Warner Bros. Discovery looks to focus its gaming strategy on mobile and free-to-play titles

Warner Bros Discovery (WBD) is heading for a planned “mobile” approach as CEO and President of Global Streaming and Games of the company Jean-Briac Perrette talked about their gaming strategy at a recent event. They want to focus more on live service, mobile, and free-to-play games because they see growth opportunities there.

While big console games like Hogwarts Legacy can be successful, they also carry risks. To reduce these risks, they’ll focus on popular franchises and bring them to mobile and free-to-play formats. They also plan to continue making big single-player games alongside these new ventures. With brands like Mortal Kombat, Game of Thrones, Harry Potter, and DC, and their game studios, they feel uniquely positioned, says Perrette.

In the recently concluded Morgan Stanley event, he stated, “We’re doubling down on games as an area where we think there is a lot more growth opportunity that we can tap into with the IP that we have and some of the capabilities we have on the studio where we’re uniquely positioned as both a publisher and a developer of games.”

Warner Bros JB perrette
Image via Warner Bros

He also confirms that they’re investing in new games and management strategies to make their games more successful. Perrette expects gaming to bring significant growth to WBD in the future, but it will take time to see results, possibly by 2025 or later. He believes owning popular brands and studios will help them navigate the evolving gaming landscape, including emerging technologies like virtual reality.

Well, no doubt exploring mobile and free-to-play games could open up new revenue streams, hopefully, I won’t see this shift that might be perceived as prioritizing profit over quality gaming experiences. Solely relying on big-budget AAA titles can be risky, so diversifying their portfolio makes sense from a business perspective. That being said, let us look at how this approach is with other companies.

This strategy from Warner Bros is different from what Disney is going for

I recently covered Disney coming up with a collaboration with Epic Games as it also invested $1.5 billion to acquire an equity stake in the Fortnite maker to create an expansive and open games and entertainment universe connected to Fortnite. When we draw parallels, it is clear that the two giants have distinct ideas on how to approach mobile gaming.

Disney has a straightforward view: invest and allow them to create, while Warner Bros wants the creative side of development to itself, although they will still focus on the investment part. Both are houses of amazing IPs and if one doesn’t bring out the juice in them by not exploring market opportunities, especially gaming, it will be a loss for sure.

disney cover
Image via Disney

Coming to what Warner Bros is planning with its gaming strategy, a free-to-play model would be a great way to bring in revenue. The live service model has a pretty successful track record, earning via in-app purchases (IAPs) or maybe adverts; although irritating, can be successful when it comes to mobile.

Fortnite is one of the biggest games out there, and it is a live service title, Disney’s plans are great for building on it. With good updates, you get a boost whereas an AAA pay-to-play model might not be suitable in the long run on mobile, and Warner Bros has the catalog to bank on this opportunity.

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