Turbine, previously the largest independant MMO company, has been acquired by Warner Brothers Incorporated. They’ve been huge investors in the company for years, but this latest exchange is expected to value Turbine at about $160 million.
Turbine currently produces and maintains several MMOs, including Lord of the Rings Online, Dungeons & Dragons Online, and Asheron’s Call. This isn’t the first time Warner Brothers has purchased a major video game company; they bought Midway Studios, developers of the Mortal Kombat series, as well as TT Games, developers of the Lego Star Wars and Lego Batman games. This gives them a huge monopoly on LOTR games, as Warner Brothers already owns the license for all non-online Lord of the Rings games, and Turbine had an exclusive license for all online LOTR games.
All of the intellectual property that Turbine developers now has access to might be even more exciting. The combination of Warner Brothers properties and Turbine developers has fantastic potential. Could we see DC Comics franchise characters in future MMOs?