The future of Warner Bros Interactive Entertainment has been cast under a cloud of uncertainty ever since June, when it was reported parent company AT&T was considering selling its video game assets. A recent internal corporate memo suggested stability, and now a new report claims the sale is off the table. Read on for details:
Bloomberg cites "people familiar with the situation" in a report that claims the video game division have been removed from AT&T's "noncore" assets. Its believed any sale would have included NetherRealm Studios and Mortal Kombat, along with prospective licenses for DC Comics properties such as Injustice, and more. Warner Bros Games was estimated to be worth $4 billion in total, with Microsoft among the serious bidders.
NetherRealm has continued to seek recruitment in key areas throughout this period, which also included other major gaming announcements from sister studios. The first DC FanDome event confirmed new Arkham game Gotham Knights from WB Games Montreal, while Rocksteady Studios revealed the franchise expansion Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League.
Gamers were well positioned to see the value in AT&T retaining the Warner investment. Mortal Kombat has consistently been a major seller since their 2009 acqusition, with the Wall Street Journal reporting a staggering 5 million units sold for Mortal Kombat X. The property has also spawned an animated feature, Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion's Revenge, and next year's live-action movie reboot.
Although the recent WarnerMedia corporate shuffle didn't appear to directly address changes for gaming, it seems attitude towards potential growth in the area has led to the change. A driving factor may be the radically different media landscape emerging since the outbreak of COVID-19, and greater engagements with digital consumption.
In the last week Sony has reported both its all-time most downloaded game, Fall Guys, and its most downloaded beta, Avengers. Microsoft also saw an increase in console sales as a result of lockdown and self-isolating measures.
What do you think about the prospect of Mortal Kombat staying at Warner Brothers? Share your thoughts about the future of the franchise and if you think things will remain stable in the comments below. Find and discuss more topics in the Future MK and Mortal Kombat 11 forums. Special thanks to MK Online user Shinnokxz for forwarding this link.