Skullgirls destroys funding goal, Lab Zero offer to help fellow developers
Last years fantastic 2D fighter Skullgirls lost all financial support from their publisher, Autumn Games, due to some costly legal battles back in June. Many of the team were laid off and began work on the PC version and their first new character DLC in their own time, but it simply wasn’t enough. As a last ditch effort, the Lab Zero team decided to run an IndieGogo campaign to raise enough money for them to be able to continue work on something they truly love – Skullgirls. Here’s DarkZero’s Skullgirls review.
Originally aiming for $150,000 the goal was quickly reached, so the team put together a bunch of stretch goals that included several voice packs and a second new character ‘Big Band’. Once again the stretch goal was soon hit and so once again was pushed even further. The next big goal was to get a new mystery character, that the fans would vote on from a given list of designs. Here’s where it get’s interesting…
Mane6, the developers behind My Little Pony: Fighting Is Magic, which was an almost complete 2D fighter, needed some help. They were sent a cease and desist order from Hasbro and had to shut down production of their game. They’d almost spent two years working on it and even after thousands of people tried to convince Hasbro they were doing a bad thing, it looked like the game was dead. That was until Lauren Faust, the creator My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, reached out to the team. Not wanting to let all their effort go to waste she offered her own help, by using her creative talent to invent new characters for the game to feature. Obviously Mane6 graciously accepted her offer and in no time they were back into development. Wanting to keep the same base mechanics, they had a new chance to make something special, something that was their own and not just for fans of the MLP:FiM fan-base. To do so they’d need to re-evaluate their game and possibly re-build a lot of it.
Making a game is hard, but with the help of an existing engine it can be much faster. This is where the Skullgirls campaign is related – they offered to give their game engine to Mane6 for absolutely nothing, provided they meet a stretch goal of $725,000. It seemed like a long shot and they were several hundred thousand away at this point. In the last few days of the campaign fans of Lab Zero, Mane6 and the fighting game community all pooled together, hitting the stretch goal that seemed impossible just a week before. In the process they also hit the goal for another DLC character ‘Robo-Fortune’, requiring Lab Zero to provide yet another stretch goal of $825,000 for just the final few hours of the campaign. Once again, the stretch goal was hit coming to a final amount of $829,829!
From a single campaign and thousands of dedicated fans we now have a huge amount of Skullgirls DLC and a completely new 2D fighter to look forward to. Personally, I can’t wait to get my hands on both, as I’m already a fan of Skullgirls and have been watching, with anticipation, Mane6’s game progress for over a year now. It was unfortunate what happened between Hasbro and Mane6, but with the help of fellow developers Lab Zero, the generous Lauren Faust and easily one of gamings biggest, friendliest and most cooperative communities, it seems everything has worked out for the best.