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Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment (WBIE; also known as Warner Bros. Games) is an American video game publisher based in Burbank, California, and part of Warner Bros. Home Entertainment.[1] WBIE was founded in January 2004 under Warner Bros. and transferred to the Home Entertainment division when that company was formed in October 2005. WBIE manages the wholly owned game development studios TT Games, Rocksteady Studios, NetherRealm Studios, Monolith Productions, WB Games Boston, Avalanche Software, and WB Games Montréal, among others.[1]

History

The foundation of Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment (WBIE) under Warner Bros. was announced on January 14, 2004, along with the Warner Bros. Games (WB Games) brand under which WBIE would publish games. Jason Hall, previously of Monolith Productions, was named as its senior vice president.[2] Later that year, Warner Bros. acquired Monolith Productions.[3] Warner Bros. created a new group–Warner Bros. Home Entertainment–in October 2005 and organized WBIE as part of it.[4]

The first game that Monolith developed in conjunction with Warner Bros. Entertainment was The Matrix Online which SEGA helped co-publish. Warner Bros. also helped distribute both Enter the Matrix and The Matrix: Path of Neo for the Matrix series. In 2006, they bought a 10.3% stake in SCi Entertainment, the owner of Eidos Interactive. That same year, they released their first self-published title (with no co-publishers), Justice League Heroes, which was distributed by Eidos on the Xbox. In 2007, their goal was for a five-year plan to expand in the video game industry, which includes the acquisition of studios for internal development and the creation of a studio (WB Games) in the Seattle area that will run all the games published and developed by the company;[5] starting with the acquisition of TT Games that same year for the amount of GB£100 million.[6]

In April 2008, they increased their stake to 35% gaining distribution right of all Eidos games in the United States, Canada and Mexico.[7] On December 15, 2008, right after SCi changed their name to Eidos plc, Warner acquired a total of 10 million shares of the company, raising its owned amount to 19.92%, after an agreement which prevented Time Warner from acquiring more shares was scrapped one month earlier.[8] On January 28, 2009, The Hollywood Reporter reported the deal also gave Warner the rights of the Tomb Raider film series,[9] previously owned by Paramount Pictures. On February 12, 2009, SQEX Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Square Enix, announced a takeover offer worth GB£84.3 million (32p per share) for Eidos plc,[10] which was backed by Warner Bros. as shareholder.[11] Square Enix eventually took over the company April 22, 2009 and later changed the name to Square Enix Europe.

Warner Bros. announced on February 4, 2009 it had purchased independent developer Snowblind Studios.[12] Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the acquisition serves to strengthen the publisher's internal development effort. In 2009, Warner purchased most of the assets of American publisher Midway Games, operating under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, for US$49 million. The assets purchased include Midway's studio in Chicago[13] and Surreal Software, resulting in the ownership to the rights to the Joust, Mortal Kombat, The Suffering, Spy Hunter and Wheelman series.[14] Midway Games had previously worked with Warner Bros. on several games including Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe. Midway intended to hold an auction of its assets on June 29, 2009, but no other bids were placed. On July 10, 2009, the sale to Warner was completed for approximately US$49 million.[15] In the process, WB Games became the owner of the Blitz: The League series. On July 28, 2009, Midway's Mortal Kombat team was rebranded WB Games Chicago by its new owners[16] and, in 2010 was merged with Midway Games to form NetherRealm Studios.[17]

On January 13, 2010, it was announced that Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment will produce and have exclusive rights to Sesame Street video games starting in fall 2010 with Elmo's A-to-Zoo Adventure and Cookie's Counting Carnival.[18][19] On February 23, 2010, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group announced it had acquired majority stake in Rocksteady Studios, an independent development studio based in London. Rocksteady and Warner had previously worked together in Batman: Arkham Asylum and Batman: Arkham City, and have announced they will work in the future with more Warner Bros. licenses.[20]

