Skullgirls has released a new DLC for the low, low price of nothing. The DLC, Character Palette Bundle, introduces 5 new character palettes for each character in the game and promises the same for any future characters. It also attempts to fix a bug that causes character palettes and stages to remain locked. You can download the bundle here. Unfortunately, it looks like the bug fix isn’t working for everyone, so if you’re still having issues, check out Lab Zero Games’s Facebook post on the subject. If you’re a Skullgirls fan, hop on this deal quick – the bundle will only be free for the next 30 days.
XBLA gamers had to wait about six months longer than their PSN counterparts did, but the waiting finally ended on Monday. That’s when the frequently delayed Skullgirls Slightly Different patch finally arrived on Xbox Live Arcade. Just one day later, on Tuesday, it was followed by the release of the Color DLC, which offers eight packs of four new character color palettes for $1 each or $8 for the entire pack.
Slightly Different is the same patch that Peter Bartholow, CEO of Skullgirls developer Lab Zero Games, told XBLA Fans last month would likely be releasing within two weeks of his statement. (That didn’t happen.) It’s the same patch that Lab Zero said in January was unable to be released due to Microsoft’s stingy patch size limitations. (They eventually downsized it.) It’s the same patch that was in November revealed to have been developed by new studio Lab Zero Games, not original developer Reverge Labs. (It’s the same core team.)
Yes, Lab Zero’s biggest little patch has had quite the pre-release history on XBLA. But now, it’s all just that: history. “#Skullgirls owners on Xbox 360…please load up your game now!” Lab Zero tweeted Monday morning. The patch that contains new features, bug fixes, tutorials, gameplay changes and more was finally out.
Last month, Lab Zero Games had conducted an extremely successful fundraising campaign to back the DLC for their popular 2D Fighter, Skullgirls. Over the course of a few weeks, the team raised over $829,000 for 4 DLC characters, as well as stories and maps for most of them. Much to the surprise of CEO Peter Bartholow, PayPal, which is the money transferring company used by the fundraising website Indiegogo, froze the funds in Lab Zero’s account. “Whee! Paypal’s freeze on our account is making it so that I can’t pay people today,” Bartholow angrily posted on the NeoGaf message board. “I think it’s sketchy, but their logic sort of makes sense.”
The tie-up that Bartholow was speaking of was the potential for a large amount of chargebacks. The fear was that PayPal would could not honor their commitments to deliver the new DLC for Skullgirls, thus PayPal being responsible for the money. Bartholow wrote, “They also asked if we’re good for the $700,000 if something goes wrong. I said ‘No,’ because, well… we’re not? The whole point of crowdfunding is to give us the money to develop stuff, not take out a loan.” After contacting PayPal and sending the proper documentation, Lab Zero’s funds were eventually unfrozen, with the exception of $35,000 being held as collateral.
With threats of chargebacks still looming, Lab Zero has continued to pay their staff. Delays in the production of Skullgirls DLC are not expected.
The long-delayed Skullgirls patch that originally arrived on the PlayStation Network way back on November 20 of last year should finally be available on Xbox Live Arcade within the next two weeks, Lab Zero Games has informed XBLAFans. Lab Zero has been working on getting the “Slightly Different” patch onto XBLA for months, but its enormous original size (590 MB) thwarted the developer’s previous efforts to release it.
“So, if all goes well, the Skullgirls Xbox 360 patch should finally be out soon,” Lab Zero CEO Peter Bartholow said via email. “We won’t know exactly when it goes out – [Microsoft says] it’ll take two weeks, but [Microsoft] actually estimated that it would likely only take one.”
The patch is currently going through Microsoft’s certification process and cannot release unless it successfully passes. “But we don’t expect it to fail,” said Bartholow in response to a follow-up email from XBLA Fans. XBLA gamers’ prolonged wait for the patch should be over once it is finally certified. “As soon as it passes certification it will be pushed out,” Bartholow asserted.
Lab Zero’s Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign aiming to bring new characters to its fighter Skullgirls came to a close this week after raising nearly $830k–easily crushing its initial goal of $150k. Peter Bartholow, CEO of Lab Zero and the game’s producer, can’t believe the success of the campaign, telling XBLAFans that “many people on the team thought we’d fail to fund Squigly . . . and now we’ve got five characters to make.” In addition to the five new characters, the game will also see four new story modes, six stages, and nine voice packs:
- First Character: Squigly, including customn stage and story
- Second Character: Big Band, including customn stage and story
- Third Character: Determined by fan vote, with corrisponding stage and story
- Fourth Characeter: Determined by fan vote, with corrisponding stage and story
- Fifth Characeter: Robo-Fortune
- Bonus Stages: River King Casino and Glass Canopy
- Voice Packs: “Republican Double,” “Robo-Fortune,” “Female Announcer,” “Saly Parasoul,” “Drunk FGC Commentator,” “Valley Girl Painwheel,” “Saxplotation,” “Anime Peacock,” and “Real Soviet Announcer”
Don’t worry if you missed out on contributing, because Lab Zero is bringing all of the new characters to the game free of charge for a period of three months after each one’s release; after that time, the cost of the character goes up to $5. Squigly is the first new fighter to step into the ring this coming July alongside the game’s PC release. Bartholow predicts, “each character after that will probably be released after another 3-4 months.” With a little over a year of planned content, there is no better time than now to give Skullgirls a shot; you can download the demo or purchase the full game here.
