Hogwarts Legacy 2 Is Probably Going to Be Live Service – WB Says AAA Console Market Isn’t Enough

Hogwarts Legacy 2 is practically a certainty. The open world action RPG set in the Harry Potter universe was the best-selling title released in 2023, managing to sell over 24 million units in slightly less than a year.

Developer Avalanche Software and publisher Warner Bros. Games haven’t discussed any DLC (though we did learn new features and previously exclusive PlayStation content would arrive at some point in the Summer). That, coupled with a new job ad showing recruitment for Unreal Engine 5, suggests the plan is to go straight to a sequel (the first installment was made with unreal Engine 4).

What would Hogwarts Legacy 2 look like? Well, after hearing JB Perrette (CEO and President of Global Streaming and Games at Warner Bros. Discovery) in his appearance at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media & Telecom Conference earlier today, it’s most likely going to be a live service game. Perrette went on to say that the triple-A console market is inconsistent and the goal is to entice players on an ongoing basis instead of just for big one-off launches.

Today, the majority of our business revolves around four main forms of IP in games, which are all billion-dollar-plus businesses in themselves: Mortal Kombat, Game of Thrones, Harry Potter with obviously our success of Hogwarts Legacy, and the DC world.

The challenge we’ve had is, our business historically has been very triple-A console. As you know, that’s a great business when you have a hit like Hogwarts Legacy. It makes a year look amazing. And then unfortunately when you don’t have releases, or unfortunately we’ve also had disappointments, we just released Suicide Squad this quarter which was not as strong, it just makes it very volatile. We think the opportunity for us, and games is a bit of a long multi-year business cycle, is to take those four franchises and be able to develop a much more holistic approach, particularly around expanding into the mobile and multiplatform free-to-play, which could give us a much better and more consistent set of revenue. Secondarily, live services. Rather than just launching a one-and-done console game, how do develop a game around, for example, Hogwarts Legacy that is a live service where people can live and build and play in that world on an ongoing basis? We think we’ve got the franchises. We’ve got some of the greatest studio capabilities, and we have a roadmap and a strategic investment plan to try and build out that business. We think there’s meaningful growth over the course of the next couple of years.

Of course, the conundrum is that delivering a successful live service game is easier said than done. Even a massively successful studio like Naughty Dog failed to deliver The Last of Us Online.

Still, it certainly sounds like Warner Bros. wants to try with Hogwarts Legacy 2. Would you be interested in playing with friends in that world? Let us know in the comments.

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