Justin Roiland is leaving Squanch Games just a month after the comedic shooter High on life became 2022’s most popular Xbox Game Pass launch. The studio is co-founded, which many agree with High on lifes grades are currently is charged with two felonies in the home from 2020.
Squanch Games announced the news late Tuesday, shortly after Adult Swim revealed that it was drop Roiland Rick and Morty as well. But the CEO’s resignation apparently actually happened more than a week ago on Jan. 16, four days after news of the domestic abuse allegations first broke (to which Roiland pleaded not guilty), and three days after my town first reported of one 2018 trial accusing the studio of workplace harassment and discrimination (and which it settled in 2019).
“The passionate team at Squanch will continue to develop games we know our fans will love while continuing to support and improve High on life“, the studio tweeted yesterday. Squanch Games did not immediately respond to a request for comment about why Roiland resigned, whether it was aware of any other allegations related to him or the studio, and whether he still holds any equity in Squanch.
Co-founded by Roiland and former Epic Games executive producer Tanya Watson back in 2016, Squanch Games’ early projects included virtual reality games Financial Accounting and Dr. Splorchy presents: Space Heroes. These were followed in 2019 by action platforms Trover saves the universe. Each leaned heavily on the voice acting of Roiland, strongly reminiscent of his work with Rick and Morty.
The last years High on life, which began as a Google Stadia exclusive, was the studio’s biggest game by far. IN my townown review, writer Alyssa Mercante found the humor grating and felt that 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 day one on Game Pass.
Whether it was due to the game’s own merits or the fact that it appeared at the end of an otherwise anemic year for Xbox exclusives and blockbusters, it immediately shot to the top of the charts on Game Pass. Shortly after its release, Microsoft crowned it “Xbox Game Pass’ biggest launch of 2022, the biggest 3rd party Game Pass launch ever, and the biggest single-player-only game release in the service’s history.”
That recognition came after a large advertising campaign for the game on the platform, including a podcast interview between human Xbox mascot Larry “Major Nelson” Hryb and Roiland, with the latter discussing the game and its influences. The Xbox Game Pass Twitter account has gone quiet now don’t tweet about High on life since news of the domestic abuse allegations first broke.