Warner Bros. Discovery Orders Adult Swim to Delist All Their Video Games

Games like ‘Pocket Mortys’ and ‘Duck Game’ will be inaccessible starting in May
Warner Bros. Discovery Orders Adult Swim to Delist All Their Video Games

David Zaslav is tired of canceling completed projects before they’re released. He’s moved on to burying them years after the fact, probably in the backyard besides this universe’s original Rick and Morty.

Warner Bros. Discovery’s efforts to slim down their massive and culturally defining catalog have been front-page entertainment news in the TV and movie industries for the past couple of years. Under Zaslav’s reign, the media monolith has scrubbed entire series from streaming, and highly anticipated efforts of love like the recently canned animated comedy film Coyote vs. Acme never even make it to release day before Zaslav tosses them into the inescapable portal to the tax write-off dimension. Now, Warner Bros. Discovery is coming for Adult Swim, starting with their video games.

Over the last week, video game developers who worked with Adult Swim on both original games and franchise tie-ins for shows like Rick and Morty have reportedly been contacted by Warner Bros. Discovery representatives, who informed the artists that their work will be delisted from all platforms and marketplaces “within 60 days.” Beginning in May, every Adult Swim game will be inaccessible to anyone who doesn’t already own a copy –  so, basically, download Pocket Mortys while you still can.

Adult Swim Games, the video game publishing branch of the animation giant, was first founded in 2005 to create companion games for their flagship shows, such as the Playstation 2 game Aqua Teen Hunger Force Zombie Ninja Pro-Am. They gradually expanded into original titles, including the 2014 2D action game Duck Game, which still maintains a small but devoted cult following. Despite Warner Bros. Discovery targeting the publisher for cuts, Adult Swim Games hasn't put out a single title since 2020 when they released Samurai Jack: Battle Through Time.

Many of the games marked by Warner Bros. Discovery for erasure have been live for over a decade, including the side-scrolling beat-em-up Fist Puncher made by indie game studio Team2Bit. “We’ve asked that Warner Bros. simply transfer the game to our Steam publisher account so that it can stay active,"  Matt Kain of Team2Bit announced on the game's Steam page, "But so far they have said no with the reason being that they made the universal decision not to transfer the games back to the original studios and do not have the resources to do so.” Even in cases where the developer owns the IP, Warner Bros. Discovery's unilateral decision to erase the games instead of sell them back to the artists who poured their hearts into them is final.

Last month, a Warner Bros. Discovery executive admitted that the mega-corporations gaming business faces a “tough” year-over-year comparison following the dismal failure of its widely panned live-service action title Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League. While Warner Bros. Discovery hasn't given the public any more non-explanation than what they have told the indie developers whom they're shafting, outlets like Ars Technica have speculated that the failure of Warner Bros.' big-budget games may have been the doom of Adult Swim Games.

When Zaslav cashes his bonus check later this year, maybe he'll credit the extra comma to the death of Headlander.


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