Xbox Reportedly Interested In Buying Batman, Harry Potter Company WB. Interactive
Microsoft is reportedly interested in purchasing Warner Bros. Interactive, the gaming arm of Warner Bros. responsible for franchises like Batman, LEGO, Mortal Kombat, The Lord Of The Rings, and Harry Potter. This comes just weeks after the rumours that WB parent company AT&T is was looking to sell Interactive for "about $4 billion" in a move to reduce its $165 billion (£131bn) debts.
The Information claims that Microsoft is currently one of the front-runners to purchase the company, although Activision, EA, and Take-Two have also been mentioned. It's likely that whoever makes the purchase will also end up with WB-owned studios like Avalanche Software, Monolith Productions, NetherRealm Studios, Rocksteady Studios, and TT Games.
That's not a bad lineup to have in your back pocket at all.
One important caveat is that whichever company purchases WB Interactive does not suddenly control the rights to massive franchises like Batman and Harry Potter. While the successful buyer would own studios that have made games on these licensed properties in the past, Warner Bros. would still retain the rights to such franchises, and the buyer would have to negotiate a licensing deal.
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However, it's understood that certain properties - such as Mortal Kombat - would be included in the sale. Does this mean that Mortal Kombat would become an Xbox Series X exclusive franchise next gen? It's unlikely, but we'll have to wait and see. It's certainly no secret that the Xbox One has been seriously lacking in exclusives, so let's hope that can change for Series X.
Microsoft already spent the last few years exclusively acquiring a number of talented studios, suggesting it means business as we head into next-gen territory. Playground Games, Obsidian, Double Fine, and Ninja Theory are just are few of the major players now under the Xbox Game Studios umbrella. Adding juggernauts like NetherRealm and Rocksteady to that list would be quite the play.
This news comes as we inch ever closer to the reveals of both the next-gen Batman and Harry Potter games. A report published back in May suggested that Warner Bros. had originally been planning a massive E3 2020 press conference where it would unveil not only Batman, but the long-rumoured open-world Harry Potter game, too.
Featured Image Credit: Warner Bros/Microsoft