Warner Bros still focusing on live service despite Suicide Squad flop

Warner Bros still focusing on live service despite Suicide Squad flop

Entertainment giant Warner Bros is still planning on focusing on live-service titles in spite of a lacklustre reception to Suicide Squad Kill the Justice League.

Speaking at the Morgan Stanley 2024 Technology, Media and Telecom Conference, the company's president and CEO of global streaming and games Jean-Briac Perrette said that moving to this kind of a model would make its interactive entertainment business slightly less volatile from year-to-year. The exec cited 2023 being a good year because of the success of Hogwarts Legacy, while 2024 was off to a less-than-stellar start thanks to the Suicide Squad.

"The challenge we've had is our business, historically, there has been very triple-A console-based," Perrette said.

"And so as you know, that's a great business when you have a hit like Harry Potter. It makes the year look amazing. And then when you don't have a release or, unfortunately, we also have disappointments as we just released Suicide Squad this quarter, which was not as strong. It just makes it very volatile.

"We think the opportunity for us, which is, again, this is a multiyear because it's games. It's certainly a bit of a long-cycle business, too. But the opportunity is to take [Mortal Kombat, Game of Thrones, Harry Potter and DC] and be able to develop a much more holistic approach, particularly around expanding into the mobile and multi-platform free-to-play space, which could give us a much better and more consistent set of revenue. And you'll see us launching later this year, some mobile free-to-play games, which we hope will start building that.

"And then secondarily, live services. So rather than just launching a kind of one-and-done console game, how do we develop a game around, for example, Hogwarts Legacy or Harry Potter that is a live service, where people can continue to live and work and build and play in that world on an ongoing basis. And so we think we've got the franchises. We've got some of the greatest studio capabilities. And we have a road map and a strategic investment plan to try and build out that business, and we think there is meaningful growth over the course of the next couple of years."

PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.