EA may now be seriously looking at purchasing games publisher Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. According to Video Games Chronicle , EA’s chief operating officer Blake Jorgensen spoke strongly about acquiring new companies during a new investor meeting.
Jorgensen chose not to comment on the highly rumored sale of the WB Games unit but confirmed that EA is “more interested than ever” in making acquisitions. EA “gets a look at almost everything” that’s up for sale in the industry, said Jorgensen, meaning it likely has discussed buying WB Games at some point.
Jorgensen revealed said that EA is “really trying to buy great talent versus games,” bringing up EA’s acquisition of Apex Legends and Titanfall developer Respawn Entertainment to illustrate this.
It’s unclear if WB Games, which owns the studios behind games such as Middle-earth: Shadow of War, the Lego Star Wars games, and the Batman: Arkham series, represents great talent and not just great titles to EA.
If EA does purchase WB Games, for a rumored asking price of $4 billion, fans will be wondering how the publisher’s games could change. Could fans expect to see cosmetic microtransactions shoehorned into the Batman: Arkham series? Will the LEGO games be flooded with loot boxes aimed at children, something EA learned how to do successfully with FIFA?
In truth, WB Games has done a strong job of putting controversial microtransactions in its games all by itself. While it was EA’s Star Wars Battlefront 2 that caught all the backlash for its pay to win loot boxes in 2017, a WB Games-published title was also criticized at the time.
Six months after launch, Middle-earth: Shadow of War removed all microtransactions and loot boxes . This decision also came after the game was criticized for selling “pay to win” items that allowed the protagonist Talion to level up faster and build a more powerful army.
Under license from WB Games, developer Jam City released mobile game Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery in 2018. That game was criticized for its microtransactions too, asking players to spend money to save a Hogwarts student from being choked .
EA may not be the company that purchases WB Games, as a report by The Information revealed that Microsoft is also thinking about acquiring the publisher. If it does though, it seems likely that very little about WB Games titles will change.