Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
|Type||Division of Warner Bros.|
Computer and video games
|Founded||1993 (as Warner Bros. Consumer Products)|
|Headquarters||Burbank, California, United States|
|Key people||David Brandt (president)|
|Products||Batman Arkham series
Spy Hunter series
Lord of the Rings Online
Mortal Kombat series
The Witcher series
Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, Inc. (WBIE) is a division of Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group. It is a worldwide publisher, developer, licensor and distributor of video games for both internal and third party titles. Under the WBIE umbrella is Warner Bros. Games (also the division's major publishing unit), which focuses on the creation, development and production of first-party titles. Because of the distribution, marketing and sales infrastructure of Warner Home Video, WBIE is a significant worldwide publisher for both internal and third-party game titles.
In 1995, Warner Bros. Interactive licensed out their first game property under their current name, Batman Forever to Acclaim Entertainment. They continued to license games based on Cartoon Network, DC Comics, Hanna-Barbera, Looney Tunes and various Warner Bros. film properties over the years to such video game publishers as Ubisoft, EA, Infogrames and THQ.
In 2003, they co-published their first video game, Looney Tunes: Back in Action. EA was the other publisher of the game. In 2004, Warner Bros. acquired developer Monolith Productions. In 2005, the WB Games label was created. The first game that Monolith developed in conjunction with Warner Bros. Entertainment was The Matrix Online which SEGA helped co-publish. Warner Bros. also helped distribute both Enter the Matrix and The Matrix: Path of Neo for the Matrix series. In 2006, they bought a 10.3% stake in SCi Entertainment, the owner of Eidos Interactive. That same year, they released their first self-published title (with no co-publishers), Justice League Heroes, which was distributed by Eidos on the Xbox. In 2007, their goal was for a five-year plan to expand in the video game industry, which includes the acquisition of studios for internal development and the creation of a studio (WB Games) in the Seattle area that will run all the games published and developed by the company; starting with the acquisition of TT Games that same year for the amount of £100 million.
In April 2008, they increased their stake to 35% gaining distribution right of all Eidos games in the United States, Canada and Mexico. On December 15, 2008, right after SCi changed their name to Eidos plc, Warner acquired a total of 10 million shares of the company, raising its owned amount to 19.92%, after an agreement which prevented Time Warner from acquiring more shares was scrapped one month earlier. On January 28, 2009, The Hollywood Reporter reported the deal also gave Warner the rights of the Tomb Raider film series, previously owned by Paramount Pictures. On February 12, 2009, SQEX Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Square Enix, announced a takeover offer worth £84.3 million (32p per share) for Eidos plc, which was backed by Warner Bros. as shareholder. Square Enix eventually took over the company April 22, 2009 and later changed the name to Square Enix Europe.
Warner Bros. announced on February 4, 2009 it had purchased independent developer Snowblind Studios. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the acquisition serves to strengthen the publisher's internal development effort. In 2009, Warner purchased most of the assets of American publisher Midway Games, operating under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, for $49 million. The assets purchased include Midway's studio in Chicago and Surreal Software, resulting in the ownership to the rights to the Joust, Mortal Kombat, The Suffering, Spy Hunter and Wheelman series. Midway Games had previously worked with Warner Bros. on several games including Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe. Midway intended to hold an auction of its assets on June 29, 2009, but no other bids were placed. On July 10, 2009, the sale to Warner was completed for approximately $49 million. In the process, WB Games became the owner of the Blitz: The League series. On July 28, 2009, Midway's Mortal Kombat team was rebranded WB Games Chicago by its new owners and, in 2010 was merged with Midway Games to form NetherRealm Studios.
On January 13, 2010, it was announced that Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment will produce and have exclusive rights to Sesame Street video games starting in fall 2010 with Elmo's A-to-Zoo Adventure and Cookie's Counting Carnival. On February 23, 2010, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group announced it had acquired majority stake in Rocksteady Studios, an independent development studio based in London. Rocksteady and Warner had previously worked together in Batman: Arkham Asylum and Batman: Arkham City, and as been announced to work in the future with more Warner Bros. licenses.
On March 22, 2010, Warner Bros. Interactive is the latest videogame company to open a studio in Quebec. Current president Martin Tremblay will lead the new Montreal studio, which will be known as WB Games Montreal. This new studio will gradually grow to include more than 300 people by the end of 2015. Tremblay also said that Warner will open another studio in another city soon. Martin Tremblay told us that the new Montreal studio will focus on creating games based on the DC Comics license. On April 9, 2010, Warner Bros has announced it will publish a third installment to its F.E.A.R. series in fall of this year. Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group announced on April 20, 2010 the acquisition of Turbine, Inc. the developer of the famous company MMOs Asheron's Call, Dungeons & Dragons Online and Lord of the Rings Online.
