According to an internship advertisement, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment’s future projects will have a “heavy focus” on live services.
Details embedded within an internship advertisement note that future projects from WB Games will have a “heavy” emphasis on the live service model. For the most part, the writing’s been on the wall in this regard. WB Games in general has dabbled in online-centric systems for years.
Who can forget the microtransaction drama that plagued Middle-Earth: Shadow of War early in its life-cycle? Many may recall that the likes of Mortal Kombat 11 hardly fared any better on this front. And it appears as though titles such as Gotham Knights and Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League are primed to similarly employ aggressive in-game purchasing options, especially considering the co-op features deeply ingrained within both.
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As spotted by Twitter user MauroNL, an advertisement on a jobs page for WB Games reveals the publisher is presently attached to a number of titles geared towards emphasizing live service systems. The ad in question calls for someone interested in a summer 2021 internship as a Games Production MBA Intern. This particular posting went live on January 22 and notes the following about Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment’s slate of projects: “WBIE is currently involved in a variety of new projects, ranging from casual games to core games featuring our well-known franchises on all platforms (console, digital, mobile) with a heavy focus on live service.”
Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment (WBIE) is currently involved in a variety of new projects featuring their well-known franchises with a “heavy focus on live service”. This applies to both casual games and core games on all platforms (console, digital and mobile).
— MauroNL (@MauroNL3) January 25, 2021
Much of the publisher’s slate for this year and the next has previously been revealed. LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga, Back 4 Blood, and Gotham Knights are all due out in 2021. Meanwhile, Suicide Squad and the recently delayed Hogwarts Legacy are on track for 2022 releases. LEGO Star Wars may be the only title of this bunch that doesn’t seem fit to adopt live service elements. As such, WB Games’ stated intention to further emphasize persistent game models hardly comes as a surprise.
Live services in general continue to be rather hit or miss. BioWare’s Anthem, for instance, got off to an abysmal start with its 2019 launch and, despite the studio’s plans for an “Anthem 2.0” rebirth, remains in limbo. Unfortunately, Crystal Dynamic’s Marvel’s Avengers appears to have repeated Anthem’s missteps. It, too, suffered a disappointing roll out, leaving fans waiting for the next big update that will hopefully turn things around. What’s more, Marvel’s Avengers‘ dismal market performance cost publisher Square Enix millions. Here’s to hoping WB Games is studying both the successes and failures in the live service ecosystem.
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