High on Life has smashed records on Xbox Game Pass, becoming the most popular game release of 2022, and the biggest third-party release since the platform launched. Microsoft has touted its success in a new blog post celebrating these achievements, and the work of developer Squanch Games.
While High on Life received mixed to middling reviews from critics, it’s proven to be a hit with the community, likely thanks to its irreverent sense of humour and Rick and Morty-style slapstick antics. High on Life is not directly related to the cartoon series, however, it is developed by Justin Roiland, one of the co-creators of the show. As such, it shares a similar sensibility and the same rapid-fire comedic pace.
‘This was our first time launching a game with Game Pass,’ Mike Fridley, Studio Director and COO of Squanch Games said of the achievement. ‘We’ve been blown away by the response from the players who have made us the most popular game on Game Pass right now. When Squanch Games was first created, it was to make the games we wanted to play – and Game Pass is helping us reach the players that want to play those games too.’
The success of the game is likely boiled down to a range of factors. For one thing, the Rick and Morty series (and Squanch Games itself) has a rabid fanbase, willing to devour any adjacent material. Roiland has fostered an army of loyal supporters, and High on Life caters to this crowd extremely well.
In addition, the game launched in December – traditionally, one of the slowest months for new game releases. It launching day one on Xbox Game Pass provided an accessible, affordable entry point for anyone who was even a little bit curious about the game. Couple this with its status as an Xbox and PC-exclusive title, and you’ve got a winning formula.
Critical reviews don’t weigh up to simple enjoyment – and it appears many fans have been jumping in and loving what they see. High on Life may be overtly silly and ridiculous, but sometimes that’s exactly the game you need for a great time.
Its success as the biggest Xbox Game Pass release of 2022 is testament to that fact.
High on Life is now available for Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, and Windows PC via Xbox Game Pass.