The proposed sale of Warner Bros Interactive Entertainment was big news not so long ago, and with good reason. The company is home to some very lucrative franchises and creative talent, including Rocksteady Studios (Batman: Arkham series) and TT Games (every decent Lego game you can mention).
However, it has now been revealed that parent company AT&T has called off the sale after it deemed Warner Bros Interactive to be too valuable to sell to another party.
The report comes courtesy of Bloomberg, which has spoken to sources close to the matter. The potential sale apparently attracted significant interest and could have bagged AT&T a cool $4 billion. According to sources, the reason for ending the sale was down to the growth potential of the business. Microsoft, Take-Two, Electronic Arts and Activision Blizzard were mentioned as potential buyers when the news of a sale broke back in June.
As noted by MCV, there’s been movement at the top of AT&T which may have led to this change of heart; COO John Stankey took over as CEO in July, replacing Randall Stephenson, who remains with the firm in the role of chairman. Warner Bros also has the highly-anticipated Harry Potter RPG in development, which could turn into a sizeable commercial hit. It is also rumoured that the increase in revenue during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic could have convinced AT&T to keep its toe in the water.
However, as Bloomberg’s source article states, it may well be the fact that selling Warner Bros wasn’t as straightforward as some suspected, as many of its big titles are tied up in licencing deals with companies like DC Comics, Marvel and Lego. While any potential buyer would get the talent at Warner Bros, they might not necessarily get the franchises.