Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League labelled ‘disappointing’ by WBD

Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League reportedly contributed to a USD $200 million revenue loss at Warner Bros. Discovery.
suicide squad kill the justice league

Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League has reportedly contributed to a USD $200 million revenue drop at Warner Bros. Discovery, with this recorded as an impact to EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation) in the company’s Q1 FY2024 results.

In its latest financial report, Warner Bros. Discovery has compared the game’s launch to that of Hogwarts Legacy, labelling it “disappointing” in comparison, despite the vast difference in the remit of each game. Hogwarts Legacy was a release that leaned heavily into nostalgia, and presented a novel single player open world adventure set in the popular world of Harry Potter.

Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League was a new tale in the DC universe strictly for adult players, that featured live service elements and a lean into microtransactions that off-sided players prior to launch. It appears Warner Bros. Discovery did not anticipate this reaction to the game, and instead expected a success in line with Hogwarts Legacy.

“Starting with Studios, the USD $400 million+ year-over-year decline during Q1 was primarily due to the very tough comp we faced in games against the success of Hogwarts Legacy last year in the first quarter, in conjunction with the disappointing Suicide Squad release this past quarter, which we impaired, leading to a $200 million impact to EBITDA during the first quarter,” Gunnar Wiedenfels, Warner Bros. Discovery’s CFO said in an investor call, transcribed by IGN.

Read: Warner Bros. doubles down on commitment to live service games

It appears Kill the Justice League contributed significantly to an overall revenue downturn in the Warner Bros. Discovery Studios division, which also includes the television and film entertainment legs of WBD. While there may have been other factors, the game has been singled out for criticism, becoming a scapegoat for the company.

Sales have fallen short, per WBD, as has critical reception. While previously described as a “key video game release” and a major lynchpin for WBD’s plans to dive deeper with live service games, it appears Kill the Justice League didn’t quite hit the mark for its intended audience.

To right the ship, WBD will turn focus to newer content expanding established IPs. In the company’s investor call, CEO David Zaslav said it’s working hard to better utilise its flagship franchises for new storytelling and engagement opportunities.

“Warner Bros Discovery’s great storytelling IP, including Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Superman and many other parts of the DC Universe are largely underused,” Zaslav said. “We are hard at work fixing that. It’s a core value and a key advantage for us. We have the characters and the stories people love and yearn for everywhere in the world, in every language.”

Already, the company has announced a new Lord of the Rings film, subtitled The Hunt for Gollum, as part of efforts to “fix” the underutilising of beloved IP. We’re likely to see more projects announced in the near future, so stay tuned for updates.

Leah J. Williams is a gaming and entertainment journalist who's spent years writing about the games industry, her love for The Sims 2 on Nintendo DS and every piece of weird history she knows. You can find her tweeting @legenette most days.