On March 22, 2010, Warner Bros. Interactive is the latest videogame company to open a studio in Quebec. Current president Martin Tremblay will lead the new Montreal studio, which will be known as WB Games Montréal. This new studio will gradually grow to include more than 300 people by the end of 2015. Tremblay also said that Warner will open another studio in another city soon. Martin Tremblay told us that the new Montreal studio will focus on creating games based on the DC Comics license.[21] On April 9, 2010, Warner Bros has announced it will publish a third installment to its F.E.A.R. series in fall of this year.[22] Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group announced on April 20, 2010 the acquisition of Turbine, Inc. the developer of the famous MMOs Asheron's Call, Dungeons & Dragons Online and The Lord of the Rings Online.[23]

On June 4, 2010, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group and Turbine, inc. said that the massively multiplayer online title The Lord of the Rings Online was to become a free-to-play game that autumn.[24] Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment announced on June 10, 2010 that Mortal Kombat, the most brutal installment of the landmark fighting game to date was due for release on the PlayStation 3 computer entertainment system and Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system from Microsoft in 2011. Mortal Kombat was developed by the newly renamed NetherRealm Studios, led by Mortal Kombat creator and creative director Ed Boon.[25] Branching out from Game Party for the Wii, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment attempted to leverage the Xbox 360's newest piece of technology on June 14, 2010, revealed Game Party: In Motion for Kinect. Arriving November 4 as a launch title, In Motion for Microsoft's full-body motion-sensing technology brought sports and arcade games to the hardware.[26] After Kevin Tsujihara became chairman and CEO of Warner Bros. Entertainment, he promoted Diane Nelson to the post of President and Chief Content Officer of Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment.[27][28] In January 2015, David Haddad was named Executive Vice President and General Manager of the company.[29] In October 2015, he was promoted to president.[30]

On December 19, 2016, it was announced that Warner Bros. would no longer develop or publish The Lord of the Rings Online or Dungeons & Dragons Online; further development of the game would be handled by a newly formed studio Standing Stone Games, with publishing to be transitioned over to Daybreak Game Company. The new studio would take the old development team from Turbine, leaving Turbine as mobile only developer.[31] As part of the deal, Daybreak did not pickup the rights to Asheron's Call, an original IP created by Turbine and thus owned by Warner Bros. as part of the 2010 acquisition. This resulted in the closure of Asheron's Call and Asheron's Call 2: Fallen Kings on January 31, 2017.[32]

On January 24, 2017, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment announced it had acquired Avalanche Software from Disney Interactive Studios, including its Octane engine software, and re-opened the studio, with John Blackburn returning as its CEO. The studio's first title under their new owner was a companion video game to the Disney-Pixar film Cars 3, titled Cars 3: Driven to Win, in partnership with Warner Bros., Disney, and Pixar.[33]

On February 8, 2017, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment acquired Playdemic via TT Games to make Lego games for mobile devices.[34]

On July 11, 2018, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment acquired Plexchat, a communications platform for mobile games, with its founder and staff joining WB Games San Francisco.[35][36]

In mid-2020, there had been industry rumors that AT&T, as to raise funds, was looking to sell off parts of its divisions, with WBIE as one that had been rumored to be up for sale that would have raised US$4 billion according to CNBC; potential buyers had been rumored to include Take Two Interactive, Activision Blizzard and Electronic Arts.[37] However, in an August 2020 press release regarding an organizational restructuring, WarnerMedia stated that WBIE "remains part of the Studios and Networks group".[38][39] Bloomberg News reported AT&T has confirmed to no longer be selling the game division, the decision to keep the division amid a change in leadership at AT&T in July 2020.[40]

Subsidiaries

Publishing labels

  • Warner Bros. Games, introduced in 2005 as the primary publishing label.
  • Portkey Games was founded in 2017 as the publishing label for games set within the Wizarding World franchise.

