The first Mortal Kombat 12 teaser is apparently a grain of sand that explodes for some reason

Warner Bros. let slip in February that Mortal Kombat 12 is "set for release this year," and while that unexpected statement has yet to be officially confirmed, we may have just been given our first (unofficial) Mortal Kombat 12 teaser.

The big moment comes at the tail end of a "Thank You From NetherRealm" video posted today on YouTube, marking 30 years of Mortal Kombat. As the title implies, it's basically a cavalcade of developers saying "thank you" in various ways. Naturally, the gratitude-a-thon concludes with series co-creator and creative director Ed Boon, who says, "Thank you, Mortal Kombat fans, for 30 years of amazing support. And we're not quite done yet."

And then things get interesting. The video quickly transitions to what appears to be some kind of mineral, maybe salt, or perhaps sand? Sand! And the sand appears to be falling slowly down some kind of cylinder of some sort, a tube, like maybe a straw, or possibly... an hourglass! 

That's it! Sand through an hourglass! A timer! A countdown! But to what, I wonder?

But then it gets really weird, because then the video moves to focus on one individual grain of sand, zooming in super-close:

(Image credit: NetherRealm Studios)

"That's not even what sand looks like up close!" features producer Chris Livingston complained in the PC Gamer Slack channel, snapping me out of a snoozy reverie. "Sand is all pretty."

I hadn't actually thought about this before, so I did a quick Google search. Chris is correct in that sand is very pretty up close, but there are all sorts of different kinds, and at least some of them do bear a strong resemblance to the image in the NetherRealm video. This, for instance, is sand from the Western Desert of Egypt:

(Image credit: Wikimedia Commons)

This is sand from the Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park in Utah:

(Image credit: Wikimedia Commons) has a whole article on different types of sands from around the world—this, for instance, is a closeup of "ooid sand" from the Joulter Cays of the Bahamas:

(Image credit: Mark A. Wilson (Wikimedia Commons))

He's right—sand really is all pretty! Still, this actually particular bit of whatever does look pretty sand-like to me. I can't swear it's not some other mineral, but given the apparent hourglass context, sand is a pretty good bet. It doesn't matter much, though, because the presumed-sand doesn't last long—after a split-second at maximum zoom, it explodes, Death Star-style, into dust. 

I have no idea what any of it means, but GamesRadar pointed out that an hourglass (specifically, Kronika's hourglass) features prominently in most of Mortal Kombat 11's various endings, which involve messing with the timeline in various ways and open the door to (another) MK reboot. I won't lie, it makes me nostalgic for the days when I could just rip a guy's spine out and say "cool" and then get on with my day without having to put any more thought into it, but I guess we're way past that point now.

Anyway, it's not really a teaser, but yeah, it's a teaser. I imagine we'll be hearing more about the next Mortal Kombat game pretty soon.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.