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Warner Bros. focusing on mobile and free-to-play instead of “volatile” AAA console games

Warner Bros. Discovery gaming boss J.B. Perrette wants the company to move away from the “volatile” market of AAA games for consoles.


Speaking during a recent Morgan Stanley event (thanks Gamespot), Perrette said the company would combat volatility by focusing on its biggest franchises and bringing some to the mobile and free-to-play space in addition to live-service games. The aim is more consistent revenue.

“We’re doubling down on games as an area where we think there is a lot more growth opportunity that we can tap into with the IP that we have and some of the capabilities we have on the studio where we’re uniquely positioned as both a publisher and a developer of games,” he said.

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“Rather than just launching a one-and-done console game, how do we develop a game around, for example, a Hogwarts Legacy or Harry Potter, that is a live-service where people can live and work and build and play in that world in an ongoing basis?”

Perrette noted that WBD has popular brands to rely on, such as Mortal Kombat, Game of Thrones, Harry Potter and DC, as well as 11 different internal studios for game development. As such, he expects gaming to bring the company “meaningful growth” in the future.

His comments are interesting following the company’s most recent releases.

Hogwarts Legacy was the best-selling game of last year, selling 22m copies, though its more recent Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League has proven a big disappointment.

While specific sales figures are yet to be shared, the company’s chief financial officer Gunnar Wiedenfels last month stated Suicide Squad had “fallen short of our expectations”.

Together, the two games certainly encapsulate that volatility Perrette described.

Suicide Squad includes the sort of live service elements he’s keen to build upon, though it’s these that were criticised by media and players alike upon the game’s release.

Its first season of post-launch content will add The Joker later this month.

Perrette’s comments also mirror those of WBD CEO David Zaslav who outlined in November the company’s plans to focus on “always on” live service games.


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