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:
"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:
This is sand from the Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park in Utah:
Geology.com 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:
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.