With Warner Bros gaming division up for grabs, Microsoft has reportedly joined EA, Activision-Blizzard and Take-Two Interactive in showing interest in purchasing the business.
If the reports turn out to be true, it could mean that several very valuable IPs heading to the Xbox maker. Or does it?
With a number of studios under the WB Games banner and series’ including the Arkham games up for grabs, as well as the TT Games LEGO games, it’s not hard to see why owners AT&T have put a $4 billion price-tag on the potential purchase, but there’s no guarantee at this point if the package will include the licences that bring in the big bucks – let’s face it, Warner are unlikely to let any of the rights to Harry Potter and Batman go anywhere.
The likelihood is that in addition to an initial big payday, exclusive licencing agreements would have to be negotiated.
So what does this mean longer term? If Microsoft do end up with Warner’s gaming division, are these big name games likely to become Xbox exclusives? It’s not like Xbox couldn’t do with a few more studios to rival Sony’s lengthy list, but it’s very unlikely, especially if you look at Microsoft’s form with Minecraft.
Since the software company purchased Minecraft, they’ve taken things in the opposite direction, opening it up to as many people as possible, making it cross-play, providing the server code for free, great steps. So why would Microsoft see fit to take WB down an exclusive route? Microsoft has a new console coming out later this year and if they want to continue to grow that side of their business, they’re going to need more exclusive studios.
The biggest worry that comes from this purchase, as a TT Games fan, is how separating the games division from the large array of licences that have served them so well will impact of future developments. Given that Star Wars, owned by Disney, is still one of their biggest sellers, probably not that much.
Only time will tell, lets see who finally ends up digging deep into their pockets, but Microsoft are definitely going to be the preferred choice for many of us…imagine is EA get hold of TT Games…MICROTRANSACTIONS IN LEGO GAMES!!!!
I much prefer to possibility to picking up future LEGO games in with my Xbox Gamer Pass.