Enlarge / A plucky, likable creature under the looming threat of consumption by an interconnected menacing force of nature in one of Adult Swim Games’ titles.

Adult Swim Games

Warner Bros. Discovery seems set to remove at least 16 games from its Adult Swim Games subsidiary from games markets and has told the affected developers that it will not transfer the games back to them nor offer other means of selling them in the future.

Ars reported Wednesday on the plight of Small Radios Big Televisions, a Steam and PlayStation game made by a solo developer who received a notice from Warner Bros. Discovery (WBD) that it was “retiring” his game within 60 days.

In a comment on that Ars post, Matt Kain, developer of Adult Swim Games’ Fist Puncher, noted that they had received the same “retired” notice from WBD. “When we requested that Warner Bros simply transfer the game over to our studio’s Steam publisher account so that the game could stay active, they said no. The transfer process literally takes a minute to initiate (look up “Transferring Applications” in the Steamworks documentation), but their rep claimed they have simply made the universal decision not to transfer the games to the original creators,” Kain wrote.

Kain noted that his game’s players “have 10+ years of discussions, screenshots, gameplay footage, leaderboards, player progress, unlocked characters, Steam achievements, Steam cards, etc. which will all be lost.” In addition, Kickstarter backers of the game will lose access to a game in which they have a cameo, and his firm, Team2Bit, would likely face backlash if they re-released the game under their own account, forcing a second purchase from some customers.

“It seems like more and more the videogame industry is filled with people that don’t like and don’t care about videogames. All that to say, buy physical games, make back-ups, help preserve our awesome industry and art form,” Kain wrote on Ars early Thursday. Kain also posted about the predicament on the Fist Puncher discussion page on Steam.

Adult Swim Games has not published a game since 2020. Its parent company has said it was due for a “tough” quarter, and perhaps year, as its tentpole game Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League failed to find a sustaining audience. On a broader level, WBD has been conspicuously culling titles and removing access to its content, sometimes in pursuit of tax advantages. The firm has killed and hidden away films including Batgirl and Coyote vs. Acme, removed canceled shows and well-regarded animation and kids’ content, and, just this week, closed down gaming and anime studio Rooster Teeth.

Ars has reached out to Warner Bros. Discovery for comment and has yet to hear back.

“It takes literally three clicks”

Polygon received confirmation from the developer of the rhythm/bullet-hell game Soundodger+ that they received a delisting notice. Michael Molinari told Polygon that he, too, requested his game be transferred—and “explained clearly that it takes literally three clicks to transfer ownership to me”—but a WBD representative rejected his request.

Molinari said the rep cited “logistical and resource constraints” and “the limited capacity of our team,” referring to Adult Swim Games. Molinari said he was told he could republish his game—but without any of its community content, reviews, patch notes, or other accrued content. Molinari also said he was required to remove all mention of Adult Swim Games from any future release, which struck him as erasing due credit.

Steam lists 16 games (and individual soundtrack purchases) in an Adult Swim Games bundle on Steam. The Delisted Games site lists 18 Steam games still published by Adult Swim Games, six games now under different publishers, and two mobile games.

From 2011, it feels important to mention.

From 2011, it feels important to mention.

Adult Swim Games

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