Warner Bros., a large investor in Machinima, formally acquired it recently and will now fold the gamer-centric video service into its recently-formed Warner Bros. Digital Networks (WBDN).
“Machinima is a strong gamer, fandom content and social brand with enormous reach and high engagement with audiences that play our games and are big fans of DC films and television shows,” Craig Hunegs, president of Warner Bros. Digital Networks stated in the press release. “Machinima also produces great, high-quality content for their community, and together we can create an even more compelling experience and do some really exciting things involving our key franchises. This acquisition is another meaningful move forward as Warner Bros. develops more direct relationships with our consumers.”
Most famous for its motion pictures and animated shorts like Loony Toons, Warner Bros. has grown into a media giant, cable provider and holder of some of the world’s most popular IPs including DC Comics film adaptations (Batman, Wonderwoman), TV shows like Big Bang Theory and Mom, and video games like Batman: Arkham VR and Mortal Kombat. Prior to the purchase, Warner Bros. made several online-video programming deals with Machinima including Mortal Kombat: Legacy and the Justice League: Gods and Monsters Chronicles.
Joost van Dreunen, CEO and co-founder of analyst firm, SuperData believes that the WB name will have a significant impact on the Machinima brand and its fan base. “There are several obvious synergies between the two firms,” he told [a]listdaily. “I expect Machinima’s audience to be enthusiastic about the available library of WB content, which lines up closely with its gamer mindset.”
“This acquisition benefits WB’s overall audience reach, but is more so poised to have a positive effect on offering its user base a more diverse range of programming and content relevant to gamer audiences,” van Dreunen added.
This strategic move also means massive opportunities for WB-branded content through an already popular network, as well as access to Mach-1, Machinima’s eSports agency formed in May and the monetization power of Machinima’s Preferred Media Solutions platform. “Currently, there is a slew of brands and advertisers hoping to get access to a qualified consumer audience via eSports,” commented van Dreunen. “The challenge lies in providing a meaningful experience, rather than merely plastering a brand across players’ screens. Machinima’s expertise will serve WB well.” He also predicts that we’ll see much more eSports content like Mortal Kombat X: Chasing the Cup in the future. “The current appetite for content around competitive gaming, in addition to the events, is strong and puts the WB/Machinima in a strong position to take advantage of that.”
As digital video continues to grow, so does livestreaming—something that Warner Bros. and Machinima will no doubt take advantage of moving forward.
“Initially, the market consisted mostly of uploaded videos,” van Dreunen concluded. “The live connection with a person on the other end, whether amateur or professional, has proven to be a strong accelerant for the overall gaming video content market, allowing it to grow to $4.4 billion this year.”
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