Warner Bros Interactive will reportedly be split up following merger

Mortal Kombat 11
(Image credit: Mortal Kombat 11)

AT&T announced earlier today that it will spin off WarnerMedia and merge it with Discovery in a $43 billion deal that will result in the creation of a new "premier, standalone global entertainment company" that will compete with the likes of Netflix and Disney+. According to IGN, the deal will affect the videogame scene, too.

Most of IGN's overview focuses on the video aspect of the deal, but AT&T also told the site that part of Warner Bros Interactive Entertainment, but not all of it, will be sold off. No details were provided on how the company will be split, but WBIE is itself the parent company of roughly a dozen studios, including NetherRealm, Monolith, Avalanche, Rocksteady, TT Games, Playdemic, and WB Games studios in San Diego, Boston, Montreal, San Francisco, and New York. 

Some of those studios, and the games they work on—Mortal Kombat, Middle-earth: Shadow of War, Batman: Arkham, and Lego, to name a handful—"will stay with AT&T, and some will go with the new company," a rep told Axios reporter Sara Fischer

It's impossible to say what sort of effect the change will have on individual games or studios, although my guess is that the biggest of the bunch, like Mortal Kombat, probably won't pivot in any noticeable way immediately. A less obvious question is who will get control of the famed Nemesis System that Warner filed a patent for in 2015, and what they'll do with it.

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The WarnerMedia-Discovery merger obviously goes way beyond WBIE itself, but the game publisher has been on at least one other bargaining table recently: Rumors emerged in July 2020 that AT&T was looking to offload WBIE for $4 billion, with Microsoft pegged as a possible buyer. A month later, however, AT&T seemingly changed its mind.

Aside from the confirmation that at least some of WBIE's studios will be headed to a new corporate home, no further information was shared. I've reached out to WarnerMedia for more information and will update if I receive a reply.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.