CNBC is reporting that AT&T, the parent company of both the global telecom firm and the multimedia entertainment arm of Warner Bros. HBO, etc., is looking to sell off Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment to the tune of about $4 billion.
If you've forgotten just how big that video game arm is, you wouldn't be blamed. The entire video game division of Warner Bros. includes Rocksteady, Netherrealm Studios, WB Games Montreal, Monolith Entertainment, and 5th Cell, the developers of Scribblenauts.
In the last decade these developers have been largely focused on developing games based on Warner Bros.-owned intellectual property. The makers of the Arkham series, the Middle-earth games, and other WB-based titles would be caught up in this sale.
Seeing AT&T attempt to sell these developers is a particularly surprising turn of events considering how wildly successful all the listed franchises have been. According to CNBC, Take Two Interactive, EA Games, and Activision-Blizzard have all expressed interest.
Of the above franchises, Netherrealm's Mortal Kombat games represent the largest "game-first" property in the bunch. The rest are obviously adapted from properties that AT&T either owns or has exclusive rights to. It's not clear if this deal would allow (or require) the studios to keep working in these franchises (which include DC Comics, Harry Potter, and Game of Thrones) or if the sale would mean that they'd be working on non-WB-focused efforts.
If this sale goes through, it probably does change the odds that anyone will adapt a video game out of Friends, at least.