WB Rejects One and Done Single-Player Games As Focus Shifts To Live-Service

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  • WB Games is shifting away from AAA games and towards the mobile/free-to-play live-service market.
  • It believes the AAA market is unpredictable and risky, pointing to limited potential for replicating Hogwarts Legacy’s success.
  • The company aims to invest in more live-service games like Suicide Squad.

WB Games is undergoing a significant shift in its game development strategy. The company is reportedly moving its focus away from the development of AAA single-player experience to prioritize the mobile and free-to-play market.

This decision comes amidst a perceived volatility in the AAA games market, where success can be highly unpredictable and hinge on factors beyond a developer’s control.

Why it matters: This is not the first time WB Games has expressed interest in live service, further highlighting its commitment to the shift.

At a recent talk at a Morgan Stanley event, J.B. Perrette, the head of gaming at Warner Bros. Discovery, talked about the company’s new focus on mobile, free-to-play, and live-service games.

The plan is to focus on core franchises and bringing at least one of them to mobile and F2P space.

-J.B. Perrette

Despite Hogwarts Legacy selling 24 million copies in less than a year, Perrette thinks the AAA market is extremely volatile. According to him, it may not always be possible to replicate the success of Hogwarts Legacy in every game.

Moreover, J.B. Perrette expressed his distress towards Suicide Squad and called it a complete disappointment for the company. A similar statement was made by the publisher last week.

WB Games seeks to establish a more consistent revenue stream by transitioning its focus to mobile and free-to-play games. Mobile gaming has seen huge growth lately, with lots of players spending money on in-game purchases.

Warner Bros. possesses a treasure trove of popular franchises, including Harry Potter, DC Comics, and Lord of the Rings, which hold immense potential for adaptation into successful mobile games.

Hogwarts Legacy WB Games
Hogwarts Legacy Was Last Year’s Best-Selling Game

Additionally, WB Games aims to keep players hooked for the long haul by making live service games.

Instead of just launching one-off games, it wants to create experiences like a Harry Potter game where players can stay connected to the world, living, working, building, and playing in it constantly.

Perrette says this approach allows a wider audience to experience the game while generating revenue from a dedicated player base.

WB Games’ choice to shift its focus mirrors a larger and recent trend in gaming. Many big game companies are putting more effort into mobile and free-to-play games because they see them as a big opportunity to make money.

Although WB Games might not make as many high-end console games anymore, it will not give up on them completely. Instead, the publisher will be more picky, focusing on console projects that are sure to do well.

Perette emphasized that an “investment plan” is in place to ensure the success of future games. Warner Bros. Games has some big-name franchises like Mortal Kombat, Harry Potter, and DC Comics.

With 11 in-house game studios, J.B. Perrette believes the company is in a great spot. The publisher aims to use its well-known brands and internal teams to create hit games and keep growing.

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