Rick and Morty creator quits studio after 2022’s biggest Game Pass launch

Image: Squanch games

Justin Roiland is leaving Squanch Games after a month of comedy shooter high in life became The most popular Xbox Game Pass launch of 2022. Co-founder of the studio that gives voice to many high in lifeThe characters are currently Facing two counts of domestic assault From 2020.

Squanch Games announced the news late Tuesday, shortly after Adult Swim revealed it had happened Leaving Roiland Rick and Morty Also. But the CEO’s resignation actually took place a week earlier on January 16, four days after news of the domestic abuse allegations first surfaced (which Roiland pleaded not guilty to), and three days after. Kotaku In the first report A 2018 issue accusing the studio of workplace harassment and discrimination (and it settled in 2019).

“The passionate team at Squanch will continue to develop games that we know our fans will love while continuing to support and improve them. high in life“The studio Tweeted yesterday Squanch Games did not immediately respond to requests for comment on why Roiland resigned, whether it was aware of any other allegations involving him or the studio, and whether he still has any equity in Squanch.

Co-founded in 2016 by Roiland and former Epic Games executive producer Tanya Watson, Squanch Games’ early projects included virtual reality games. Accounting and Dr. Splorchy Presents: Space Heroes. It was followed in 2019 by the action platformer Trover saves the universe. Each of them leaned heavily on Roiland’s vocal performances that were heavily reminiscent of his work. Rick and Morty.

last year high in life, which started as a Google Stadia exclusive, though it was the studio’s biggest game yet. in Kotakuown review, writer Alyssa Mercante found the humor writing and felt the running gags overstayed their welcome, but she was pleasantly surprised by the visual style and gunplay. The game similarly divided other critics, but audiences flocked to it on Xbox and PC where it was available on Game Pass on day one.

Whether due to the game’s own merits or the fact that it was an Xbox exclusive and showed up at the tail end of an otherwise anemic year for blockbusters, it immediately shot to the top of the charts on Game Pass. Shortly after the release, Microsoft crowned it “The biggest launch of Xbox Game Pass 2022, the biggest third-party Game Pass launch of all time, and the biggest release of a single-player-only game in the service’s history.”

That accolade came after a massive promotional campaign for the game on the platform, including A podcast interview Between human Xbox mascot Larry “Major Nelson” Hryb and Roiland, where the latter discussed the game and its effects. That’s calmed down now, with the Xbox Game Pass Twitter account Don’t tweet about high in life Since the domestic abuse news was first published.

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