AT&T has announced that it plans to merge WarnerMedia with Discovery, in order to establish “a premier, standalone global entertainment company.” This massive $43 billion USD deal setup by AT&T will not only shake up the media streaming market, but will likely affect multiple gaming studios under Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment.
According to Axios reporter Sara Fischer, AT&T plans to keep keep some of its gaming studios, while selling off others to the “new company.” This will certainly impact Warner Bros Interactive Entertainment (WBIE), the parent company of 11 studios such as NetherRealm and Rocksteady. It is also still unclear whether the developers behind Mortal Kombat and the upcoming Suicide Squad game will be part of the deal. However, it is safe to assume that some of the more successful franchises will not be altered much regardless of which company owns them. A WarnerMedia representative told IGN that they predict TT Games, makers of the LEGO games, to be sold by WarnerMedia first.
This news comes as a surprise, as WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar made it clear that WBIE was not for sale less than a year ago. WBIE garnered attention from several giant publishers, most notably Microsoft, with a reported selling price of $4 billion USD. The deal eventually fell through, and the company will be part of the merger instead.
What does this merger mean for AT&T and WarnerMedia?
Apart from gaming, AT&T and Discovery are looking to become big players in the TV streaming market, aiming to compete directly with current market leaders. While AT&T is looking to expand its content library with this merging, it seems not much will be changing for consumers in the near future. Discovery CEO David Zaslav told reporters that HBO Max and discovery+ will remain separate services for the time being, but plans could change as they evaluate their options going forward. Hopefully, this merger will benefit the company’s gaming division and the studios involved in the deal.