The prospective sale of Warner Bros Games by parent company AT&T has reportedly attracted an interested buyer in Microsoft Corp. News of the holding company considering selling its Warner Media gaming interests was first reported last month.
A story by The Information [via Reuters] claims AT&T are yet to reach a decision about the future of Warner Bros Games, but Microsoft has expressed interest in a deal. Original reports projected a $4 billion dollar sale of the WB Games catalogue and assets, including Mortal Kombat, and franchise Warner Bros assets like Batman, Harry Potter, and the various Lego series.
A WB Games acquisition would bolster Xbox gaming with established development studios in the United States, Montreal, and United Kingdom, including Chicago's NetherRealm Studios.
In an interesting follow-up: NetherRealm has continued to post job listings, citing work on next generation versions of Mortal Kombat and Injustice in the description for a key software engineer position. The Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath expansion was released to acclaim in May, but additional content for the hit fighting game is still expected. This may account for a PlayStation 5 and Xbox One Series X release.
A $154 billion dollar debt inherited in the purchase of Time Warner (now Warner Media) is said to be the primary impetus for AT&T considering the sale. If Microsoft were to make the purchase, it could potentially signal an exclusive Xbox future for the Mortal Kombat franchise, which has previously appeared on most major platforms. Sony's God of War mascot Kratos appeared in a rare PlayStation exclusive for Mortal Kombat (2011). Mortal Kombat X was also unveiled during Sony's E3 conference.
Microsoft has come to be widely viewed as a secondary platform for many fighting game series, with Street FIghter V making the surprise leap to PlayStation console exclusivity in 2016. Xbox touted exclusive home releases for two Dead Or Alive games in the previous decade, and now owns the Killer instinct franchise -- a popular rival to Mortal Kombat with a history of association and speculated crossover potential.
What do you think about Microsoft taking control of the future of the Mortal Kombat franchise? Share your thoughts in the comments below and delve into deeper speculation in the Future MK forum!