Live service games and live service elements within games are becoming more popular and Warner Bros. seems to be jumping on the bandwagon. In a job listing, as spotted by Twitter user @MauroNL3, the publisher describes how a variety of new projects will have a “heavy focus on live service”.
In the job listing for a Virtual Games Production MBA Intern, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment describes how they’re “involved in a variety of new projects” featuring their “well-known franchises.” These games will have a “heavy focus on live service.” It’s worth bearing in mind that this doesn’t just involve console titles but games on mobile and other digital platforms too. It’s also worth mentioning that live-service could mean any number of aspects, from benign rotating challenges to keep people playing to being the entire focus of the game.
There are several Warner Bros. Interactive titles currently in development, many of which will make sense with live-service features of some kind. Back 4 Blood is a zombie co-op shooter that will focus heavily on online multiplayer, with a card system that offers potential for updates later in the game’s life. “Genre-bending” action-adventure shooter Suicide Squad: Kill The Justice League will also offer online co-op for up to four players; whether this can be stretched into a live service title remains to be seen. Existing title Mortal Kombat 11 also continues to roll out new content, including skin packs and characters.
On the other hand, there are games in development that would be difficult to turn into live service titles. WB Games Montréal has already confirmed Gotham Knights won’t be a game-as-service, although it will offer an online co-op experience. Open-world RPG Hogwarts Legacy hasn’t revealed any online plans yet, and traditionally the LEGO games have always been offline experiences, which seems to rule out live service for LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga.
There is likely other unannounced projects in development that will feature a live service model. Monolith Productions, known for Middle-Earth Shadow of Mordor and Shadow of War, have no known titles in development. As the publisher also has a hand in the mobile market, titles such as the LEGO Mobile series will also help further the ambition for a heavy focus on live service. This shouldn’t mean the demise of single-player games, though. Even Rockstar, who’s had a huge amount of success with GTA Online, has said they won’t stop telling single player stories, though that developer is currently reveling in its cash flow from the live service apparatuses attached to its games.