The rumour mill is alive with rumblings that Microsoft could be in talks to buy Warner Bros Interactive Entertainment. If true, this could have big ramifications for the next Batman Arkham game and the upcoming Harry Potter RPG.
CNBC broke the news that parent company AT&T could be looking to sell Warner Bros Interactive Entertainment, the division of Warner Bros that develops and publishes high-profiles games including the Batman Arkham franchise, Mortal Kombat,Injustice, numerous LEGO games, and a whole host of Harry Potter tie-ins.
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Read on for all the latest info about this potentially massive purchase, and what it could mean for Xbox Series X...
Is Microsoft buying Warner Bros Games?
According to CNBC's report, Microsoft is one of several potential suitors that AT&T is thinking of selling Warner Bros Interactive Entertainment to.
The price tag is considered to be around $4 billion, and Microsoft will have to fight off rivals like EA and Activision Blizzard to stand a chance of buying Warner Bros Interactive Entertainment.
When you consider that the slate of Xbox Series X games is often criticised of container fewer exciting exclusives than the slate of PS5 games, it's easy to see why Microsoft might want to invest in Warner Bros Interactive Entertainment.
The list of developers that Microsoft already owns as part of Xbox Games Studios is not insignificant, but buying the gaming division of Warner Bros could bring huge companies like Rocksteady and Netherrealm into the Xbox family.
Warner Bros Publisher Sale on Xbox Store
The official Xbox account tweeted out a link to the WB Games, which are now all on sale, just days before the Xbox Games Showcase.
However, WB Games did not make an appearance at the Xbox Games Showcase, leaving Xbox fans wondering about if and when the company could announce a new acquisiton.
Will the next Batman Arkham game be an Xbox Series X exclusive?
As it stands, the next Batman Arkham game is yet to be announced - perhaps that's because AT&T wants to offload Warner Bros Interactive Entertainment first, and let the new owners do the job of promoting it.
Rocksteady (makers of Arkham Asylum, Arkham City and Arkham Knight) must have been working on something since its last release. And rumours are already rife that Warner Bros Games Montreal (makers of Arkham Origins) have a Batman game focused on the villainous Court Of Owls in development.
Eurogamer recently reported that Rocksteady's next game has the working title Suicide Squad Kill The Justice League, while WB Games Montreal is calling its current project Gotham Knights.
There could well be two exciting new Batman-based games coming soon, then. And you've got to presume that, if Microsoft does buy the gaming division of Warner Bros, it'll be up to Phil Spencer and his Xbox colleagues to decide how, when and where to release these hot titles.
Certainly, making the next Batman Arkham game an Xbox Series X exclusive - at least for a limited time - would be one way to lure a lot of punters into paying the Xbox Series X price.
Will the Harry Potter RPG be an Xbox Series X exclusive?
The next Batman game isn't the only mass-appeal title that Microsoft could hoover up by purchasing Warner Bros Interactive Entertainment.
There's also a Harry Potter RPG that has been strongly rumoured for years now, with Avalanche Software believed to be working on it - see the leaked trailer above for a taste!
Although AT&T would surely hold onto the Batman and Harry Potter rights in a larger legal sense, we can't help but wonder what will happen to these already-in-development games if this deal does go through.
Could Microsoft ask for the in-development Batman and Harry Potter games to be thrown in as part of the deal, with an eye to launching them both on Xbox Series X?
Only time will tell, of course, so watch this space! The possibility of Microsoft purchasing the power to do what they like with these games... well, it's a tantalising prospect for the Xbox Series X, and we'll be sure to let you know as concrete information comes to light.
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