During Warner Bros Games’ 2023 Q3 earnings call, WB Discover CEO David Zaslav explained that the publisher behind games like Batman: Arkham Knight and Suicide Squad will focus on creating more always-online, free-to-play, live-service games.
WB Games, the video game publishing branch of the media conglomerate WB Discovery, has had a pretty solid few years, with big hits like Hogwarts Legacy, Mortal Kombat 1, and LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga. But its big DC Comics live-service co-op action game, Gotham Knights, flopped. And Suicide Squad: Kill The Justice League, its upcoming online co-op game also set in the DC universe( and which also appears to be another live-service thing), has seen numerous delays while fans have reacted negatively to its features. Despite this, WB Games has plans to do more games like Gotham Knights and Suicide Squad in the future.
During November 8’s earnings call, Zaslav opened with a summary of the company’s ongoing projects, finances, and plans across film, TV, and games. Zaslav called WB Games’ library of popular franchises, a real “growth opportunity” and a key asset in its “arsenal.” He also made it clear that single-player games like Arkham City aren’t really on the menu anymore.
“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,” explained Zaslav. “The goal [is to] have more players spending more time on more platforms.”
Further, the WB Discover CEO told investors that this push to create more live-service, always-online video games would help “drive engagement and monetization” and added that these types of games provide a “significant opportunity to generate greater post-purchase revenue.”
In other words, Zaslav wants to pump out more live-service games, like the upcoming Suicide Squad, because the company can make more money from microtransactions in the long run. And looking at how expensive the cosmetics are in Mortal Kombat 1, I’m not excited about future WB Games and their in-game stores.
I imagine many folks reading this aren’t fans of more games going the live-service route, but I also don’t think Zaslav cares about that. He’s made a habit of making bad choices that anger people in recent years.
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