DC Universe's fate has been uncertain for some time now. The launch of HBO Max from parent company Warner Bros. raised suspicions that the streaming service could be meeting its end soon, but no official word has come out as of yet.
HBO Max recently offered a subscription deal to DC Universe users that provided the streaming service as an additional add-on, which may have already signaled the demise of the DC service. The popular DC Daily news show was also cut by the service in June which is another sign that the DC Universe streaming platform could be shutting down.
Earlier today, WarnerMedia announced that the company would be going through restructuring, resulting in cutting staff across all areas of the business. Unfortunately, these layoffs have impacted the DC branch of the business as well.
Major layoffs from Warner Bros. have cut staff in both the DC Universe and DC Comics sectors. The Hollywood Reporter writes that most of the DC Universe staff have been laid off as the studio moves to focus on HBO Max. A source speaking to THR told the outlet that the streaming service had been on its last leg ever since AT&T merged with the media conglomerate.
It's currently unknown how this reorganization will affect DC Universe's original programming like Titans and Doom Patrol.
On the DC Comics side, editor-in-chief, Bob Harris, and nearly all vice president members have also been laid off. The in-house merchandising branch DC Direct has also been shut down completely.
WHAT THIS MEANS
With WarnerMedia's main efforts moving to its HBO Max streaming service, it comes as no surprise that DC Universe would become consolidated into the DC hub of the new streaming service. While there's no official announcement around this happening just yet, staff layoffs are a big sign that change for DC Universe will be coming. No reason was given for the layoffs, but it can be assumed that the coronavirus' impact on the company's earnings has something to do with it.
DC Universe was known for creating original shows such as Titans, Doom Patrol, Harley Quinn, Young Justice, and Stargirl. While Stargirl has been acquired by the CW for its second season, there's no word on the status of the other originals. Titans and Doom Patrol are expected to have appearances at the upcoming DC FanDome, which may reveal more about the studio's plans for DC Universe and its shows.
How these layoffs will affect DC comics publishing going forward is also unknown. The comics side of the business is still very much alive despite the focus on streaming, but with many of the main executives affected in this round of layoffs the future of DC publishing could also be in jeopardy.