Warner's approach to video games is paying off

"The Dark Knight Rises" doesn't hit movie theaters for nine months, but Batman is at the heart of what may just be Warner Bros.' most important release of the fall.

With the launch Tuesday of video game Arkham City, a sequel to 2009 hit Arkham Asylum that lets players control the Caped Crusader, the studio's Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment unit has one of the best-reviewed and most anticipated titles of the year. It's expected to generate hundreds of millions of dollars in sales.

For video game industry veterans it's a surprising place to find a Hollywood studio, given the industry's faltering attempts to crack the $65-billion global video game market. Nearly every other major entertainment company, including Walt Disney Co., News Corp., Universal Studios and Viacom Inc., has retrenched from or exited the video game business in the last decade after losing money.

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Batman: Arkham City takes the madness far and wide

Netflix deal makes CW pay off for CBS and Warner Bros.

-- Ben Fritz, Los Angeles Times

Photo: Martin Tremblay, president of Warner Interactive. Credit: Mel Melcon, Los Angeles Times / October 18, 2011.

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