Warner Bros wants “always on” game success for DC, Game of Thrones

Warner Bros will push further into video games as it seeks ways to ensure its big budget franchises generate “more than just one great hit every three or four years”.

“We want it to be ‘always on’,” Warner Bros gaming and streaming boss JB Perrette told Variety. “And the good news is the gaming space is lending itself to that.”

Warner Bros values four of its franchises as worth a billion dollars each – DC, Game of Thrones, Harry Potter and Mortal Kombat. Speaking in the same interview, Warner Bros Interactive boss David Haddad said that video games will be a key component in ensuring those franchises remain evergreen – and ever lucrative.

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“A very consistent message coming from the executive layer of Warner Bros. Discovery is the importance of franchises,” Haddad said. “There’s a unique and important role games have in keeping our franchises relevant, resonant and exciting, because there’s plenty of fans and plenty of people consuming content where games are their starting point.

“When you ask what our goals are, it’s really that macro goal of making sure that we get as much engagement and time with the fans as possible.”

2023 marked one of Warner Bros. most successful years in gaming, with 3m sales of Mortal Kombat 1 and a staggering 24m copies sold of Hogwarts Legacy – which Warner Bros itself has claimed was the bestselling game of 2023 worldwide.

But Perrette noted that games like these are on “long” multi-year development cycles – meaning a long wait for a popular franchise to return for a sequel.

Looking to the future, Warner Bros. sees success in mobile games similar to Game of Thrones: Conquest, while for consoles and PC this week sees the launch of Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League, whose story campaign is set to be continued over the course of the next 12 months via a series of in-game seasons.

The next major Harry Potter title to launch will be a sports game based around Quidditch. There’s a Wonder Woman project currently being developed at Middle-earth Shadow of Morder studio Monolith. Finally, there’s Multiversus, the DC cross-franchise brawler still awaiting its full launch.

Perette also mentioned Warner Bros’ nascent plans to tie video games into James Gunn’s rebooted DC film universe, though this all seems further off.

“Frankly, there hasn’t been as close a relationship between the studio and the games business as there should have been,” Perette said. “And James [Gunn] is actually a gamer, so having someone who’s passionate about it is super helpful.”

Gunn is “actively working with” Warner Bros’ gaming division “on the core franchises within the DC Universe,” Perette concluded.

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