Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment-owned NetheRealm Studios and Bandai Namco Esports issued statements Friday saying that they will no longer work with esports tournament organizer WePlay Esports. WePlay announced and world boxing cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk announced the Ultimate Fighting League, and last month it hosted the first event.
In a statement on social media, Mortal Kombat developer NetheRealm said:
“NetheRealm studios is constantly striving to foster the best esports tournaments for our dedicated fans and community.”
Due to differences in vision, we will no longer allow our games to be utilized in WePlay operated esports events.”
At around the same time, Bandai Namco Esports issued a similar statement:
“BANDAI Namco Entertainment is constantly striving to deliver the best Esports tournaments to please our players and fans.
“Due to differences in vision and professional standards, we will no longer be working with WePlay as an esports organizer.”
It is unclear why both companies have publicly broken with WePlay, but some are speculating that the split might be due to the fighting game community’s negative reaction to a recent partnership between Russian betting company 1xBet and WePlay.
The Esports Observer has reached out to WePlay for comment and will update this article if more information becomes available.