Why is Warner Bros Discovery Eyeing the Free-to-Play and Live Service Game Market?


At a recent Morgan Stanley Technology, Media, and Telecom Conference, JB Perrette, a Warner Bros. Discovery executive, shed light on the company’s plans to expand its footprint in free-to-play and live service games.

Historically, Warner Bros. Discovery’s gaming business has been heavily reliant on AAA console releases.

While blockbuster hits like Hogwarts Legacy drive the company to unprecedented heights, underperformers like the recently launched Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League leave a significant dent in their financial projections.

Hence, Perrette sincerely acknowledged the volatile nature of this industry and prompted the need for a more consistent revenue stream.

Embracing a Holistic Approach to Gaming’s Future

Warner Bros. Discovery’s vision is to adopt a holistic approach to its four core franchises:

  • Mortal Kombat
  • Game of Thrones
  • Harry Potter
  • DC

The company recognizes the untapped potential of these billion-dollar juggernauts and aims to leverage their popularity across multiple platforms, particularly in the mobile and free-to-play space.

Why Focus on Live Service Game?

Gone are the days of the “one-and-done” console game release.

Warner Bros. Discovery is exploring the concept of live service games, where players can seamlessly inhabit and shape their favorite gaming worlds on an ongoing basis.

Live-service games have become increasingly popular in recent years, offering a continuous stream of content updates, events, and microtransactions

Some of the popular examples of live service games are Fortnite, Apex Legends, GTA Online, and Genshin Impact.

These games thrive on player engagement and retention, creating a sense of community and longevity.

The live-service model allows developers to generate ongoing revenue, making it an attractive business strategy for publishers like Warner Bros.

Quidditch Champions: Warner Bros’ Answer to Live-Service Gaming?

According to reports from Insider Gaming, Warner Bros. currently has a live-service Harry Potter game in development called “Quidditch Champions.”

Described as a twist on the popular Rocket League, Quidditch Champions aims to offer fluid and fast-paced gameplay with a skill-gap that could appeal to competitive players.

The game had its biggest playtest yet in late 2023, suggesting that it may be nearing release.

What Challenges Exist in Live Service Game?

While the shift towards free-to-play and live service models presents exciting opportunities, it also comes with its own set of challenges.

  • Maintaining a consistent flow of engaging content and updates is crucial to sustaining player interest and retention.
  • Additionally, offering affordable monetization options and delivering a compelling gameplay experience will be key to winning over both fans and critics.

Warner Bros Discovery will have to form the right balance while tapping into Live Service Game.

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