KI4 Getting Announced at E3 2019, Release in 2020 before EVO?

Before anyone asks, no I do not have any inside information. What I do have is particular set of skills…skills…okay seriously let’s just look at what we know to make an educated guess.

  • The final ‘real’ content patch for Killer Instinct Season 3 was on June 27th 2017, otherwise known as the Eagle patch. Between now and then (basically two years) you could reasonably argue that Microsoft has had plenty of time to properly plan out the future of the KI franchise and start production on a possible sequel. Keep in mind Double Helix built KI2013 in barely a year.

  • Killer Instinct’s 25th anniversary is in November of this year. Given the timeline between the last game and how we are due for a announcement of some kind, it’s very plausible to assume they would want to have the new game ready to show/announce sometime this year.

  • The new Xbox console for next generation code-named Scarlet is rumored to be even more powerful than the official specifications for the PS5 provided by lead architect Mark Cerny. Microsoft would definitely want a next-gen first party fighting game to add to their lineup of launch games.

  • Microsoft has taken notice to the success of other fighters like Street Fighter V, Tekken and NRS titles in the eSports scene and will want to steal some of that spotlight and put their game into the mainstream. Also I’m sure they are tired of every fighting game being played on PS4.

Things I’ve heard

  • The game runs on Unreal Engine 4
  • Iron Galaxy is not the developer
  • Will launch for free on Xbox Gamepass
  • Steam, W10, Scarlet, Nintendo Switch versions

Take everything with a grain of salt of course and I’m not trying to build of any sort of fake hype but overall I truly believe there is 91% chance a new KI is shown at E3 next month in June, especially given the fact that Sony will not be there this year, they have a lot of weight on their shoulders to deliver.


Where did you heard those things from?

I don’t want to overhype about new KI sequel getting announced at E3 this year, but I am not sure if we will finally get next KI game sooner. I’m not trying to say that KI2013 is dead. I really don’t think they would announce next KI game at E3 this year for some reason…

I hope I am wrong about this.

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It definitely would be great to have a new KI! Some points you bring up are interesting.

It’s definitely possible for a hypothetical KI to be in the works for some time now, even if it’s just the beginning rigging portions and coding of the game.

As with huge milestones like anniversaries, I think it’s totally possible for us to hear SOMETHING about KI for it’s 25th Anniversary. It’s not everyday a franchise gets resurrected to great success, so I’m being pretty hopeful that KI gets some type of news during E3 or what ever event this year.

Is Scarlet really that strong? If KI would be made on this console, do you think it would shatter expectations of graphics in a fighting game? Best fighting game graphics we have now would probably be Mortal Kombat 11 and Tekken 7.

Competition breeds innovation, so I’m sure if KI were to be in development, they would make it into something unique and different to stand out among the crowd of fighting games we have. As for all fighting games being played predominantly on PS4, having a game played on Xbox would be a welcome change, and be a great talking point about the console.

Interesting! Unreal Engine 4 with KI would be a really pretty game! As for all the consoles and platforms, I hope so. KI needs all the support it can get. More places to play means more exposure, which means many more things!

I’m hoping we will see something! We have 1 month to go!

I do hope we get announcement of some kind at E3 this year. Killer Instinct has the best combo system in my opinion in terms of how the combos work (structure) and the characters it has.

I am hoping for these two things in KI4

  • Double Helix returned as the development studio
  • Mick Gordon returned for the soundtrack.

I would love to see a new KI announced. But I’m not holding my breath. I don’t think there is a single fact based reason to believe the game is in development. I think it’s entirely wishful thinking. @itzLCD says as much (that he has no real information) then goes on to say he’s “heard” a bunch of stuff.

Double Helix does not exist anymore. Why do none of the people who advocate this bother to even reality check? But Mick
Gordon is still around so that’s at least a possibility.

I have lots of hopes and dreams for a KI sequel. Most of all I just hope they have a clear plan for the game’s development and that they budget both the time and money to deliver great content - regardless of whether they continue the season model or not.


I welcome the season model again personally, but I also don’t mind if they don’t do a seasonal model either.

Though when it comes to the roster I believe the cast form KI-1 and KI-2 are essential to any roster.



