Warner Home Entertainment Group Buys Online Game Studio20 Apr, 2010 By: Erik Gruenwedel
Seeking to reaffirm its position as a top video game publisher, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group April 20 said it acquired Turbine, Inc., the largest privately held online gaming studio in North America – and owner of “The Lord of the Rings” multiplayer online role playing (MMORPG) rights.
Turbine’s online publishing rights include Dungeons & Dragons Online: Eberron Unlimited and The Lord of the Rings Online, the only MMORPG based on the books of J.R.R. Tolkien.
The acquisition provides Warner with access to a proprietary digital publishing platform that enables direct-to-consumer relationships, online merchandising opportunities and e-commerce functionality for online games.
Turbine has also developed a social networking platform that can integrate their self-developed online communities with popular third-party social networks and presenting opportunities for Warner’s other home entertainment businesses.
“Turbine’s renowned online game development and publishing expertise will help us develop additional online product offerings, while also providing us with new and innovative ways to market and communicate with our consumers,” said Kevin Tsujihara, president, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group.
In 2007, Warner acquired TT Games, developer of LEGO-based game franchises, including LEGO Star Wars, LEGO Indiana Jones and LEGO Batman. Early in 2009, the studio acquired Snowblind Studios to develop its The Lord of the Rings games franchise, with the first title, The Lord of the Rings: War in the North, expected to be released in 2011.
The studio also purchased the primary assets of Midway Games, publisher of the Mortal Kombat franchise, which has sold over 26 million units worldwide. Recently, Warner acquired a majority stake in Rocksteady Studios, a privately held developer of interactive entertainment targeted at teens and adults.