New gaming rumours claims Warner Bros is working on a free-to-play AAA title that could bring one of its fan-favourite franchises to the masses.
The Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, and Batman, what do they all have in common? Throw in a bit of Mortal Kombat, and you've got Warner Bros. Interactive games. Since being founded in 2004, WB Games has continued to churn out titles based on our favourite movies, and as we head into a new era of gaming, it sounds like the acclaimed publisher is working on a new AAA title. Better yet, it could be coming to you for absolutely nothing. That's right, word on the inside is that Warner Bros. is working on a free-to-play AAA game.
When it comes to video games, one of the best indications of what's on the way is a company's job listing page. Only recently, we've seen rife speculation about a Ghost of Tsushima sequel and new Halo games that aren't part of Halo Infinite's upcoming release. Now, a plethora of job listings on the Warner Bros Games San Diego careers page has us looking at a seemingly massive open world title that could be fun (and free) for the whole family.
What's the rumour about the Warner Bros free AAA game?
Between February 11 and February 12, 12 job listings appeared on the career page, with each of them all seeming to point to the same mysterious project. So, just what's going on? The listing that has caught everyone's eye is the one for a Game Systems Designer, which is recruiting for "a new AAA, free-to-play, cross-platform game". If free-to-play wasn't enough to pique your interest already, the idea that it's cross-platform suggests at least PlayStation, Xbox, and PC would be getting in on the action - with a possible Switch port too.
A second ad is looking for a Senior Combat Designer, that needs someone who has a "varied, unique, and balanced abilities and move sets across multiple characters". Unlike modern battle royale games simply throwing in a skin or generic operator, this implies there will be unique characters with their own story - in the vein of Apex Legends. Another idea is that WB could be working on its own homage to Genshin Impact to cash in on the gacha game craze that shows no sign of slowing down.
There's been a recent boom in free-to-play games, with the battle royale circuit being dominated by the likes of Fortnite and Call of Duty: Warzone. Although some may question how free-to-play works as a business model, Activision's cool $3 billion from Call of Duty in the past year shows microtransactions are king in the free-to-play world. Couple this with any of WB's massive IPs, and we could be onto a winner. Seriously, Warner Bros. Interactive has some major franchises under its belt - and we don't just mean the Lego Star Wars games.
What is the free AAA Warner Bros title?
- "Lego Star Wars: Skywalker Saga" (TT) - 2021
- "Hogwarts Legacy" (Avalanche) - 2021
- "Gotham Knights" (WB Montreal) - 2021
- "Suicide Squad: Kill The Justice League" (Rocksteady) - 2022
- "TBA DC" (WB Montreal)
- "TBA" (Monolith)
- "TBA" (NetherRealm)
As well as taking all of the above with a massive pinch of salt, remember that if the company is only just hiring now, an actual game announcement is presumably years away. Still, that hasn't stopped us putting our tin foil hats on and throwing out some wild theories. The idea of a free AAA game is all well and good, but we can't see the studio simply giving away one of its biggest franchises for free. Years ago, players hoped for an open world Justice League game that would continue the legacy of Rocksteady's Arkham games. Instead, Rocksteady has moved onto something very different with Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League, while WB Montreal is tackling Gotham Knights. Still, some sort of tie-in to either of these as a multiplayer spin-off could easily work.
On the other end of the spectrum, what about something related to Hogwarts Logic? Although the action RPG is finally delivering the Harry Potter game we've hoped for since we first saw pixelated Hagrid on the PlayStation, there's plenty of controversy surrounding the franchise following J.K. Rowling's comments about the transgender community. Hogwarts Logic has already firmly distanced itself from Rowling's involvement, but to get fandom back on board, a free Harry Potter AAA game could help ease tensions. Finally, let's not forget Amazon is working on a massive Lord of the Rings series that is set to put even Game of Thrones to shame. Both Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor and Middle-earth: Shadow of War are about as great as you can get in terms of LotR games, but who wouldn't love to see more?
There's nothing else to go on for now, but the idea of a Harry Potter, Justice League, or Lord of the Rings gacha game that's free-to-play has us salivating already. This is just some crazy theorising, but it should tide us over until Warner Bros. is ready to announce its free-to-play AAA title.
Images via Warner Bros. Interactive