Midway Games formally announced today that the company is hard at work on the development of the next installment in the Mortal Kombat series, titled Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks. The game will release in the Fall of 2005.

Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks is an action/adventure title as opposed to a traditional fighting game. Similar to the recently released Mortal Kombat: Deception, background interactions (i.e., acid pits, living trees, spiked ceilings, etc.), multiple new fatalities, and action-based puzzles will also play an important role in the player’s quest for victory. The game will also feature an impressive line-up of Mortal Kombat characters, that will make frequent appearances as enemies, in boss battles, and during several additional in-game interactions.

We'll certainly learn more about this game at the next E3 show in May. Until then, let's hope Shaolin Monks turns out better than Mortal Kombat: Mythologies did.

On a related note, Midway has also made concrete a plan to produce one new Mortal Kombat game each year. That begs the question–will they start numbering them like sports games at some point?