Warner Bros has decided not to take its ball and go home with Adult Swim Games, instead returning control to their original developers

Duck with smg swinging through industrial factory
(Image credit: Landon Podbielski)

Remember how Warner Bros. was fixing to permanently send Adult Swim Games' entire catalogue of indies to the Shadow Realm because it would have been too much of a pain to keep processing the devs' royalty checks? Well it looks like that fate's been averted, with the games remaining up on Steam and their creators saying that they've been handed back full control.

"Duck Game is safe," Creator Landon Podbielski wrote on Twitter. "More details soon but the email from Warner finally came. The game is being returned to Corptron along with its store pages on all platforms, it's not going anywhere.

"Thank you everyone… Hoping everyone else got the same email."

It certainly looks like they did: as reported by Game Developer, Small Radios Big Televisions developer Owen Deery tweeted that he had similarly gotten back ownership and store listing control from WB. A perusal of Adult Swim Games' publisher page shows its catalogue alive and well, despite it having reached the 60-day delisting mark originally specified by WB, and other games from the initiative like Soundodger+ and Kingsway remain available for purchase.

Adult Swim Games seems to have been wound down in 2020 and '21, with the final nail in the coffin being parent developer WB's pivot to free-to-play and live service games following the relative failure of Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League. The publisher initially denied developer requests that they be transferred ownership of their games, claiming that it had "made the universal decision not to transfer the games back to the original studios and [did] not have the resources to do so."

So all's well that ends well, I guess, but will publishers ever stop threatening to do something extremely unpopular and consumer-hostile before reversing the decision at the last second? It's been an incredible few weeks of seeing that practice in action, and we've got no reason to believe it will let up any time soon.

Outside of games, WB has canceled the release of two big budget films in recent years, with Batgirl and Coyote vs. Acme going in the vault in exchange for a tax write off from Uncle Sam. Say, if my tax dollars effectively paid for those movies, why can't I watch them for free? 

Associate Editor

Ted has been thinking about PC games and bothering anyone who would listen with his thoughts on them ever since he booted up his sister's copy of Neverwinter Nights on the family computer. He is obsessed with all things CRPG and CRPG-adjacent, but has also covered esports, modding, and rare game collecting. When he's not playing or writing about games, you can find Ted lifting weights on his back porch.