Studios

Former studios

List of video games

See also

References

  1. ^ a b "Home Entertainment – Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment". Warner Bros. Archived from the original on June 30, 2019. Retrieved July 11, 2019.
  2. ^ "Newly Created Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment Inc. Dedicated To Interactive Gaming Business To Be Headed By Technology Executive Jason Hall". Warner Bros. January 14, 2004. Archived from the original on June 15, 2020. Retrieved June 15, 2020.
  3. ^ Sooman, Derek (August 12, 2004). "Warner Bros. Buys Monolith". TechSpot. Archived from the original on August 17, 2016. Retrieved October 28, 2016.
  4. ^ "Briefing". The Ledger. October 26, 2005. Archived from the original on June 15, 2020. Retrieved June 15, 2020.
  5. ^ Alexander, Leigh (October 19, 2007). "Q&A: Warner Bros' Ryan Talks Expansion, Acquisition, Superheroes". Gamasutra. UBM plc. Archived from the original on March 3, 2016. Retrieved October 28, 2016.
  6. ^ Kietzmann, Ludwig (December 11, 2007). "Report: TT Games sold to Warner Bros. for approx. $210 million". Engadget. AOL. Archived from the original on October 29, 2016. Retrieved October 28, 2016.
  7. ^ "Warner Bros. Strengthens Partnership with SCi". Edge Online. August 25, 2008. Archived from the original on May 23, 2012. Retrieved October 28, 2016.
  8. ^ Brightman, James (December 15, 2008). "Time Warner has picked up an additional 10 million shares, raising its total stake in Eidos to about 20% percent". GameDaily. AOL. Archived from the original on March 14, 2009. Retrieved October 28, 2016.
  9. ^ Zeitchik, Steven (January 28, 2009). "Lara Croft to return to the big screen". The Hollywood Reporter. Eldridge Industries. Archived from the original on February 3, 2009.
  10. ^ "Offer for Eidos plc". Square Enix Holdings Co Limited. February 12, 2009. Archived from the original on February 15, 2009. Retrieved February 12, 2009.
  11. ^ Jenkins, David (February 16, 2009). "Warner Backs Square Enix Bid For Eidos". Gamasutra. UBM plc. Archived from the original on March 3, 2016. Retrieved October 28, 2016.
  12. ^ Nelson, Randy (February 4, 2009). "Warner Bros Interactive acquires Snowblind Studios". Engadget. AOL. Archived from the original on October 29, 2016. Retrieved October 28, 2016.
  13. ^ Gilbert, Ben (July 27, 2009). "Mortal Kombat team sheds Midway skin for 'WB Games Chicago'". Engadget. AOL. Archived from the original on January 12, 2016. Retrieved October 28, 2016.
  14. ^ Pigna, Kris (June 27, 2009). "Warner Bros. Emerges as Sole Bidder for Midway". 1UP. IGN. Archived from the original on July 21, 2016. Retrieved October 28, 2016.
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  16. ^ Martin, Matt (July 28, 2009). "Mortal Kombat studio becomes WB Games Chicago". gamesindustry.biz. gamesindustry. Archived from the original on August 2, 2012. Retrieved October 28, 2016.
  17. ^ "Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment Announces Mortal Kombat". Business Wire. June 10, 2010. Archived from the original on October 29, 2016. Retrieved October 29, 2016.
  18. ^ "Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment And Sesame Workshop Announce Exclusive Worldwide Publishing Agreement For Sesame Street Video Games". Warner Brps. January 13, 2010. Archived from the original on October 29, 2016. Retrieved October 29, 2016.
  19. ^ "Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment Announces Sesame Street: Elmo's A-to-Zoo Adventure and Sesame Street: Cookie's Counting Carnival". EON. June 7, 2010. Archived from the original on February 27, 2012. Retrieved October 29, 2016.
  20. ^ Kietzmann, Ludwig (February 23, 2010). "Warner Bros. acquires Batman dev Rocksteady Studios". Engadget. AOL. Archived from the original on March 25, 2010. Retrieved October 29, 2016.
  21. ^ a b Graft, Kris (March 22, 2010). "Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment To Set Up New Montreal Studio". Gamasutra. UBM plc. Archived from the original on October 29, 2016. Retrieved October 29, 2016.
