Over the weekend, a rumor began circulating around the gaming Internet circles that the Lego and Mortal Kombat devs are up for sale. According to Jez Corden of Windows Central, parent company Warner Bros. is looking to sell NetherRealm Studios, the people behind Mortal Kombat, as well as TT Games, the house that built the Lego games franchise. Officially though, WB Games denies this.
“I can confirm NetherRealm Studios and TT Games will continue to remain a part of Warner Bros. Games, and all are included in the Warner Media Discovery merger”, said Remi Sklar, senior vice president of communications at Warner Bros. Entertainment in a statement to TheGamer. WB also refrained from commenting on how the rumors began.
The rumors follows the decision by AT&T to spin off WarnerMedia and merge it with Discovery, Inc. to envision a new global entertainment powerhouse that can compete with the likes of Disney and Netflix. It’s said that some parts of WB Games will be sold off as a part of this process, but which studios would stay and which studios would be sold have not been confirmed.
WB Games consists of about a dozen studios that include Avalanche (currently developing Hogwarts Legacy with Portkey Games), Rocksteady and Monolith. Corden maintains that while several studios remain within the scope of current plans — that is to say, delivering high profile blockbuster fare that can serve their cinematic brands — while studios like NetherRealm and TT Games do not.
It’s a bit strange that any games division would consider writing off these studios. NetherRealm has done well for itself. The Mortal Kombat devs have established a solid reputation for narrative heavy, cinematically-styled fighting games like Injustice 2, enough to wonder why anyone would put them up for sale. Similarly, TT Games has earned acclaim and commercial success for its licensed Lego games.
Simply put, both studios have a reputation in steadfast delivery of releases. Videogame consumers can expect to see Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga later this year. NetherRealm’s next project is assumed to be Injustice 3, though rumors are that they’re working on a Marvel fighting game — despite their corporate relations with DC Comics. If anything, even if both studios could fetch a decent chunk of change for AT&T / WarnerMedia, it doesn’t make long-term sense to sell them.