The reports that Warner Bros. parent company AT&T was looking to sell off its WB games division just got a lot more interesting. New reports are now indicating that Microsoft is pursuing interest in purchasing Warner Bros. Interactive, which would make every studio under its umbrella a first-party Microsoft Games Studio. The latest report comes from TheInformation, who says it has multiple sources adding Microsoft to the likes of EA, Activision, Take-Two and others who are also interested in acquiring the multiple studios underneath the Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment banner.
As noted by Niko Partners analyst Daniel Ahmad, the sale is most likely only to include the talent, with licensing deals being worked out separately. Properties like The Lord of the Rings, DC Comics, LEGO, and Harry Potter would still live with Warner Bros. and AT&T, requiring licensing deals to have new games made, though it’s expected that franchises like Mortal Kombat would go along with the sale. Though it’s unlikley plans for any games currently in development would be affected by the sale, it still lleaves a lot of questions up in the air.
According to a new report by @theinformation, Microsoft is interested in acquiring the games division of Warner Bros., known for popular franchises such as Batman and Mortal Kombat.
This comes after AT&T said it was looking to sell the unit last month. https://t.co/Q1bnRrutbp
— Daniel Ahmad (@ZhugeEX) July 6, 2020
The sale of Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment would include the following studios and the talent pools at each one:
- Avalanche Software
- TT Games
- Five different “WB Games” studios
There’s still a lot of uncertainty around the reported sale, but Microsoft expressing interesting isn’t surprising. The Xbox company has been vigorously acquiring a number of different high-profile studios to live under its Microsoft Games Studios umbrella, including Minecraft developer Mojang, Tim Schafer’s Double Fine, and hack’n’slash masters Ninja Theory.
The sale of Warner Bros. Interactive is already big news for the video game industry, but Microsoft’s reported interest really makes this one to watch. The possibility of the likes of NetherRealm, Rocksteady, Monolith, and the others becoming first-party Xbox studios could have enormous ramifications on the next-generation of console hardware.