Rick and Morty creator leaves studio behind Game Pass smash hit


A talking gun smiles as it aims at someone covered in yellow goo.

Picture: squanch games

Justin Roiland leaves Squanch Games just a month after comic shooter high up in life become The most popular Xbox Game Pass launch of 2022. The co-founder of the studio that gives voice to many of high up in life‘s characters are currently faces two counts of felony domestic abuse as of 2020.

Squanch Games announced the news on Tuesday night, shortly after Adult Swim revealed that it was pulling Roiland off rick and morty too. But the CEO’s resignation apparently happened more than a week ago, on January 16, four days after news of the domestic abuse charges (to which Roiland has pleaded not guilty) broke, and three days after Kotaku first reported on a 2018 lawsuit accusing the study of workplace harassment and discrimination (and which settled in 2019).

“The passionate team at Squanch will continue to develop games that we know our fans will love as they continue to support and improve. high up in life,” the study tweeted Yesterday. Squanch Games did not immediately respond to a request for comment on why Roiland quit, whether he was aware of any other allegations related to him or the studio, and whether he still has shares in Squanch.

Co-founded by Roiland and former Epic Games executive producer Tanya Watson in 2016, Squanch Games’ early projects included virtual reality games. Accounting Y Dr. Splorchy Presents: Heroes From Space. These were followed in 2019 by the action platformer. trover saves the universe. Each of them relied heavily on Roiland’s voice performances that were very reminiscent of his work on rick and morty.

Last years high up in lifeStarting out as a Google Stadia exclusive, however, it was the studio’s biggest game. In Kotakuown review, writer Alyssa Mercante found the humor grating and felt the jokes overstayed themselves, but was pleasantly surprised by the visual style and gunplay. The game similarly divided other reviewers, but audiences flocked to Xbox and PC, where it was available from day one on Game Pass.

Whether on the game’s own merits or the fact that it appeared at the end of an anemic year for Xbox exclusives and blockbusters, it immediately shot to the top of the charts on Game Pass. Shortly after launch, Microsoft crowned him “The biggest Xbox Game Pass launch of 2022, the biggest third-party Game Pass launch of all time, and the biggest single-player game launch in the service’s history.”

That award came after a huge promotional campaign for the game on the platform, which included a podcast interview between Xbox human mascot Larry “Major Nelson” Hryb and Roiland, where the latter discussed the game and its influences. That’s quiet now, with the Xbox Game Pass Twitter account don’t tweet about high up in life since news of the domestic abuse charges first broke.

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