A scary alien weapon stares at the camera while the player holds a red alien with big eyes in the other hand.

Screenshot: Squanch Games

Crazy shooter High in LifeJust a week after its initial release on PC and Xbox Game Pass, it’s currently the most popular game on the service, beating out big Xbox titles and long-running titles. Minecraft. It’s a sign that the shooter has plenty of fans, but also an indication of how sparse Xbox’s big, first-party offerings are in 2022.

Released on Game Pass on December 13th, High in Life received mixed reviews from critics and was a mess at the start. Shortly after release, a patch was hit that fixed the worst performance issues and the game is now more playable (Please Rick and Morty-like humor.) And it seems that many people have decided to give High in Life Based on limited information available to us through Xbox.com and the Game Pass program.

On the official Xbox websiteyou can view the overall list of “Most Popular” Game Pass games, and according to that site—as of December 19th at 5:20 PM EST—High in Life is the most popular title from the entire Game Pass collection. A look at the Game Pass app on Android and iOS reveals a similar story, although the list in the app is slightly different. Lego star wars not the second, but the sixth. (I’m guessing for a slight discrepancy: the app and the website get the same data, but at different times.) Meanwhile, in the PC Game Pass app, High in Life it is also above and ahead Dark and Microsoft Solitaire.

A collage of screenshots shows High On Life as the most popular game on Game Pass.

Screenshot: Xbox/Kotaku

So, on the one hand, that’s a big deal High in Life developer Squanch Games and Justin Roiland. Many people are playing the new shooter on Xbox and PC. This is great for all people (and AI algorithms) worked hard on the game, and in a gaming era where everything seems to be a remake, sequel, or reboot, it’s nice to see a new IP doing well. But on the other hand, this seems like a minor indictment of the current state of Game Pass and the lack of strong, recent first-party releases. While releasing big exclusives like Sony and Nintendo God of War and PokemonMicrosoft failed to send its similarly big names in 2022.

This year, Microsoft released only one new game for Xbox and PC developed by one of their in-house studios: a historical story game Repentance By Obsidian. Regardless of what you think of this game, it’s not a big deal compared to Sony or Nintendo.

In comparison, in 2021, Xbox Game Studios was released Halo Infinite, Forza Horizon 5, Psychonauts 2, and Imperial period IV. would be High in Life Have you done nearly as well and become so popular by going up against these titles on Game Pass in 2021? I do not know. I can’t see alternate sizes. But I think the lack of great games from Xbox (and this year in general) helped small and medium-sized titles Evil West and High in Life, do it better than ever. Which is a good thing in the long run. But that’s how long a large portion of Game Pass subscribers will continue to pay for the service the biggest games that come to him come elsewhere and Xbox’s big hitters, e.g Gears and Hellonowhere to be seen?

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