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Fate of Mortal Kombat creators NetherRealm Studios up in air as reports of WB Games splitting subsidiaries up circulate

Posted by John 'Velociraptor' Guerrero • May 17, 2021 at 3:45 p.m. PDT • Comments: 20

We've been wary of rumors that Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment could be sold by parent company AT&T for a while now. Though not quite a sale, AT&T announced Monday that they'll be merging WB Interactive Entertainment with Discovery in a $43 billion deal that will establish a whole new entity.

This move seems to be setting up to create a streaming service to compete with giants like Netflix and Disney+ as it will bring tons of popular intellectual properties under a common banner, but it also means potential turbulence and unknowns for the studios under the WB Games umbrella, such as Mortal Kombat and Injustice creators NetherRealm Studios.

Stephen Totilo of Axios and Julia Alexander of IGN report a bit more about these trickle down details of the larger merger.

There are 10 other studios in the same boat as NRS, including the likes of Rocksteady Studios (Batman Arkham), Monolith Productions, and Avalanche Software. The fates of these entities are widely up in the air at this time as, as noted in Totilo's tweet, it's unknown as to how they'll be divvied up between AT&T and the coming new company.

The fact that NRS has seen strong momentum in recent years with games like 2015's Mortal Kombat X (which sold over 11 million copies) and 2019's Mortal Kombat 11 (which was the fifth best selling game of 2019) bodes well in the sense that the bigger players won't necessarily want to mess with formulas that're currently working.

That said, relatively strong success in the relatively smaller fighting game arena may not have as much impact when in the scope of a $43 billion merger. We're still at a very early spot on this particular timeline as the new company has yet to even be named, and surely clarifying details will emerge in the coming weeks and months as we learn more.

One also has to wonder what this means for NRS' rumored deal with Marvel, as such a potential venture with DC's direct opposition adds yet another layer of chaotic complexity to things.

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