WB Games has been through a tumultuous past year. In June of last year, it was reported that AT&T was looking to sell off WB Games and get away from the video game business as a whole. After some time, the search for a new owner ceased when AT&T decided to hold on to WB Games as they weighed their various options. That weighing came to a head this week as AT&T spins off WarnerMedia and announced a merger with Discovery — the multimedia conglomerate behind the Discovery Channel, HGTV, Oprah Winfrey Network, and others — in a deal that will see WB Games split between AT&T and the new merged media company.
“Some of the gaming arm will stay with AT&T and some will go with the new company,” an AT&T representative told Axios. Further details were not provided.
WB Games currently lists eleven studios, including Netherrealm, Avalanche Software, Rocksteady, Monolith, and more. It’s not clear what this means for the two companies under the new merger deal, but with DC Comics going to WarnerMedia-Discovery, it does create a situation where not all video game development studios will have unfettered access to the DC license. It’s possible a situation could emerge where, to make a new Injustice game, AT&T would have to license the IPs from WarnerMedia-Discovery, which would likely make any such project prohibitively expensive.
Of course, that’s all speculation. Until we get an actual confirmation of which studio is going where, which we probably will not know until closer to the deal closing date in mid-2022, there isn’t a lot to go on. It is, however, curious that AT&T is keeping any studios at all, as the spinoff and merger indicates a desire for the massive telecom and media company to retreat from their recent ingression into all things media and their previously mentioned attempts to sell off the gaming division.
For whatever reason, it seems like AT&T is only mostly done with video games, not entirely done.