Last month, reports surfaced that AT&T (the owners of Warner Bros. Media) were in the market to sell Warner Bros Interactive Entertainment, the gaming division of the well-known brand. Those reports indicated that the WB Games division would pull in around $4 billion.
Initially, the interested parties were Activision Blizzard, Electronic Arts, and Take-Two Games. However, a heavy-hitter in the gaming industry has entered the fray in hopes of bringing all WB Games to the green brand.
According to a report by The Information, Microsoft has now joined Take-Two Games, Activision Blizzard, and Electronic Arts as potential suitors.
Closing the deal would be a major sweepstakes for every one of these companies. Acquiring WB Games would mean adding RockSteady (Batman Arkham series), NetherRealm Studios (Mortal Kombat series), TT Games (LEGO), Avalanche Studios (RAGE 2/Just Cause), Monolith Productions (Middle-Earth series), and more.
All that said, it’s worth mentioning that even if any of these companies purchase WB Games, they don’t automatically gain WB licensing rights. Rather, WB would have to agree to provide licensing rights to the purchasing party for the time being, until a new licensing deal can be negotiated. That way, all newly-owned studios could continue working on their former-WB games.
That said, that would mainly effect Harry Potter and any DC Comics IPs like Batman. That does not effect Mortal Kombat. Whomever purchases NetherRealm Studios will have full access to the Mortal Kombat IP.
The report from The Information does say that AT&T hasn’t fully committed to selling WBIE just yet. Instead, they’re using it to look at options to alleviate the $154 billion in debt they have.
Although, it still would be one heck of an acquisition, especially for Microsoft. With the Xbox Series X on the way, Microsoft has been busy adding top-tier studios to build their ranks for the new system. Adding WBIE would give them access to a treasure trove of well-known, beloved titles. Perhaps, Batman could even become their answer to Sony‘s Spider-man.
Stay tuned for more.