The future of several high-profile studios is up in the air after it’s been reported that publisher Warner Bros Interactive will be “broken up somehow” following parent company AT&T’s announcement last night that it is to merge its WarnerMedia arm with Discovery to create a new “premier, standalone global entertainment company.”
As reported by Video Games Chronicle, the deal is expected to close in mid-2022 and will see AT&T receive $43 billion USD and shareholders each getting stock that represents 71% of the new company. While WB Interactive was not mentioned by name in the press release, a spokesperson apparently later told a reporter at Axios (as per journalist Stephen Totilo on Twitter) “Some of the gaming arm will stay with AT&T and some will go with the new company.”
While details of how exactly the businesses will be split are unknown, Warner Bros Interactive is currently made up of just under a dozen studios, including: Mortal Kombat developer NetherRealm Studios, Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League‘s Rocksteady Studios, Lego Star Wars: A Skywalker Saga developer TT Games, Hogwarts Legacy studio Avalanche Games and Shadow of Mordor developer Monolith to name but five.
There’s currently been no further comment from WBIE to confirm these reports, but it’s not the first turbulence the studios under the banner have faced in the past year, with reports rife that AT&T were looking to sell the business last summer and allegedly fielding interest from companies such as Microsoft, Activision Blizzard and Electronic Arts. They apparently changed their minds by September, deeming the business “too valuable to unload during its effort to pay down debt and streamline.”