Labzero Games started their Skullgirls fundraiser drive on Indiegogo with the goal to collect $150,000 to fund the development of Squigly, their first DLC character. There were some doubts among observers that the money could be raised, and even lead designer Mike Zaimont made public his concerns.
The $150,000 was raised within the first 24 hours. Indiegogo’s policies allowed Labzero to receive the money before the campaign concluded. Full development on Squigly has been ongoing for several weeks, with her release expected sometime in July.
The campaign concluded with over $825,000, which resulted in 4 more characters going into development. After Squigly is finished, work will commence on Big Band, Skullgirls’ first male playable character. The third and fourth characters will be decided by fan vote from a list of over thirty characters. At some point, a bonus fifth character will be developed: Robo-Fortune. Born as a joke during a live stream from the voice actor who does her voice, Kimlinh Tran, Robo-Fortune was offered as a bonus voice pack if a certain goal was reached. That eventually evolved into a full-blown alternate character, who will share many animations and normal moves with Ms. Fortune, but also have unique special moves, and perhaps a few other unique principles. Think Ky Kiske and Robo-Ky from Guilty Gear. All of these characters will have story modes and unique stages to play on.
There will also be two bonus stages made because so many people donated at the $1,000 level, which allows them to design a character to be put in the background of a Skullgirls stage, that more stages have to be made to fit them all. All seven new stages will have new music from composer Michiru Yamane.
Here’s an overview of all the content that will be added to the game as a result of this donation drive:
- New character Squigly, with Story mode and stage
- New character Big Band, with Story mode and stage
- New character TBA from fan vote, with Story mode and stage
- Second new character TBA from fan vote (No story mode or stage) – UPDATE: Peter Bartholomew, CEO of Labzero, announced on NeoGAF that they were able to remove one of the development requirements. While he is bound by NDA, he did reveal this saves the company $40,000. As a result, this second new character will get a stage and story mode.
- New character Robo-Fortune, with Story mode and stage
- Two additional stages
- Republican Double voice pack
- Robo-Fortune voice pack (Essentially to be rolled in with Robo-Fortune, this isn’t really a stand alone reward any more)
- Female Announcer Voice Pack
- Salty Sailor Parasoul Voice Pack
- Drunk Announcer Voice Pack
- Valley Girl Painwheel Voice Pack
- Saxploitation Voice Pack (For Big Band)
- Anime Peacock Voice Pack
- Real Soviet Announcer Voice Pack (Mike Z doing his Russian voice)
- Mane6, Developers of Fighting Is Magic, get a license to use the Skullgirls engine (now known as the Z Engine) for free
The characters will be free for 90 days, even if you didn’t contribute. The rationale is that it is cheaper to give away the content for free than it is to get redemption codes from Sony or Microsoft and give them to donators. At this time, I believe the voice packs and additional stages will be free forever, but at the very least they will also be free for 90 days.
Speaking as a Skullgirls fan, after months of no news (or depressing news), this is ridiculously exciting. I don’t think anyone thought the Indiegogo would break $825,000, but with minutes to go it did. There’s so much new free content coming, that it will be releasing well into 2014.