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Is "WB Play" a new Steam competitor?

Warner Bros. has some mysterious new project on the go, with clues pointing to a new digital distribution platform.


The Batman: Arkham publisher has started using a piece of branding for something called "WB Play".

The Escapist turned up several examples of this branding, starting with a bunch of trademarks for the phrase (check them out on Trademarkia).

The trademark applications for WB Play mention "online retail store services", "audio and video broadcasting services", "entertainment service" and "downloadable virtual goods".

That last one applies to "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".

Warner Bros. registered the WBPlay.com domain name in 2013, although the site remains inactive, and has even put the branding in place on the Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor website.

It sounds like WB Play may be a publisher-specific distribution platform, like Ubisoft's Uplay and EA's Origin, and we may learn about it when Shadow of Mordor launches at the end of the month. It'd be interesting to see if it leveraged content beyond Warner Bros. Interactive; a new streaming video service probably wouldn't do the market any harm, and both Steam and GOG have video content on offer in addition to games and other apps.


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