Microsoft is reportedly eyeing Warner Bros’ (also reportedly) up-for-sale Interactive Entertainment branch as a potential acquisition opportunity, at least according to sources familiar with the situation.
Speaking to The Information, those sources say that Microsoft has ‘expressed interest’ in picking up Warner Bros’ multi-studio game division after its own parent company AT&T started exploring the possibility of a sale last month.
Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment includes a prolific bunch of game development studios, such as Batman: Arkham dev Rocksteady, Mortal Kombat dev Netherrealm, WB Games Montreal, Middle-earth: Shadow of War dev Monolith Productions, and Scribblenauts dev 5th Cell.
If all accounts are to be believed, this would see Microsoft going up against fellow interested parties Take-Two Interactive, Electronic Arts, and Activision Blizzard to potentially acquire Warner Bros Interactive Entertainment for as much as $4 billion. However, these closed-doors chats don’t necessarily mean that a sale will happen in the long run.
In both this latest report and the original story on AT&T’s intent to sell, sources caution that a sale of WBIE isn’t set in stone despite current conversations. Still, the possibility of a purchase fits with Microsoft's past pattern of bolstering its first-party game development efforts through acquisitions, and would bring even more high-profile development houses into its Xbox Game Studios brand for the start of its next big console generation with the launch of the Xbox Series X later this year.