In a twist to news from this summer, it seems AT&T is “backtracking” on selling Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment as part of its corporate house-cleaning.
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Sources tell CBR the video game business is too valuable to put up for sale, at least for the time being, though the company is still in the midst of exploring other ways to cut costs and streamline productions.
AT&T has seen a massive increase in debt since acquiring Time Warner, but according to Bloomberg, the company sees growth potential in WB Interactive Entertainment.
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WB Interactive Entertainment is home to popular and profitable franchises such as Injustice, Mortal Kombat, and the Batman: Arkham series, as well as the licenses for Mad Max, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, and the LEGO games – including Marvel Superheroes.
There’s also brewing excitement for upcoming games published by WB Interactive Entertainment, such as a new Harry Potter title that explores Hogwarts, Batman: Gotham Knights and Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League, following these titles’ appearances at the recent DC FanDome event.
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One factor that may have influenced AT&Ts decision to take WB Interactive off the market is the upswing in gaming caused by the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic.
CBR notes there audiences are “turning to video games as a source of entertainment” in the absence of movie theaters, bars, and other accessible social spaces caused by various social distancing mandates.
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However, a recent July shake up at WB Interactive that saw John Stankey, former Chief Operating Officer, promoted to Chief Executive Officer could complicate plans to hold on to the studio.
Stankey’s presence could determine if a sale happens down the line, as he’s reportedly told investors the company is open to selling things off, in a reflection of AT&T Executive Chairman Randall Stephenson’s 2019 comment that there are “no sacred cows” in the company’s portfolio.
DC Comics and Crunchyroll are among the properties thought to be on the chopping block.
Is Warner Interactive a sacred cow? Would you like to see another studio take a shot at any of these properties or licenses? Give us your thoughts on social media or in the comments down below!