AT&T is looking into a potential sale of Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment gaming division in a deal that would pull in around $4 billion, according to reports by CNBC. This sale would include games tied to Harry Potter, Game of Thrones, Mortal Kombat, and Lego.
This would not be a direct sale of Warner Bros. intellectual properties, but it would likely mean whichever company buys the WB gaming division enter a commercial licensing agreement with AT&T to split future revenue for certain franchises. Any potential deal involving the WB gaming division would require a lot of additional deals and agreements between the buyer and seller, which would allow AT&T and WarnerMedia to keep control of its IP, while also letting the buyer develop new titles using those franchises.
Pre-existing games as a service and franchises like Harry Potter: Wizards Unite and the Batman Arkham series alone would draw some attention even without the other properties.
Some potential suitors for a deal with AT&T are Take-Two Interactive, Electronic Arts, and Activision Blizzard, which all came up in the initial report. According to CNBC, AT&T and Take-Two declined to comment, while EA or Activision weren’t available for comment.
AT&T acquired Time Warner in 2018 in a deal that closed at $109 billion. As a whole through all of its assets, AT&T has nearly $200 billion in total debt, with talks of selling off non-core assets such as the WB gaming division and other areas like DirectTV to start paying it off.
Former WarnerMedia CEO John Stankey will replace Randall Stephenson as the chief executive officer of AT&T on July 1, which will bring with it several changes to how the company handles things, including assets in regard to debt. According to a statement made at Morgan Stanley’s Technology, Media & Telecom Conference, Stankey says the company is focusing on “a lot of work around portfolio rationalization.”