Warner Brothers Games is no longer for sale because it was deemed “too valuable” by AT&T, according to a report from Bloomberg.
AT&T is in the process of selling assets in an attempt to pay down its debt and streamline the massive international conglomerate. Several companies have expressed interest in acquiring WB Games if the price was set at $4 billion or lower. AT&T considered selling the studio for a while, which would have placed ownership of all of the assets in the hands of either, Microsoft, Take-Two Interactive, EA, or Activision-Blizzard.
One of the reasons that WB is no longer for sale, according to the Bloomberg report, is that there was a shift in the top leadership at AT&T. In addition to that, of course, is the fact that video game sales increased by 30%, crossing $11.6 billion in the second quarter in the US alone. That’s to say nothing of the fact that AT&T owns the rights to the Harry Potter series, which has potential for billions of dollars in games.
The sale of Warner Brothers Games wouldn’t be particularly easy, even if AT&T still wanted to sell the studio, due to the huge amount of licensed content involved. When AT&T merged with Time Warner in 2018—the company that owns WB who in turn own WB Games—it acquired the rights to a massive amount of content. AT&T now owns the rights to all of HBO, DC Comics, New Line Cinema, CBS, and—through WB—all of Cartoon Network, Looney Toons, Adult Swim, and more.
The video game potential of some of these properties is huge and complicated. If WB games is ever actually sold, it’s going to be a very expensive, very lengthy process, simply because it is tied to so many other properties that are owned by AT&T.
The sheer number of highly profitable properties that are under the control of AT&T is what is going to drive any potential sale of the WB studio. At this point, it seems unlikely that the leadership at AT&T will sell. That’s not to say that it can’t happen, but it’s not looking likely. At least until we see how much money WB is able to make (or lose) in the next year or so.
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