Warner Bros. Interactive may just be one of the sneakiest success stories of recent memory. While all eyes are on publishers such as Activision and Electronic Arts, Warner Bros. Interactive has slowly built itself a base of power with numerous Batman games, Mortal Kombat sequels and an upcoming Harry Potter game that will most likely be a license to print money. Accio fat stacks of cash yo.
There’s a lot of value within the brands under Warner Bros. Interactive’s control, as they not only publish games but have a majority stake in several studios as well. So, you feel like making a deal with them then? That’s the rumour currently circulating, as CNBC says that the parent of the company and Warner Bros. In general, AT&T, is looking shed some weight because American business is the weirdest thing ever.
According to the report, the potential sale already has a few interested parties looking to swoop in and secure the deal of a lifetime: Activision Blizzard, EA and Take-Two Interactive are willing to throw some considerable cash behind the acquisition, with the publisher and its various licenses being valued at around $4 billion.
As for why? According to CNBC, it’s because AT&T is looking to reduce the Warner Bros. debt that they’ve currently been saddled with, which happens to be a hefty $165 billion. That’s not a typo, that’s “illion” with a “B”:
Former WarnerMedia CEO John Stankey is set to replace Randall Stephenson as the new chief executive officer of AT&T on July 1. Stankey may look to divest assets after activist hedge fund Elliott Management took at $3.2 billion stake last year, calling for divestitures and leadership changes. Elliott called for AT&T to sell non-core assets including DirecTV, a transaction Stankey hasn’t been in favour of pursuing. Stankey said AT&T is focusing on “a lot of work around portfolio rationalization” at Morgan Stanley’s Technology, Media & Telecom Conference in March.
If such a deal does go through, it’ll mean that studios such as NetherRealm, TT Games and Rocksteady will be sold off in the process. At this point, I’m praying that Microsoft swoops in to grab the developers and studios, because I’d rather see a game branded as an Xbox-exclusive than have to read yet another story of a new game studio owner deciding to trim some fat off of their meaty new acquisition with a pink-slip butcher’s knife.
That, and I don’t want to pay for DLC that’ll allow me to have extra-dramatic cape flair in the next Batman game if Take-Two Interactive get their hands on the franchise.
Last Updated: June 15, 2020