Warner Bros’ new games are doing better than their movies

3 min read


What’s better? Movies, or gaming? On the one hand, you’ve got at least a two-hour escape from your humdrum life on the big screen as you watch impossibly beautiful people soak up damage and save the day from a gigantic portal in the sky.

On the other hand, gaming is a more expensive diversion, but one with much more staying power depending on your attention span. And that’s an idea that has been catching up with Hollywood for several years now. Gaming has always been there, clawing away at profits and tempting people to ditch the health hazard of a cinema for the comfort of home. And one of the biggest movie houses in the world has felt that impact this year.

Naturally I’m talking about Warner Bros., and more specifically, the Warner Bros. Interactive branch that is responsible for publishing games. According to the Wall Street Journal, games from that publisher saw some gangbuster sales this year.

Batman: Arkham Knight and Mortal Kombat X each sold more than five million copies each, despite the fact that the PC versions of said games were bigger piles of rubbish than my Cabbage Patch Kids investment.

“In the past few years, the studio has shot to the top, thanks to major hits including Batman: Arkham Knight and fighting game Mortal Kombat X, which have each sold more than five million units globally,” the WSJ said.


So how does that rack up then? Let’s do some quick maths: Let’s multiply those numbers by the standard retail price of $59.99. Multiply that by five million, and the number you get is $299.9 million. Double that, and you have $599.9 million.

That’s just pure guesstimation though. I have no idea if the final number is even that high, or how much is left after various licensing, distribution and advertising fees add up.

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The thing is, whatever is left over, is still a fantastic profit when you stand it next to the time and development cost of creating such games. You’ve got to spend money to make money, and this has clearly worked for Warner Bros. and their gaming division.

Because it certainly hasn’t for the films this year. Warner Bros. hasn’t had a flop of a year so far, but they certainly haven’t had a huge amount of success either. In fact, their movie releases this year have been downright lacklustre in comparison.

And we’ve only mentioned two games so far. LEGO Jurassic World has “sold about four million,” according to the report, although  this was not made clear if the numbers were from shipping units to retailers or direct customer sales.

And then you’ve also got LEGO Dimensions, which is looking set to emerge as a proper threat to established toys-to-life brands such as Disney infinity and Skylanders.

With that kind of overall profit and growth, we’ll most likely see even more games from the WB soon, as well as even more shoddy PC ports and terrible season passes as well. Hooray! Gaming!

Last Updated: October 13, 2015

Darryn Bonthuys

Something wrong gentlemen? You come here prepared to read the words of a madman, and instead found a lunatic obsessed with comics, Batman and Raul Julia’s M Bison performance in the 1994 Street Fighter movie? Fine! Keep your bio! In fact, now might be a good time to pray to it!

  • Grand Admiral Chief

    WB have not seen any money from me since, well, ummm, geez, wow, quite a while it seems

    • Dutch Matrix

      I gave them cash for ‘Arkham Copy/Paste and let’s throw in the Batmobile’ and I still kind of think I should have rather not.
      MK X on PS4 is quite a gem though. And Jason Voorhees kicking the crap out of hippie Sub-Sero. Weeeeeee levels of awesome.

  • oVg

    2015 has been crazy for games and film. Ster Kinekor witnessed record breaking sales 4 times this year alone. Every month they were stating that the record blockbuster had been broken. From Avengers to 50 shades.

    Mad Max reinvigorated my interest in movies, and I played 4 games this year that entered my top 10 of all time list.

    What a renaissance when compared to last year.

    • Alien Emperor Trevor

      It’s not a renaissance when it comes to movies. A few movies do very well, but fewer movies are doing well.

  • Francois Knoetze

    Batman got my money. Playing the hell out of it right now 😛 See PSN got a sale on MK X for R400 something…not bad

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