Skullgirls will be pulled from the PlayStation Network and Xbox Live by publisher Konami, but will return in the new year with a subtitle.
Skullgirls will vanish from the PlayStation Store and Xbox Live Marketplace on December 31. Replacement Skullgirls Encore will launch in January, developed Lab Zero Games has announced, and will be free to those who bought the original.
How you get hold of your copy of the game depends on your region and platform:
- North American PlayStation Network users will be able to download Skullgirls Encore for free by visiting its store page; the transition will be automatic. Squigly’s character DLC for Encore will release simultaneously and be free for three months. DLC for Skullgirls is not compatible with Skullgirls Encore, and vice versa. There will be fresh leaderboards, and save data is not compatible. The character colour DLC will also be free for a limited time, it will add new colours for exisitng cast and all DLC characters, while individual character DLC will be phased out. The original Skullgirls will be available to download from your downloads list.
- The European PSN release is expected to take longer than the North American version. Other details from the NA release apply.
- The Japanese PSN release is also expected to be delayed. Other details from the NA release apply.
- Xbox Live users will find the game disappears from the Marketplace for some time, as new publisher MarvelousAQL can’t submit the new build until after the holidays. Online play will still be available during this time. Unlike with the PSN version, Skullgirls Encore will be a patched version of the original game, not a separate product, so leaderboards, achievements and save data will be unaffected by the transition. Previously purchased DLC will still be compatible with Skullgirls Encore. The character color DLC bundle will be free for everyone for a limited time. Squigly will be available (and free) when Encore launches. The game will also become available on the Japanese Xbox Live Marketplace.
- The PC version of the game is unaffected, as Konami was not involved with it; the title screen has been updated, though.
The tale of Skullgirls has been a long and troublesome one, and Lab Zero Games offered a handy summary of events to date.
Originally in development at Reverge Labs, Skullgirls was signed to Autumn Games. Autumn Games had to sign with Konami to get Skullgirls onto Xbox Live, but the two publishers fell out after the less than successful launch of DefJam Rapstar, resulting in a lawsuit from a third party.
Unable to continue funding Skullgirls, Autumn Games then cancelled further patching and DLC on the game, and the development team was laid off from Reverge Labs. The team reformed independently as Lab Zero Games, and continued work on the game, starting with a patch. Autumn Games approved the work but could not finance it, so Lab Zero turned to Indiegogo, raising more than $830,000 to fund five DLC characters.
Lab Zero Games then released its first DLC character on PC, and completed a console patch. Unfortunately, Konami refused to submit the patch without further, expensive testing. Autumn Games and Konami ended their agreement, in order to open the path for Skullgirls releases, with MarvellousAQL stepping up as new publisher.
This month, Konami elected to delist the game, but once Lab Zero heard, it worked out a deal to delay the delisting until the end of December.