You're not logged in | Login / Register | News Filter | Submit News

Harry Potter may have saved Mortal Kombat from potential red tape issues as AT&T removes 'for sale' sign from Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment

Posted by John 'Velociraptor' Guerrero • September 3, 2020 at 4:21 p.m. PDT • Comments: 7

AT&T has removed Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment from the list of assets it's currently trying to sell, according to a September 1 report from Bloomberg.

The telecommunications giant had been entertaining the idea of selling the Warner Bros. gaming business, which houses properties such as NetherRealm Studios' Mortal Kombat and Niantic's Harry Potter: Wizards Unite under its umbrella, earlier this year, but that seems highly unlikely now.

This is something of a third chapter in this particular story as we first heard back in June that AT&T was considering selling their gaming division. Following their 2018 $85 billion purchase of Time Warner Inc., (their 2015 direct acquisition of DirecTV is likely a relevant factor as well) the world's largest telecommunications company found itself in a considerable amount of debt.

Potential plans to sell off certain assets have been circulating in recent times, and WBIE was estimated to be worth somewhere between 2-4 billion dollars. This seemed a tentative plan until early last month when WarnerMedia CEO, Jason Kilar, stated that Warner would be saying with AT&T.

AT&T's removal of Warner Bros. video games from their current for sale list further cements this notion. Bloomberg expands a bit as to why the Dallas-based company would have rescinded plans to sell, noting that WB's plans for a 2021 Harry Potter RPG game could mean big financial gains.

In restricting many forms of entertainment, movie theaters being one of the most obvious, video games have seen a bump in popularity. Major releases are "landing like blockbuster movies," and so a high end, open world Harry Potter title might hold too much promise to discard. This is all just speculation, of course.

If anything, this news will likely inspire sighs of relief for Mortal Kombat and Injustice fans simply because the chaos and red tape that can come with major intellectual properties changing ownership hands can potentially mean limited development in the future, especially considering how much NetherRealm Studios (the development company directly behind Mortal Kombat and Injustice) loves to bring in guest characters.

By no means would this have been a surefire happening in the case of a sale, but Marvel vs. Capcom fans know all too well the worst case scenarios that come with such situations. Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 was infamously stunted after Disney (who acquired Marvel in 2009) chose not to renew Capcom's license with the Marvel characters and instead to pursue their ill-fated Disney Infinity series with the characters.

Issues continued even after Disney eventually green lit 2017's Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite due to the fact that 20th Century Fox still owned the rights to X-Men characters. The fighting game community expressed great disdain for the fact that some of their favorite icons from MvC titles past were not available in Infinite. The absence of X-Men still stands as one of the major contributors to MvCI's ultimate failure to meet sales expectations.

NetherRealm Studios is currently enjoying plenty of momentum as Mortal Kombat 11 and its recently-released Aftermath update continue to receive plenty of excited attention and support from the gaming community. Rumors of additional content, including Evil Dead's Ash Williams as a DLC character, are currently buzzing and turning fans' interests toward the future.

Load comments (7)