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Xbox Podcast: Justin Roiland on Why High on Life Came to Game Pass (and How That Will Help Make Future Games)


  • High on Life creator and Rick and Morty co-creator Justin Roiland appeared on the Xbox Podcast last week.
  • Roiland explained that he did research on how Game Pass would help make the new game, and help his studio work on future projects.
  • High on Life has had one of the biggest launches in Game Pass history since its release on December 13.

In a recent episode of the Xbox Podcast, High on Life creator Justin Roiland joined Larry Hryb, Xbox’s Major Nelson, and explained why he chose to join the Game Pass line-up after having done “a lot of research” on the service.

“Before we decided to pull the trigger on it, I spoke with a handful of other studio folks who did Game Pass,” Roiland explained. “And I ultimately came to the conclusion based off of what I had heard that it is– it’s a value-add. Because essentially, there’s a lot of people that would otherwise not have picked up the game and played it.

“And those people, if you believe in what you’ve made, and you really you feel confident that you’ve made something special, or different– and we do with our game– those folks can become evangelists in a way for the title.”

We announced yesterday that High on Life has become Xbox Game Pass’ biggest launch of 2022, the biggest 3rd party Game Pass launch of all time, and the biggest release of a single player-only game in the service’s history.

“A lot of folks told me that non-Game Pass games that they ship versus Game Pass games, [they get] 7x sales.”

Joining Game Pass wasn’t just about reaching people who would naturally be interested in the game – whether for its single player narrative approach, its rare status as a true comedy game, or its connection to Roiland’s work on Rick and Morty – but those who might not otherwise have looked into playing it. “If someone’s on the fence or raising an eyebrow, what is this thing? And if they’re a Game Pass subscriber, well, they can just download it and dive in,” Roiland explained.

Roiland’s research helped him conclude that Game Pass is, “a powerful tool to get a lot of reach. If you really do believe you made something worthwhile, it’s a pretty powerful tool. And that’s what I gathered in doing my due diligence on it on my own. A lot of folks told me that non-Game Pass games that they ship versus Game Pass games, [they get] 7x sales.”

Most excitingly for fans of Roiland and his studio, Squanch, is that Game Pass won’t just help them make High on Life, but future games, too:

“We are an indie studio. We’re small. And we do want a war chest to make a bunch more fun crazy games. And that was of consideration for us. It’s like, ‘OK, we really want this game to get out there. We want it to do. We want sales to do well.’ And I think that, yeah, I mean, from what I gathered in my little poking around and asking different folks, Game Pass was a huge value-add in that respect.”

Roiland talked about a lot more besides, including how the game includes secrets and details that players will be discovering “for months”. The standalone interview is available to watch or listen to in full now.

If you haven’t joined the millions playing High on Life, the game is available now on Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S and Windows, and it’s a part of Xbox Game Pass and PC Game Pass.

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High On Life

Squanch Games, Inc.

Fresh out of high school with no job and no ambition, you’ve really got nothing going for you until an alien cartel that wants to get high off humanity invades Earth. Now, you and a team of charismatic talking guns must answer the hero's call and become the deadliest intergalactic bounty hunter the cosmos has ever seen. Travel to a variety of biomes and locations across the cosmos, go up against the nefarious Garmantuous and his gang of goons, collect loot, meet unique characters, and more, in the latest comedy adventure from Squanch Games!