Not that it’s a really big deal, as there aren’t really a ton of us around here at the moment, but saying “KI Getting Announced at E3 2019, Release in 2020 before EVO” sounds oddly specific when you follow it up with saying you have no inside info. Maybe just put the word “Prediction” at the beginning of the title so people don’t get their hopes up before clicking on the thread? Like I said, not a big deal, but it did give me that half second of “wait whaaaaaaaaaat?”

The only thing wrong with this timeline is that I’d be shocked if Scarlet didn’t come out around holiday 2020. Sometime in early November, most likely. Releasing it in 2020 in time for EVO would put the system in a bit of a dead shopping season, wouldn’t it? Maybe I’m wrong, I can’t recall when EVO is off the top of my head, but I figured it was in the summer.

Either way, I agree that they had time to plan the future of the series, but that doesn’t mean they started on a sequel right away. I get that Double Helix was able to put out six characters and some stages within a one year time frame, but is that the route MS wants to go again? If so, will that time frame be too tight to release something on a console that will likely be more demanding and labor intensive to develop for?

That would definitely be nice. I mean, KI2013 may have been the 20(ish) year celebration for that series, so I’m not sure how much MS would really put in to it’s 25th anniversary, but who knows. I’d certainly love to see something.

Are fighting games really that much of a necessity for launch lineups these days though? I mean, I like them a lot and they’re certainly something I look for, but I’m not sure this genre is insanely high on a lot of people’s lists to the point where MS definitely wants one in their lineup. I hope you’re right though.

Do you have any evidence to back up the idea that MS is tired of FGs being played on PS4 or that they’re really interested in getting in to the FG esports scene? I mean, MS has more of the shooter scene than Sony, but Sony’s not bending over backwards to make more Killzone and Resistance to try and compete.

Sure, in an ideal world, MS wouldn’t want to simply cede any genre to Sony. They tried to lure JRPG fans in the 360 generation with Lost Odyssey, Blue Dragon and a few other exclusives. But they didn’t really try to do that at all this generation for fighting games, JRPGs, and honestly a not so insignificant amount of titles that came out of Japan in general.

Now I really hope that changes in the next generation. I hope MS gets as many teams working on KI4 (and Tao Feng 2 and Kakuto Chojin 2 and maybe even partners with a few devs and publishers to get some exclusive fighters like Virtua Fighter 6, a new Weaponlord and so on and so on), and doing what they can to lure some Japanese devs / publishers back in to the fold. But until we see that play out, I’ll continue to worry that some things just aren’t as big of a priority for them.

Is this inside info? I’m kinda confused by this.

That would seem to make sense. IG has been staffing up though, so who knows. I just kinda got the feeling from Keits tweeting and what not that he wanted nothing to do with KI by the end.

Hmm… A Switch version? This game will be on Unreal Engine 4 and debut on the system that’s a generation after the system that’s already more powerful than the Switch, but it’s STILL coming out on the Switch? Man… That has to be like making almost two different games. That’s like… The arcade version of the original KI versus KI on the SNES. Kinda strange that they’d even attempt that.

I hope you’re right about everything above, and what you’re saying is certainly possible, so I don’t mean to throw cold water on it. But I just worry that MS might not prioritize this series as much as we’d really hope they should given the quality of the last game and the not so substantial amount of quality exclusives they had this generation.

But they do have a bunch of other dormant franchises they might want to look in to resurrecting. As great as KI 2013 was, and I’d still put it in my top five all time in the genre, I worry that their focus might be on other things for a while. Hopefully they realize that they’ve built (or rebuilt) a brand in KI here and they don’t just abandon it. A next gen KI4 would easily get my preorder money!


Lol. That’s how LCD likes to do it. It’s more about “look over here” than about KI.

See, this is what happens when you think about stuff instead of just wishing. This year Evo is in August. While it’s not impossible for a console to release in August (The SNES did in North America), Microsoft has launched three consoles so far… and all three have launched in November. So on one hand you have LCD’s hopes and dreams (and pleas for attention) and on the other hand you have reality. The next Xbox is launching in November. So unless it comes out this year, we won’t be seeing a new KI on that system at EVO 2020.


Yeah, that’s what I was thinking. The timing doesn’t really work to have it at EVO 2020. A this point, I doubt it’d even make sense to have as a launch title unless they’re doing the seasonal approach again. We’ll see. Part of me wonders if that’s the best way to go this time around. I get that it’s a lower investment and I certainly enjoyed the constant stream of content, but now that they’ve (kind of) rebuilt the brand up from relative obscurity, wouldn’t it make sense to try and release it along the same lines as some of the bigger titles and invest more up front?