In an effort to continue growing the popular game Skullgirls, the developers have set yet another stretch goal. Lab Zero Game’s CEO Peter Bartholow confirmed to XBLAFans via e-mail that they have added a fourth character to their donation stretch goals. Originally, the developer added a mystery character as incentive, which was revealed to be Robo-Fortune. The threshold for Robo-Fortune is $725,000, and at the time of this article being published. Robo-Fortune is a character inspired by Robo-Ky, and will recycle the frames of Ms. Fortune. “With that money, we should be able to redraw her head and give her some new moves and animations too,” Bartholow stated.
With donations currently at $718,483 with 12 hours left to go to donate, the DLC is expected to reach that goal. Lab Zero Games has also added a fourth mystery character as incentive. If they manage to reach $825,000, the mysterious character will be created, and at $850,000, they will create a story mode and stage surrounding the mysterious character.
Lab Zero Games, the caretakers of XBLA and PSN fighting game Skullgirls, last week reached a couple more stretch goals in its Indiegogo DLC crowdfunding campaign. Newly pledged funds will go towards the creation of the game’s first male character, Big Band, along with a stage and story mode for the saxophone lung-implanted veteran of the “Grand War.”
The man with the musical respiratory system’s story mode will focus on “a grizzled veteran tackling a new threat.” His stage will come complete with a new track from Michiru Yamane.
As of this writing, $449,504 have been pledged by Skullgirls fans. That number puts the campaign on pace to eclipse what was originally the final stretch goal of $625,000, which would mean Lab Zero would create a level and story mode for a fan-voted mystery character. The mystery character will be bankrolled at the $600,000 mark.
That mystery stage and story mode is no longer the final stretch goal, however. Polygon reports that, in an interesting move, Lab Zero is now offering to donate usage of the game engine it created for Skullgirls to developer Mane6 for use in its Fighting Is Magic game. Magic was originally a My Little Pony-themed game until IP owner Hasbro stepped in and put the kibosh on Mane6’s usage of the license.
Update: In the brief span of time since this article was published, Lab Zero Games was able to raise another $25,000, meaning it has hit its first stretch goal: Squigly will now get her own stage and story mode. Original story follows.
Lab Zero Games was hoping to reach its goal in 30 days. Some thought the notion of raising $150,000 for a DLC character for XBLA, PSN and PC fighting game Skullgirls would be “impossible.” As it turns out, it was — just not in the way many onlookers were thinking.
It didn’t take Lab Zero 30 days to raise the funds it requires to finish designing the character Squigly and get her into its game. It didn’t even take 30 hours. In less than a day, the independent studio that last year was sculpted out of some bits of clay that fell from Reverge Labs was able to raise the full $150,000 it says it requires to bring Squigly to gamers.
“In less than 24 hours, #Skullgirls has raised $150k for Squigly!” reads a tweet that went out this morning from the official Skullgirls account. “Everyone at Lab Zero is humbled. Thank you so much!”
Shortly thereafter, Lab Zero Games CEO Peter Bartholow provided XBLAFans with details on the character’s XBLA release. First, a title update and mandatory DLC pack that will add Squigly — along with any stretch items that the Indiegogo campaign is able to hit — will be released. An initially free-of-charge Squigly unlock will be released simultaneously. Squigly will remain free for a 3-month period and will set gamers back $5 from that point forward.
Lab Zero Games is back in the news, this time shooting for a lofty goal of $150,000 in order to bring a new character to all platforms. The new fighter, known as Squigly, was revealed earlier this month and was already partially complete at that point. The goal is to include both the character and an additional stage. Lab Zero’s Peter Bartholow also stated that the character would be free for a limited time should the goal be reached. Those kinds of promises have been made before by small studios, only to be broken for various reasons. Hopefully Lab Zero doesn’t fall into the same trap with such a promise.
But $150,000 is a lot to ask via a crowdsourcing campaign. Sure, Double Fine asked for $400,000 and blew through that with a cool $3.3 million, but there’s a major pedigree there with both Tim Schafer and Ron Gilbert. Bartholow sought to calm the oncoming torches and ptichforks with a breakdown of what developing a character actually costs (see above). “I know that $150k sounds like a ton of money, and it’s only that cheap because we’re taking huge paycuts to try and make it happen at all,” he told Shoryuken. “A full cost breakdown will be provided so that people can see how their money will be spent.”
While Skullgirls has seen success in the digital realm, it has also been no stranger to lofty goals. Previously the developer sought to push a 500 MB patch to through Xbox LIVE, a whopping 8.5 times larger than the biggest retail patch released (58.47 MB). Lab Zero has since told XBLA Fans that the update had been significantly resized, though it declined to go into specifics.
The folks at Shoryuken who run the yearly Evolution fighting game series of tournaments (usually known as just EVO) are having a charity drive contest to determine which game will be the final one played at EVO 2013 this summer. Most relevant for XBLAFans readers is last year’s excellent but sorely underplayed Skullgirls, which is currently third in the donation drive. Fans of fighting games who fancy themselves players, spectators or both may want to consider helping out a great cause. All of the money raised for the drive goes towards supporting the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.
The drive has already raised over $32,000 for a great cause, and looks like it will be an extraordinary success for the organizers regardless of which game wins. There are still a few more days to consider a contribution to this worthy cause (donations are accepted until 1/29) while helping to determine which fighting game will step back into the spotlight as the EVO tournament season approaches.