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Warner Bros to launch into publishing biz with Matrix Online

Media giant Warner Bros is to launch its recently formed Interactive Entertainment division as a fully fledged publisher - with forthcoming massively multiplayer title The Matrix Online set to be its first title on the market.

Media giant Warner Bros is to launch its recently formed Interactive Entertainment division as a fully fledged publisher - with forthcoming massively multiplayer title The Matrix Online set to be its first title on the market.

The news that Warner Bros is set to self-publish the title ends speculation over possible arrangements for the Monolith-developed game after a previous publishing deal with Ubisoft was dropped last month.

Although the media company launched its Interactive Entertainment division, headed up by former Monolith supreme Jason Hall, with significant fanfare earlier this year, it had not been clear until now whether the division would involve itself directly in the publishing business, or simply focus on licensing and development while handing off publishing tasks to existing partners such as Electronic Arts.

The news that the firm is planning to operate as a game publisher will inevitably lead to speculation about its plans for those Warner Bros assets which currently reside with other publishers - although many of the most lucrative ones, such as the Harry Potter franchise (which has been licensed by EA) are on long-term contracts which leave the rights with other companies for several years to come.

In related news, The Matrix Online is also set to benefit from a bit of cross-pollination between divisions of Warner Bros' parent company, globe spanning media empire Time Warner, with the introduction of AOL Instant Messenger services (supplied by AOL, another Time Warner division) to the game, allowing players to communicate with others both inside and outside the game world.

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Rob Fahey avatar

Rob Fahey

Contributing Editor

Rob Fahey is a former editor of GamesIndustry.biz who spent several years living in Japan and probably still has a mint condition Dreamcast Samba de Amigo set.

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