I dunno, that’s probably wishful thinking too. I have no idea how much of a success this game truly enjoyed in terms of the benchmarks MS undoubtedly set for it. All we really have to go on is that 5 million number Rukari threw out at E3 some years ago and a general positive vibe that any good publisher would try to put out there for their games. Still, just the fact that they continually released content for four years has to at least somewhat indicate that it wasn’t solely a labor of love for Adam Isgreen and that there was a market for said content for a protracted period of time, no?

I really hope we get a sequel in the next generation. I also think it’d be an awesome thing to announce at E3 this year for it’s 25 year anniversary; a nice nod to people like Ken Lobb who were there originally and for @TempusChaoti who was instrumental in bringing it back from relative obscurity and helping to make it what it is today. I don’t know about those rumors LCD mentioned, but I know that this would be pretty cool to see at E3 this June.

These are really hard questions to answer. First, we have no way of knowing how much money KI made. Even less than the dubious “copies sold” estimates you can find for physical game sales. Further, we don’t know what MS was expecting. Remember that square considered Tomb Raider a “failure” for selling only 4 million copies.

Finally, I think of all the companies out there in the game business MS might be the only one that has significant success metrics other than money. The most obvious example for me is Forza Horizon. Those games don’t move a ton of copies but they have AAA budgets. Horizon 2 in particular I think did very poorly. But they keep making them because they are critically acclaimed and fill a niche in the lineup. Does that same philosophy apply to KI? Who knows?

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Click bait & wishful thinking.
Not going to happen

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Double Helix exists in a way, they have been acquired by Amazon. I doubt Microsoft will ask them to come back for Killer Instinct. IF There is KI sequel happening I hope its being developed by a different studio this time and not Iron Galaxy.

I’m confident a new KI will happen, but I’m not going to bet my hopes on any particular details until we hear something concrete. Was hoping the OP would be more than just speculation and hearsay.

Yeah, but will Kim’s face be fixed?



The studio was acquired by Amazon and “integrated” into Amazon game studios. It doesn’t exist as a separate studio. It’s not like, say, MS acquiring Ninja Theory. The staff have been split up to work on different projects and people have come and gone. So no, Double Helix doesn’t “exist in a way.” That’s like saying if someone buys your car and uses it for spare parts your car still exists. I guess there’s always someone who will argue the point, but you certainly can’t get your car back and drive it around. The same way MS can’t get DH to work on a new KI.


Something to keep in mind, while DH doesn’t exist anymore, it is just a company, and not the people that are working for it. Technically neither Rare nor Nintendo didn’t make KI3, yet people like Kevin Bayliss and Ken Lobb that used to work for each were still involved. So is it possible that some of the DH staff might sign on to make KI4…perhaps, though highly unlikely.
Personally, I hope that either IG does the sequel or they get a studio that thoroughly understands the feel and systems implemented in KI3. I’m not looking forward to such another drastic change in design like what we got between KI1 and 2. I’m not much of a fan of FGs that throw away 80-90% of their mechanics between games. MK’s been extremely guilty of this over the years. Pick any 3 titles in the series, they’re not the same game. Street Fighter and spin-offs on the other hand, a lot less of the core play changes, and yet it has never been stagnant.
But say pick out SF2 CE, SFA3, MVC2, and…um…Darkstalkers… If you understand how to play one, you’re not likely to fumble around much on another. I just hope KI4 follows the Capcom fighters in this regard.

I think you’re being too hard on LCD here Andy. There’s no reason to assume bad faith or an attempt to garner attention - he hasn’t been active in the KI scene or these forums for a while, and he’s hardly the first person to speculate about a new KI with more “sure” language in the title than is probably warranted. He sparked a discussion, and I’m all for having discussions. Our traffic is small enough these days (though perhaps larger than some of you might think) that there’s really nothing to gain by attention seeking here anyway :joy:

On the merits, I don’t think the gist of what he’s supposing is outside the realm of possibility.

  • KI has been effectively “done” for about two years. From a development cycle standpoint, I don’t think it’s unreasonable at all to think that work on a new KI sequel has begun. At the very least the company has certainly thought about whether they should do another one. I do think that another “built-in-a-year” scenario is unlikely however, as from what I understand that was a root cause of some of the friction between MS and its partnered studios for the title.

