Microsoft’s Next Bid

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    • Microsoft joins Take-Two, EA and Activision as interested parties.

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Just weeks after Microsoft announced that it was shutting down its streaming service Mixer, the company is reportedly interested in acquiring Warner Bros.’ games division, according to The Information. The division publishes games like Mortal Kombat as well as franchises based on DC Comics like Batman, Harry Potter, and Lego.

If the deal were to go through, Microsoft would significantly expand its Xbox group publishing efforts, while Warner’s parent AT&T could use the proceeds to pay down its $154 billion in debt. AT&T, however, hasn’t decided definitively to sell the gaming entity. Take-Two Interactive, Electronic Arts, and Activision Blizzard have also expressed interest in the gaming division, which could cost upwards of $4 billion.

Microsoft is set to launch its latest Xbox in the coming months, which will arrive with an added focus on internally developed games, starting with Halo’s latest edition. The company’s decision to shut down Mixer stemmed from its inability to attract viewers like its main competitor, Amazon-owned Twitch — Mixer had 106 million hours watched in the second quarter while Twitch had 5 billion. It subsequently struck a deal with Facebook Gaming to transition Mixer’s viewers and streamers to that platform.