Warner Bros says it will focus on live service games and projects moving forward. According to CEO David Zaslav, the goal is to now “transform” its biggest IPs and franchises into three to four-year release schedules in order to motivate players to play new games – be it through multiplatform, free-to-play or live service – for prolonged periods of time to “drive engagement and monetisation.” As you can imagine, the response hasn’t been kind online.
Warner Bros is one of many gaming companies that have attempted to pivot towards live service games this generation. Square Enix’s push into the market with Marvel’s Avengers ended up being one of gaming’s biggest misfires while reports continue to surface of Sony being a bit of a mess internally with its attempts to churn out more live service titles. Despite all the red flags in the industry, Zaslav believes this is the right direction for Warner Bros to take.
Zaslav’s statement regarding Warner Bros’ pivot towards live service games reads:
“Our focus is on transforming our biggest franchises from largely console and PC based with three-four year release schedules to include more always on gameplay through live services, multiplatform and free-to-play extensions with the goal to have more players spending more time on more platforms. Ultimately we want to drive engagement and monetisation of longer cycles and at higher levels. We have put specific capabilities. We are currently under scale and see significant opportunity to generate greater post purchase revenue.”
“Bottom line, we’ve come a long way in 19 months and have built a very solid foundation for growth,” Zaslav continued. “I’m energised by what we’ve done in such a short period of time and even more so than where we are headed as a company.”
As many fans pointed out, the statement seems like an attempt to draw the attention of investors. Warner Bros has already started shifting Mortal Kombat 1 towards more lucrative shores with new paid post-launch content while the upcoming Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League is unlikely to drop its live service elements at this rate. Considering that the single-player Hogwarts Legacy launched earlier this year and quickly became one of the most financially successful gaming releases of 2023, fans are puzzled by this decision.
Source: Warner Bros