It's been a long, exciting week for the gaming world, but let's end the week on a story that could turn it on its head. WB Games has been a force in the video game landscape, whether it's the Batman games, the Lord of the Rings games, the LEGO series, or even Mortal Kombat. But all those franchises may be in limbo, because the Warner Bros. gaming division may be up for sale by parent company AT&T.
The rumor comes from CNBC, citing sources close to them. Those sources state that John Stankey is set to transition from WarnerMedia CEO to new AT&T CEO on July 1 and is looking to divest assets. AT&T would essentially sell off the various developers that fall under the branch of the WB Games publishing umbrella. That would include properties like Mortal Kombat and Scribblenauts, but the terms get a little messier from there. The WB gaming assets are only as appealing as the WB licenses contained within, so if there's any sale, CNBC speculates that a licensing deal would have to be made.
This is certainly the case if buyers want to take advantages of existing licenses like Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter. It would also be the only way that a game like Injustice 3, which largely rely on the DC Comics property that falls under the Warner Bros. banner, would be able to happen. And that's before getting into the Rocksteady angle. The makers of the Batman: Arkham Asylum series has put Batman to bed, but their next project has been a subject of speculation and rumor for years. If they are, in fact, working on another established DC Comics property, that could stand to be affected by any potential sale.
Regardless of the complicated nature of any sale and any attached licenses, that's apparently not stopping some of the heaviest hitters in games from stepping up to the plate. Take-Two Interactive (home of 2K games and Rockstar Games), Call of Duty monolith Activision-Blizzard, and Star Wars license holders Electronic Arts are among the publishers rumored to be ready to pay up for the WB gaming assets. The CNBC report states that any sale could go for roughly $4 billion.
This is a big-time story and if there's any legs to it, it's worth watching. Shacknews will monitor this story, including its potential effects on WB's various developers like NetherRealm, Monolith Productions, and Rocksteady Studios.