What you need to know
- WarnerMedia and Discovery are merging in a deal worth $43 billion.
- This creates a lot of questions, specifically what will happen with WarnerMedia's game division, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment.
- AT&T, the owner of WarnerMedia, said that some of the game studios will be sold off, but not all of them.
In a recent deal worth $43 billion, AT&T is merging its WarnerMedia division to Discovery, just three years after it bought Time Warner for $85.4 billion. This means that WarnerMedia, which includes HBO and DC, will now join forces with Discovery and brands like TLC and HGTV to compete with Disney, Netflix, and other gigantic entertainment brands.
It's a deal with huge repurcussions in the entertainment industry, and there are a lot of details that both experts and consumers still don't know about it. Does it mean HBO Max and Discovery+ are combining forces into one giant streaming service? Does it mean Batman will be getting his own show on Investigation Discovery? Rooster Teeth is a part of the sale, so what does that mean for the online brand?
However, for our purposes, it leaves a lot of questions concerning WarnerMedia's gaming divisions, specifically Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment (WBIE) and its 11 video game studios, which includes NetherRealm Studios, Warner Bros. Games, Rocksteady, Avalanche Software, and others.
According to IGN's Julia Alexander, AT&T said it's going to sell off some of WBIE, but not all of it.https://twitter.com/loudmouthjulia/status/1394339533542539277?s=20
At this point, it's unclear what a lot of this means, or which brands are going to be sold off. A lot of theses studios make games directly off of WarnerMedia IP, like Rocksteady and Batman and Avalanche Software and Harry Potter. These connections mean it's doubtful that these studios will be sold to somebody else. Rocksteady right now, for instance, is working on Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League, which is due out in 2022. It's unlikely that this will change despite any merger deals.
Other studios, like NetherRealm, which makes Mortal Kombat, are a bit less tied to WarnerMedia, although the enterainment conglomerate just released the new Mortal Kombat reboot on HBO Max last month. Then, there's Injustice 2, which is basically Mortal Kombat but with DC characters. Alexander also singles out TT Games Publishing, which works on LEGO games. LEGO has closer ties with Universal Studios (although the LEGO movies were distributed by WarnerMedia).
Looks like WarnerMedia and Discovery are still figuring out the specifics of the merger. We'll continue to follow any news regarding WBIE and its studios since who owns what can have a huge impact on who works on what. It's likely that a lot won't change with established IP like Batman, but they're a bit more up in the air for studios not as attached by IP.