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Warner Bros. is now removing games as it plans to remove Adult Swim published titles

Warner Bros. Discovery tells developers it plans to retire games published by the Adult Swim Games label, game makers who have worked with the publisher told Polygon. At least three games are at risk of being removed from Steam and other digital stores, while the fate of other games published by Adult Swim is unclear.

The media conglomerate’s planned removal of these games reflects cuts to its film and television operations; Warner Bros. Discovery infamously scrapped plans to release nearly complete films Batgirl And Coyote vs. Acme, and removed several series from its streaming services. If Warner Bros. continues with plans to delist Adult Swim games from Steam and digital console stores, 18 or more games may be affected.

News of Warner Bros. plan to potentially pull Adult Swim’s games from Steam and the PlayStation Store, it was first reported by developer Owen Reedy, who released a puzzle-adventure game Small radios, large televisions via the label in 2016. Reedy said on X On Tuesday, the game was declared “retired” by the owner of Adult Swim Games. He responded to the company’s decision by creating the Windows PC version Small radios, large televisions available for free download from his studio’s website.

Polygon reached out to other developers who had worked with Adult Swim Games as publishers. Two studios responded, saying they had received a similar warning from Warner Bros. Discovery, but they’re still in the dark about what this means for their games.

Developer Michael Molinari, who came out Soundodger+ told Polygon via Adult Swim Games in 2013 that he received a warning from a Warner Bros. representative earlier this week. Discovery that its game would be removed from Steam within the next 60 days.

“I don’t know if they will delist or remove it,” Molinari told Polygon in an email. “I begged the representative to transfer ownership to my company as I still retain all IP and game rights. I sent him a link to Steam’s transfer page and clearly explained that it literally takes three clicks to transfer ownership to me. He rejected my request.”

Molinari said the Warner Bros. representative Discovery said the decision not to transfer ownership back to the developers “stems from logistics and resource constraints” and “the limited capacity of our team.” (One developer Polygon spoke to said the current Adult Swim Games team consisted of a “skeleton crew.”) Molinari expressed frustration that WBD’s planned removal of his game and others would lead to “more than a decade’s worth of downloads , community guides, reviews and patch notes (…) suddenly disappear.”

According to Molinari, Warner Bros. Discovery informed him that he can publish again Soundodger+ on Steam, but that option comes with its own problems. Doing so would “delete all my wishlists, reviews, community guides, and forum discussions, and I would not allow new and old owners of the game to compare achievements and trading cards,” Molinari said.

“The other legal requirement for self-republishing the game is to remove all mentions of Adult Swim Games,” Molinari said. “I have asked for clarification, and he even wants the credits changed to remove the (Adult Swim Games) team names. I’m a big believer in game preservation, and this is a direct blow to properly crediting the people who worked on a game.”

Matt Lewandowski, co-owner of studio Team2Bit, the developer behind Adult Swim Games-published Fist puncher, Polygon shared that Warner Bros. Discovery had also contacted him with a similar warning. Lewandowski said a representative blamed the impending removal of the debt Fist puncher about “internal corporate changes.”

“We have asked them to switch Fist puncher back to our studio,” Lewandowski said. “Their response was that they ‘could not transfer the game’ due to the fact that they had ‘made the decision not to transfer ownership due to logistics and resource constraints.’”

Lewandowski said Team2Bit remains hopeful that WB will give Discovery Fist puncher back to the studio.

“It’s been around for eleven years and we’ve built a community around it through Steam,” he said. “We’ve also had an incredible experience working with Adult Swim over the years. The original team that helped us Fist puncher on Steam was passionate about taking interesting and unique games from small studios to the next level.

“That said, if we don’t get the current release Fist puncher transferred to us, we will probably release it again under our own account. We still own the game and the IP address, so a re-release is certainly possible. And as someone who is passionate about preserving gaming history, I hate to see games lost due to red tape.”

Polygon contacted 10 studios and solo developers who had their games published by Adult Swim Games to see what they had heard. Some say they haven’t been contacted by WB Discovery, but they expect to be. “From what I’ve heard from others, I’ll probably hear from them soon too,” developer Andrew Morrish, who published King’s Road And Super Puzzle Platformer Deluxe via Adult Swim, Polygon said. “It doesn’t look good.”

Molinari said that if and when his game Soundodger+ is pulled from Steam, he will republish it there “with as little downtime as possible between the two versions.” The game is also available at Molinari’s itch page.

“Aside from that, I’m more than happy that I chose to self-publish Soundodger 2Molinari added, “because I would be devastated if my two best-selling games on Steam were removed at such short notice.”

Polygon has contacted Warner Bros. representatives. Discovery for comment on the company’s plans to remove the Adult Swim Games catalog and will update when the company responds.