” McLean. Sonicfox has won 5 EVO, (The Evolutionary Championship Series), tournaments for various games. They first appeared in EVO back in 2014 during the midpoint of ‘Injustice: Gods Among Us.’ 

     ‘MKX’ is one of the longest-running NRS games that still holds many different competitions in the scene.

     After the hype year of 2015 and 2016, a new demon had approached the surface in 2017 known as ‘Injustice 2.’ This game once again followed the footsteps of ‘INJ,’ ‘GAU,’ and ‘MKX’ in the scene for competition. Some of the most memorable characters brought the rise of players, such as “HoneybeeCMNDR.” 

     Tim “Honeybee” Commandeur is one of the most respected ‘Flash’ players in all of ‘INJ2.’ He placed top 8 in many different tournaments and received the title of “The Flash God-Lord” for some of his amazing plays with the character throughout the game’s peak.

     Netherrealm’s most recent add-on to the FGC, ‘Mortal Kombat 11,’ was released on April 19, 2019. This game had a huge controversy when it came to the competitive scene, as some of the characters were really good when it came to the competition, and the nerfs and buffs were given to the cast immediately within the first month.

     The co-creator of the game, Ed Boon, said that this game was planned to be their most supported game yet, meaning they planned to flood it with content. 

     This game received many different skin packs, DLC, and a huge story expansion that included characters that haven’t been seen in a ‘Mortal Kombat’ game for over 10 years! The game was extremely praised the first year of its release. However, hoping into the second year the game became very disappointing. 

     After the release of ‘Kombat Pack 2,’ a DLC add-on that included 3 characters, Mileena, Rain, and Rambo (As a guest character), the game started to die off. The company went dormant, no updates, no word on if the game was finished, no new skin packs, completely silent.

     The FGC was extremely disappointed, as the game was updated for around a year or so, and didn’t live up to what was shared with the community. NRS is known to release a game every two years, and ‘MK11’ was released in April 2019. Coming up on the third year of the lifespan of the game and we are yet to have any information on what is next to come for Netherrealm Studios.

     Over the last two years, many game events such as the Game Awards had occurred in which fans had highly hoped for a new game from NRS to be announced. However, once again, nothing.

     On July 2, 2021, ‘MK11’s Twitter finally announced something, that NRS is officially done with MK11, and is now in the planning phase of its next project. Six months later the fanbase is yet to receive any hints, or ideas from the team about what it may be. Fans continue to speculate whether the next game could be Injustice 3, Mortal Kombat 12, or maybe something new. 

     However, 2022 marks the 30th anniversary of Mortal Kombat. Netherrealm Studios holds a special place in the hearts of many as they patiently wait for the next installment from them. Who knows what is next to come, they will just have to wait and find out!