On June 4, 2010, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group and Turbine, inc. have said that the massively multiplayer online title Lord of the Rings Online is to become a free-to-play game this autumn. Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment announces on June 10, 2010 that Mortal Kombat, the most brutal installment of the landmark fighting game to date was due for release on the PlayStation 3 computer entertainment system and Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system from Microsoft in 2011. Mortal Kombat was developed by the newly renamed NetherRealm Studios, led by Mortal Kombat creator and creative director Ed Boon. Branching out from Game Party for the Wii, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment set its sights on the Xbox 360's newest piece of technology on June 14, 2010, revealed Game Party: In Motion for Kinect. Arriving November 4 as a launch title, In Motion for Microsoft's full-body motion-sensing technology brings sports and arcade games to the hardware.
Warner Bros. Interactive also published Grasshopper Manufacture's Japanocentric game Lollipop Chainsaw, which was produced by Suda 51 of No More Heroes and Shadows of the Damned. It was also penned by James Gunn.
- Monolith Productions in Kirkland, Washington, founded in 1994, acquired in 2004
- NetherRealm Studios in Chicago, founded as Midway Games Chicago in 1988, acquired from Midway Games on July 27, 2009 and renamed in 2010
- Rocksteady Studios in London, founded in 2004 and majority stake acquired in February 2010
- TT Games in Maidenhead, England, founded in 2005, acquired November 8, 2007
- Turbine in Needham, Massachusetts, founded in 1994, acquired in 2010
- Warner Bros. Games Montréal in Montreal, founded in 2010
- Warner Bros. Games San Francisco in San Francisco, founded in 2013
- Snowblind Studios in Kirkland, Washington, founded in 1997, acquired in 2009. Merged into Monolith Productions in 2010.
- Surreal Software in Kirkland, Washington, founded in 1995, acquired from Midway Games on July 27, 2009. Merged into Monolith Productions in 2012.
List of video games
- List of Batman video games
- List of video games based on DC Comics
- List of Looney Tunes games
- List of Superman video games
- List of Tom and Jerry video games
- List of Tiny Toon Adventures video games
||This section includes a list of references, but its sources remain unclear because it has insufficient inline citations. (January 2010)|
- Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment :: Games. Wbie.com. Retrieved on 2013-08-23.
- "Warner Bros. Buys Monolith". TechSpot.
- Alexander, Leigh. "Q&A: Warner Bros' Ryan Talks Expansion, Acquisition, Superheroes". Gamasutra.
- Kietzmann, Ludwig. "Report: TT Games sold to Warner Bros. for approx. $210 million". Joystiq.
- "Warner Bros. Strengthens Partnership with SCi". Edge Online. 2008-04-28. Retrieved 2009-01-31.
- "Time Warner has picked up an additional 10 million shares, raising its total stake in Eidos to about 20% percent.". Game Daily. 2008-12-15. Retrieved 2009-01-31.
- Zeitchik, Steven. "Lara Croft to return to the big screen". The Hollywood Reporter.[dead link]
- "Offer for Eidos plc". Square Enix Holdings Co Limited. 2009-02-12. Retrieved 2009-02-12.
- Jenkins, David. "Warner Backs Square Enix Bid For Eidos". Gamasutra.
- Nelson, Randy. "Warner Bros Interactive acquires Snowblind Studios". Joystiq.
- Gilbert, Ben. "Mortal Kombat team sheds Midway skin for 'WB Games Chicago'". Joystiq.
- Pigna, Kris. "Warner Bros. Emerges as Sole Bidder for Midway". 1up.
- Spangler, Todd. "Midway Completes Time Warner Sale". Multichannel.
- Martin, Matt. "Mortal Kombat studio becomes WB Games Chicago". gamesindustry.
- Murphy, Joseph. "New Mortal Kombat coming 2011 says Warner Brothers". TheGamingLiberty.com, June 10, 2010
- [dead link]
- "Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment Announces Sesame Street: Elmo’s A-to-Zoo Adventure and Sesame Street: Cookie’s Counting Carnival". EON.
- Kietzmann, Ludwig. "Warner Bros. acquires Batman dev Rocksteady Studios". Joystiq.
- "Warner Interactive Opening Montreal Studio". GameFocus.
- Brice, Katherine. "Warner Bros announces FEAR 3". gamesindustry.
- Martin, Matt. "Lord of the Rings Online adopts free-to-play model". gamesindustry.
- Press Releases- Newsroom. Time Warner. Retrieved on 2013-08-23.
- Makuch, Eddie. "Game Party: In Motion slated for Kinect launch". GameSpot.
- Cullen, Johnny (2011-08-01). "Warner to publish Grasshopper’s Lollipop Chainsaw". vg247. Retrieved 2011-08-01.
- Graser, Marc (2013-03-22). "Warner Bros. Opens San Francisco Game Studio". Variety. Retrieved 2013-03-25.