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'The email wasn't so much a discussion about retiring the game, it was a legal notice. In terms of how it has affected me: it's kind of depressing.'

Chris Kerr, News Editor

March 5, 2024

3 Min Read
A screenshot of a blocky building in Small Radios Big Televisions
Image via Fire Face

Update (03/06/24): Fire Face developer Owen Deery has confirmed Warner Bros. Discovery intends to pull Small Radios Big Televisions from storefronts in the next 60 days and described the decision as "depressing."

Speaking to Game Developer, Deery said they were told the title is being removed from sale due to "business changes" and noted they weren't able to challenge the move.

"The email wasn't so much a discussion about retiring the game, it was a legal notice," they said. "In terms of how it has affected me: it's kind of depressing, I'm very proud of the game, but I can see why they did it. Adult Swim Games hasn't really been a thing for many years now and everyone I worked with at the publisher has long since moved on to other places. When you're working with purely digital products nothing is going to stay around for very long."

Deery essentially retired from game development following the launch of their last project, Radio Viscera, after experiencing burnout and feels the delisting is reflective of the industry's disregard for digital preservation.

"It's an insane amount of work, for years and years, with only a very small chance any game will succeed. I put 110 percent of myself into the launch of Radio Viscera but the game basically disappeared on release and left me totally burnt out," they added.

"So rather than being shocked to receive the news about Small Radios Big Televisions, my first reaction was 'Yep, that sounds about right for the games industry.'"

Game Developer has also seen the notice Warner Bros. sent to Deery. In the email, the publisher explained it can no longer support Small Radios Big Televisions due to "internal business changes" but failed to provide specifics.

"Timeline: Retirement is scheduled within the next 60 days, during which we will remove the game from both the Steam & PS4 platforms," states the email. "Support: Our Customer Service team will be informed of the retirement date and equipped with prepared responses should users reach out. [...]Thank you for your contribution to our game library and understanding during this transition. We are available should you have any questions."

Warner Bros Discovery has yet to comment on the decision.

Original story: One-person studio Fire Face Corporation is making its surreal puzzler Small Radios Big Televisions (SRBT) freely available after publisher Warner Bros. Discovery said it would be "retiring" the title.

The game was published by Warner Bros Discovery subsidiary Adult Swim Games, but Fire Face claims it will soon be delisted from both the Steam and PlayStation 4 storefronts at the company's behest.

Breaking the news on X, Fire Face founder Owen Deery explained he was recently "informed" of the decision, prompting him to release the game for free.

"As of March 5th, 2024, Warner Brothers Discovery has 'retired' Small Radios Big Televisions from both Steam and Playstation 4 stores," adds a brief update on the Fire Face website.

The PC version of Small Radios Big Televisions can be downloaded right now on the Fire Face website. It's unclear what the future holds for the PlayStation version.

Fire Face was founded by Deery in 2011 and initially developed small web games before working on larger commercial releases like SRBT and Radio Viscera.

The future of Adult Swim Games

Adult Swim Games, meanwhile, has published titles such as Pocket Mortys, Samurai Jack: Battle Through Time, Rain World, and Deaths Gambit. It's unclear whether any of the publisher's other titles will be "retired" or if this is a one-off decision.

Warner Bros. recently said it was bracing for a 'tough' quarter (in year-on-year terms) after Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League underperformed.

Game Developer has reached out to Fire Face and Adult Swim Games for more information.

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About the Author(s)

Chris Kerr

News Editor, GameDeveloper.com

Game Developer news editor Chris Kerr is an award-winning journalist and reporter with over a decade of experience in the game industry. His byline has appeared in notable print and digital publications including Edge, Stuff, Wireframe, International Business Times, and PocketGamer.biz. Throughout his career, Chris has covered major industry events including GDC, PAX Australia, Gamescom, Paris Games Week, and Develop Brighton. He has featured on the judging panel at The Develop Star Awards on multiple occasions and appeared on BBC Radio 5 Live to discuss breaking news.

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