While fans of the animated series Rick and Morty are anxiously awaiting the third season, co-creator Justin Roiland has been quietly building a virtual reality game studio with Tanya Watson, a former Epic Games Producer. It’s aptly named Squanchtendo, after an alien race in the Rick and Morty games that uses the word “squanch” as a replacement for many common words.
Roiland’s idea for a VR studio has actually been “squanching” around in his brain for a few years. “A gamer his whole life, he awoke to the idea of doing game design once he played with an Oculus DK2 headset,” according to Squanchtendo’s mission statement.
It was only recently, when Roiland began working with Watson, that Squanchtendo started to really take shape. In 10 years at Epic, Watson has put together an impressive profile, with work on games like Fortnite, Gears of War for PC, Bulletstorm, and Unreal Tournament 3.
Together, the pair are ready to dominate VR gaming, according to the mission statement: “We want to make stuff that people love. Games that we want to play ourselves. Experiences that we would like to be totally immersed in and enjoy for hours at a time, as well as shorter, crazier experiences that would be great to play with a group of friends or possibly with stray homeless people that you invited in so you could feed and bathe them.”
The previously announced Virtual Rickality title will still be produced by Owlchemy games, the same team behind the Vive launch title Job Simulator. Instead, Squanchtendo will focus on creating new IPs for virtual reality, likely starting with the HTC Vive, with Roiland’s unique, and often extreme, sense of humor guiding the duo’s creations.
The announcement’s timing is no coincidence, either. The annual Penny Arcade Expo in Seattle runs from September 2-6, and we would be surprised if we didn’t squanch something from Roiland and Watson then.