- Warner Bros. CEO David Zaslav has revealed the future plans for WB Games as part of the new earnings call.
- The publisher wants to transition its biggest franchises into live-service games with 3-4 year release schedules and a free-to-play model.
- Gamers are upset after learning about the company’s plans. WB’s previous attempts to bring live service into titles have also failed.
Warner Bros. has recently unveiled its future endeavors for WB Games in the latest earnings call session. David Zaslav, the CEO of the company, clarified that it plans to transform its “biggest franchises” into live-service titles. WB wants to follow a 3-4 year release schedule and a free-to-play model to ensure each title can retain a community for a long time.
Our focus is on transforming our biggest franchises from largely console and PC based with three-four year release schedules to include more always on gameplay through live services, multiplatform and free-to-play extensions with the goal to have more players spending more time on more platforms.”
David brought up a slew of notable gaming IPs that could fall prey to this change. He mentioned Game of Thrones, Harry Potter, Batman, and Mortal Kombat, with each IP selling and earning in the millions of dollars. The earnings call also revealed that Mortal Kombat 1 has seemingly already shifted over 3 million copies since its launch in mid-September.
- A Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe Movie Pitch Got Rejected By Warner Bros.
- MultiVersus’ Active Player Count Has Dropped By 99% Since Release.
- Hogwarts Legacy Sold 256% Higher Than WB’s Expectations.
The Warner Bros. CEO mentions that it wants to drive engagement and growth for these IPs using the live-service model. The eventual goal is to make dough for years from each entry due to its live-service nature.
Ultimately we want to drive engagement and monetization of longer cycles and at higher levels. We have put specific capabilities. We are currently under scale and see significant opportunity to generate greater post purchase revenue.”
Warner Bros. has already tried out the live-service model for some of its franchises. MultiVersus is a recent example that comes to mind. It basked in critical reception for a while, but the playerbase eventually sunk to the depths of obscurity. The player count dropped more than 99% before it was sacked; MultiVersus will get a full release sometime in 2024.
Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League is another live-service entry, likely with a battle pass, that is in development by Rocksteady Studios. It will feature the traditional live-service formula that meets all the aforementioned requirements. Nevertheless, the player reception of the project has been quite bad, with most disliking the idea of the live-service model and other issues. Warner Bros. eventually delayed the game for a February 2024 launch.
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