Awhile ago, Warner Bros decided to forgo simply licensing its properties to third parties for video games, and directly entered the business themselves. WB Interactive has since grown into a successful brand, with studios around the world under its umbrella like NetherRealm Studios, Rocksteady Studios, Avalanche Software, TT Games and more. They’ve helped WB-owned characters like Batman establish themselves with respected video game series.
And…now the whole kit and kaboodle could be up for sale. WB’s new owners, AT&T, took on a massive amount of debt to acquire them, and to offset the cost AT&T is looking to dump a few extraneous branches they have less interest in owning. A video game company is one of those things.
WB’s parent company has not made these plans official. But should it happen, whoever gets WB Interactive will inherit all the studios under its control and balloon to a massive size, which would cause antitrust issues in a fair world. Four of gamedom’s most powerful players are interested buyers, IGN reports. The list includes the expected EA, Activision and Take-Two, but the fourth presence is reported to be Microsoft.
MS currently owns over a dozen studios that make titles exclusively for the XBox (and the PC, and occasionally Switch). Acquiring all of WB Interactive’s studios would make them a powerhouse indeed, and might actually give Sony cause to sweat.
Whoever the winning company turns out to be, they might have to come up with some new properties quickly, because stuff like Batman or Harry Potter are not part of the deal — those characters are solidly owned by WB. The rights would have to be re-negotiated to continue those current projects, if WB allows it.