Warner Bros. reverses course, won’t delist Adult Swim indie games, devs say


The Steam logo inside of the “That’s all, folks!” ring of concentric circles from the ending of Looney Tunes cartoons
Graphic: Polygon | Images: Valve, Warner Bros.

Adult Swim Games titles will go back to their creators

Warner Bros. Discovery appears to have backed down from its plans to delist more than a dozen games published by its Adult Swim Games label from Steam and digital console stores. WBD now plans to transfer ownership of some of those games back to the indie devs that made them, according to developers who would have been affected by the planned delistings.

Plans to delist the Adult Swim Games catalog from digital stores — or “retire” them, as Warner Bros. Discovery had worded it — became public in March and were widely criticized as a cold corporate move that could make some indie games unavailable to purchase. That strong criticism appears to have played a part in WBD’s revised plan to transfer ownership of the games back to their creators.

News of WBD’s policy reversal was first revealed by developer Owen Deery, who is behind puzzle-adventure game Small Radios Big Televisions, which was originally published by Adult Swim Games in 2016. (Deery also broke the news of WBD’s original plan to “retire” Adult Swim titles back in March.) On the social media platform X, Deery wrote that Small Radios Big Televisions “will not be ‘retired’,” despite previous communication from WBD that it would be. “Ownership and store listings will return to me,” Deery said.

Developer Landon Podbielski said that his multiplayer platform shooter Duck Game, another Adult Swim Games-published release threatened with delisting, will also be reverted to its creator. “The game is being returned to Corptron along with its store pages on all platforms,” Podbielski said on X. “It’s not going anywhere.”

Other developers whose games were published by Adult Swim Games confirmed to Polygon that they’ve received similar communication from Warner Bros. Discovery, and will have their titles transferred back to them rather than be delisted. WBD told developers it “heard the feedback and concerns regarding the retirement of titles published under Adult Swim Games,” one developer said in an email to Polygon.

But other developers who had their work published by Adult Swim Games say they’re still waiting to hear from Warner Bros. Discovery. Two developers Polygon spoke to say they never received the original messaging from WBD back in March, and still haven’t heard from the company, despite multiple attempts to contact representatives there. Polygon has reached out to Warner Bros. Discovery for comment and will update when the company responds.

The media conglomerate’s planned removal of Adult Swim Games titles echoed similar cuts from its film and television business; Warner Bros. Discovery infamously scrapped plans to release nearly complete movies Batgirl and Coyote vs. Acme, and removed multiple series from its Max streaming services. Warner Bros. has since licensed some of its scrapped television content to other streamers; animated series Batman: Caped Crusader, for example, will stream on Amazon’s Prime Video platform this summer.

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