Is Warner Bros. Working on a Steam Competitor?
Just when you thought that we were up to the saturation level for online gaming clients and distributors, another publisher wants in on the action. While it was logical for heavyweights like EA and Ubisoft to launch their own stores to make a few extra dollars off of their and other publishers’ games, it may surprise you that Warner Bros. has recently filed a number of trademark filings that they’re looking to launch a Steam/Origin/Uplay competitor.
According to The Escapist, the trademark filing covers the following items:
“Downloadable virtual goods; downloadable electronic strategy and instructional guides for computer and video games; computer game software; video game software; audio and video recordings in the fields of computer and video games; downloadable multimedia files containing artwork, text, audio, video, games, and Internet Web links relating to computer and video.”
While the immediate comparison is to Steam because of the emphasis on video games in the trademark filing, given WB’s portfolio, their own digital store and download client would only make sense if WB Play covers so much more than video games.
The Warner Bros multi-billion dollar empire covers everything from movies to TV to music to comics beyond just the games. While Valve is interested in expanding Steam’s offerings to include movies and more, WB Play can potentially beat them to it and in a much bigger way. If anybody at Warner Bros. had any sense, they would be sure to sell Warner Bros. conglomerate films and TV shows on the service along with streamed music and DC digital comic books.
While EA and Ubisoft’s challenges to Steam show that you need a lot more than games exclusive to a client to topple the champion, it looks like WB Play isn’t likely to be a straight-up challenger to Steam as we know it. If they’re smart, they’ll branch out beyond games and leverage all the asset at WB’s disposal. That would make them closer in offerings to the PlayStation Store and Xbox Live but that’s also something that currently isn’t available in the PC space. That diversity in offerings could, with a decent-sized game catalogue, quickly make WB Play the #2 player behind Steam.
The Escapist also thinks the launch of WB Play is imminent as Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor’s website is branded with the WB Play logo. It may not go exclusive to WB Play yet but it looks like it will be integrated with big WB games going forward.
Source: The Escapist