Live service refers to the process of continually updating a game after release to keep players invested, adding new features, items, storylines and more – and has become an increasingly profitable model for developers and publishers across the industry. It’s not without controversy, however, with high-profile releases like BioWare’s Anthem launching with notably little content, and Marvel’s Avengers failing to recoup its costs after failing to enamour its audience at launch.
No specifics are given, but we can likely assume that the upcoming Back 4 Blood will include live service elements, given its modular, online nature. Similarly, any future Mortal Kombat and Injustice games from the WB-owned NetherRealm would likely incorporate live service elements, as they have in recent iterations.
What’s less clear is what other announced WBIE games could include similar ideas, and to what extent. The publisher is currently working on Hogwarts Legacy, LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga, and Suicide Squad Kill the Justice League, none of which have outwardly announced live elements.
The upcoming Gotham Knights from WB Montreal seemingly won’t be a part of that push – its developers previously told IGN that it was “very much not designed as a game-as-service”, and will tell a self-contained story, rather than an evolving narrative.We’ve contacted WBIE for comment, but haven’t received a response at time of publish.
It wasn’t long ago that we were debating the future of WBIE as a whole, until parent company AT&T announced that it was no longer looking to sell the company, after reportedly deeming it “too valuable to unload”.