  22. ^ Brice, Katherine (April 9, 2010). "Warner Bros announces FEAR 3". gamesindustry.biz. Gamer Network. Archived from the original on September 21, 2016. Retrieved December 6, 2016.
  23. ^ Pham, Alex (April 20, 2010). "Warner Bros. acquires Turbine, developer of Lord of the Rings Online". Los Angeles Times. Tribune Publishing. Archived from the original on May 10, 2017. Retrieved December 6, 2016.
  24. ^ Martin, Matt (June 4, 2010). "Lord of the Rings Online adopts free-to-play model". gamesindustry.biz. Game Network. Archived from the original on December 21, 2016. Retrieved December 6, 2016.
  25. ^ "Mortal Kombat". Time Warner. June 10, 2010. Archived from the original on December 21, 2016. Retrieved December 6, 2016.
  26. ^ Makuch, Eddie (June 15, 2010). "Game Party: In Motion slated for Kinect launch". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on February 29, 2012. Retrieved December 6, 2016.
  27. ^ Littleton, Cynthia (May 15, 2013). "Kevin Tsujihara Realigns Management of WB's TV, Home Entertainment Units". Variety. Penske Media Corporation. Archived from the original on August 14, 2013. DC Entertainment prexy Diane Nelson adds oversight of the WB Interactive Entertainment unit overseeing its vidgame biz. She’ll now have dual report to Tsujihara and motion picture group topper Jeff Robinov.
  28. ^ "Diane Nelson". DCEntertainment.com. 2014. Archived from the original on June 26, 2014. As President & Chief Content Officer of Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, Nelson has the additional responsibilities of overseeing the development, production and marketing of all video game titles for WBIE, including those based on DC characters, as well as other Warner Bros. properties and original IP.
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  31. ^ Bree Royce (December 19, 2016). "Turbine Spins Lotro And Ddo Teams Out To New Studio, Using Daybreak As Publisher". Massively Overpowered. Archived from the original on December 20, 2016. Retrieved December 20, 2016.
  32. ^ Bree Royce (December 20, 2016). "ASHERON'S CALL AND ITS SEQUEL WILL SUNSET AS PART OF THE TURBINE/STANDING STONE SPLIT". Massively Overpowered. Archived from the original on December 22, 2016. Retrieved December 21, 2016.
  33. ^ a b McAloon, Alissa (January 24, 2017). "Disney Infinity dev revived and re-opened by Warner Bros". Gamasutra. Archived from the original on January 25, 2017. Retrieved January 24, 2017.
  34. ^ a b Byrne, Katharine (February 9, 2017). "TT Games acquires Golf Clash studio Playdemic". MCV. Archived from the original on February 18, 2017. Retrieved February 18, 2017.
  35. ^ "Warner Brors.Interactive Entertainment Invests in Social Capabilities for Mobile Games With Plexchat Acquisition". warnerbros.com. July 11, 2018. Archived from the original on July 12, 2018. Retrieved July 12, 2018.
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  37. ^ Sherman, Alex (June 12, 2020). "AT&T seeks sale for Warner gaming unit, could fetch about $4 billion, sources say". CNBC. Archived from the original on August 8, 2020. Retrieved August 9, 2020.
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  39. ^ Robinson, Andy (August 9, 2020). "Warner Bros. parent suggests its games business is staying put". Video Games Chronicle. Archived from the original on August 12, 2020. Retrieved August 9, 2020.
  40. ^ Ahmed, Nabila; Moritz, Scott (September 1, 2020). "AT&T to Scrap Sale of Warner Bros. Video-Game Unit". Bloomberg News. Archived from the original on September 3, 2020. Retrieved September 2, 2020.
  41. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on June 18, 2018. Retrieved July 9, 2018.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
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  44. ^ Batchelor, James (August 27, 2019). "Warner Bros opens new mobile studio in San Diego". GamesIndustry.biz. Archived from the original on August 27, 2019. Retrieved August 27, 2019.
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External links

This page was last edited on 9 January 2021, at 21:35
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