  • I think the 25th anniversary is an interesting messaging/marketing opportunity, but I think a system launch is probably the better overall opportunity, and probably what Microsoft will target for if they are indeed making a new KI. So I kind of doubt any real messaging here, though it would indeed be cool to debut even just some small teaser footage of a new KI running on new hardware. But yeah, unless Scarlet is getting some shine at this E3, I am dubious that we would see any KI-related news to celebrate the 25th anniversary.

  • To @Iago407’s question, I actually think it’s reasonably safe to assume Microsoft doesn’t want to cede the fighting game space its competitors. MKX sold 11 million copies, and Injustice 2 was the highest grossing console game in Q2 2017. Fighters may be niche, but there very much is still a lot of money being left on the table if MS does nothing in this space. Additionally, the FGC as a whole is a bit all-in on supporting the console that has the games they play - if Scarlet has no fighting games at all then players simply won’t pick up the system. The FGC is hardly the size/magnitude of the shooter community, but at the same time having an exclusive fighter done on the cheap like KI at least opens the door to people giving their system a chance where they otherwise might not. And the fact that 6 million people at least downloaded the game and gave it a shot (regardless of whether they stayed) shows that at bare minimum there is some interest in or a willingness to try the property.

  • While I’m always dubious on speculating what a given company is “tired of” or “feels”, it is generally a safe bet that companies dislike ceding potentially profitable avenues to their direct competitors. The FG space is still relatively small and its e-sports economy…a touch dubious, but the FG e-sport space still has enough shine on it I think that MS is unlikely to completely give away that realm to Sony. Microsoft might not “care” that Evo is played entirely on PS4’s, but they probably care that the companies that stock up and provide those PS4’s don’t bother buying their console too. Street Fighter on ESPN and Smash on Disney (and didn’t MKX even have something televised at some point?) shows that there is a wider market that these competitive games can reach, and I would be pretty surprised if MS didn’t want a piece of that pie as well.

So yeah, I don’t think anything LCD said is completely not credible. 3.5 seasons of KI makes me think it was successful enough to likely warrant another go; ditto for the free-to-play model. If they’re going to do it, it would make sense to do it on the next-gen console instead of on the X1. And while I think the Unreal engine is a little overrated by fans, it is very much a known quantity that developers often like to use and that does good work, and given the issues Hex gave the team I can see why “known quantity” might be the preferred option.

Who’s developing it? That’s inside baseball and I won’t bother speculating, but I could see it being IG or not. Some of the IG guys I’ve talked with in the past seemed open to the idea and others less so. But they genuinely did do good work, so if there were (another) dev switch I would want the new team to uphold that level of quality.

But I dunno, I think it’s quite possible that KI 2013 will get a sequel sooner rather than later. Is it a sure thing? Definitely not. But still pretty possible IMO.


I would say a new KI is a pretty safe bet. Announcing it at E3 would be great, but it might not even be announced until next year if Scarlet is projected to be released in November 2020. It might not be that great of an idea to announce something that won’t be released for over a year. Didn’t they have KI2013 playable at E3 when they announced?

I would be curious what a new KI would be like. The music too. It will be incredibly hard to top the music we have now. Even the mechanism for the dynamic music can’t be overlooked now that we have had it. A lot of people talk about missing Mick Gordon after S2, but the stuff Cell Dweller and Atlas Plug did was awesome as well. The Eagle theme alone makes it worthwhile. I wonder if they would just re-use some of those tracks. I mean, they’re just so good. So ■■■■■■■ good.

I am definitely down with IG doing the new KI. But as many of you said, would they even want to? It’s a shame because they clearly understood fighting games and how they work. Double Helix was understandably rushed in their development, which compromised the end product. Given more time, then importing accessories and costumes into the game might have been much easier as the engine would have been tweaked, improved, and options added. Yet this constant rose-colored glasses look at S1 and DH all these years later is getting old. Geeze, it’s like talking to flat-earthers.

Anyway, if I can wait for a new Tool album (finally coming out this August) and Winds of Winter, I guess I can wait for the next KI.

I’ll still complain about the wait though.

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Unless Double Helix is somehow back on board, I don’t think we will see anyone besides Iron Galaxy make a new KI.