- For Time Warner's previous video games publishing division, see Atari Games.
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. Leveraging the distribution, marketing and sales infrastructure within 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 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, it 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 dollars. 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 renamed 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 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 La Belle Province. 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. It is obvious that the new studio will take advantage of the great incentive program offered by the Québec government. 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 instalment to its FEAR series in fall of this year.
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 in June 10, 2010, Mortal Kombat, the most brutal installment of the landmark fighting game to date for release on the PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system and Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft in 2011. Mortal Kombat is being 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 in 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.
- Monolith Productions in Kirkland, Washington (Official site), founded in 1994, acquired in 2004.
- NetherRealm Studios in Chicago, Illinois (Official site), founded as Midway Games Chicago in 1988, acquired from Midway Games on July 27, 2009.
- Rocksteady Studios in London, England (Official site), founded in 2004 and acquired majority stake in February 2010.
- Snowblind Studios in Bothell, Washington (Official site), founded in 1997, acquired in 2009.
- Surreal Software in Seattle, Washington (Official site), founded in 1995, acquired from Midway Games on July 27, 2009.
- TT Games in Buckinghamshire, England (Official site), founded in 2005, acquired November 8, 2007.
- Turbine, Inc. in Westwood, Massachusetts (Official site), founded in 1994, acquired in 2010.
- WB Games in Kirkland, Washington (Official site), started in 2005, became an internal developer in 2007.
- WB Games Montreal in Montreal, Canada (Official site), founded in 2010.
Games published, developed or licensed
Cartoon Network games
DC and Vertigo Comics games
Looney Tunes games
Warner Bros. Pictures games
- Condemned 2: Bloodshot
- F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin
- Guinness World Records: The Video Game
- Lego Battles
- Lego Rock Band (co-published with MTV Games and Electronic Arts)
- Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe (co-published with Midway Games)
- Overlord II
- Puyo Pop Fever
- Tomb Raider: Underworld (co-distributed with Eidos Interactive)
- Touchmaster 3
- Wanted: Weapons of Fate
- Batman: Arkham City
- Batman: The Brave and The Bold: The Videogame
- F.E.A.R. 3
- Galactic Taz Ball
- Game Party: In Motion
- Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters
- Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole
- Lego Harry Potter: Years 1-4
- Mortal Kombat (2011)
- Primal Earth
- Scene It? Bright Lights! Big Screen!
- Scooby-Doo! and the Spooky Swamp
- Sesame Street: Cookie's Counting Carnival
- Sesame Street: Elmo's A-to-Zoo Adventure
- Super Scribblenauts
- The Bachelor: The Videogame
- The Clique: Diss and Make-Up
- The Lord of the Rings: Aragorn's Quest
- The Lord of the Rings: War in the North
- This is Vegas
- Vacation Isle: Beach Party
- Batman video games
- List of video games based on DC Comics
- List of Looney Tunes video games
- Superman video games
- 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. Please help to improve this article by introducing more precise citations where appropriate. (January 2010)|
- Warner Bros. Strengthens Partnership with SCi. Edge Online (2008-04-28). Retrieved on 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 on 2009-01-31
- Offer for Eidos plc. Square Enix Holdings Co Limited (2009-02-12).
- Murphy, Joseph. "New Mortal Kombat coming 2011 says Warner Brothers". TheGamingLiberty.com, June 10, 2010