Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment is setting up shop on the East Coast with WB Games New York to provide additional backend support for their online games.
The new branch is focused on cloud-based backend technology, which will allow Warner Bros.’s teams to implement new online content. There’s a big benefit to this, as it’ll be able to quickly add features such as the Wonder Woman gear that went live in the DC comics-based fighting game Injustice 2 shortly after the Wonder Woman movie debuted in theaters.
“We understand the importance of expanding the connected communities of players, and with WB Games New York, we will have a strong foundation to grow our player connectivity with our digitally powered console and mobile games as well as live service gaming,” said Steven Chiang, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment’s executive vice president of worldwide production and studios, in a press release.
Other companies have also emphasized the importance of live services. Electronic Art’s CEO Andrew Wilson, for instance, points to the live services aspect of its FIFA soccer game series as one of the reasons why EA had record-breaking revenues last year.
It’s something that’s becoming increasingly important to Warner Bros., particularly since it’s making big moves in esports, an industry that’s slated to grow to $1.5 billion by 2020. It announced its Injustice 2 championship earlier this year, and it recently partnered with esports tournament brand Eleague for the championship finals.
Steven Flenory will be the studio director for WB Games New York, and he has plenty of experience in building the kind of community and web-based features that esports needs. He was previously studio head at the Warner Bros. subsidiary Agora Games, which built Hydra, a platform that provides integrations like leaderboards, player matching, and player statistics.