Rick and Morty Creator Leaves Studio Behind Huge Game Pass Hit

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

Picture: Squanch Games

Justin Roiland leaves Squanch Games just a month after comic shooter Raised on life became The launch of the most popular Xbox Game Pass of 2022. The co-founder of the studio who expresses a lot of Raised on lifeis actually facing two charges of domestic violence from 2020.

Squanch Games announced the news on Tuesday night, shortly after Adult Swim revealed it was dropping Roiland from rick and morty also. But the CEO’s resignation apparently took place more than a week ago, on January 16, four days after news of the domestic abuse charges first broke (to which Roiland pleaded not guilty), and three days later my city first reported on a trial 2018 accusing the studio of workplace harassment and discrimination (and which he 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 Raised on life,” the studio 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 owns any stock 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 and Dr. Slorchy Presents: Space Heroes. These were followed in 2019 by an action platformer Trover saves the universe. Each of them relied heavily on Roiland’s vocal performances which were strongly reminiscent of his work on rick and morty.

Last years Raised on life, which started out as a Google Stadia exclusive, was by far the studio’s biggest game, however. In my cityhis own criticism, writer Alyssa Mercante found the humor scathing and felt the running gags had overstayed their welcome, but she was pleasantly surprised by the visual style and gunplay. The game also divided other reviews, but audiences flocked to it on Xbox and PC where it was available day one on Game Pass.

Whether due to the game’s merits or the fact that it emerged at the end of an otherwise anemic year for Xbox exclusives and blockbusters, it immediately rose to the top of the charts on Game Pass. Shortly after its release, Microsoft the crown “The biggest Xbox Game Pass launch of 2022, the biggest third-party Game Pass launch of all time, and the biggest release of a single-player game in the service’s history.”

This award came after a big 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 influences. It’s gone silent now, with the Xbox Game Pass Twitter account don’t tweet about Raised on life since news of the domestic abuse charges first broke.

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