[UPDATE] Skullgirls – Details Revealed About Crowdfunding Drive, Squigly, PC Version, Stretch Goals, and More

By on February 15, 2013 at 1:25 pm

UPDATE – Various parts of this article have been updated with further information from Bartholow, regarding the start date for the fundraising drive (February 25th), the possibility of new music, the dollar amount quoted, and more. These additions have been visibly denoted as such.

Mike Z and Peter “Ravidrath” Bartholow of Lab Zero Games revealed a tremendous amount of info on the upcoming Skullgirls crowd-funding drive at the last Salty Cupcakes. Vadsamoht of the SkullHeart.com forums has collected all the info in one place. Here are the important facts.


  • UPDATE – The fundraiser will open on February 25th.
  • Squigly will take approximately $150,000 to complete.
UPDATE – Peter Bartholow
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. A full cost breakdown will be provided so that people can see how their money will be spent.
  • The rough outline of the drive’s goals and stretch goals are as follows: Squigly, Squigly’s Story + Stage, Male DLC Character, Male DLC Character Story + Stage, Third DLC Character Chosen By Popular Vote, Third Character Story + Stage
  • If the original Squigly goal is met, production will begin immediately regardless of whether or not the funding drive has ended.
  • Official Squigly voice additions have ended, but interested voice actors can still e-mail Lab Zero asking for an audition script for a chance to try out.
  • If Squigly is completed, she will be made free for a limited time for everyone, not just people who contributed.
  • UPDATE – This free period will last three months and will be open to all platforms.
  • eightysixed will donate 50% of sales of their Salty Cupcakes pins and $10 from each t-shirt sale to the fund.

Other DLC Characters

  • Leduc is not the male DLC character the first stretch goal is talking about
  • Stanley Whitefin, the Science Shark, and Panzerfaust are both eligible contenders for the popular vote DLC character. However, there are several other characters, some of which players have not even seen yet, that will be revealed and made eligible as well, should the funding progress that far.
  • Marie is a contender for the third DLC character, but is not “easier” to make than any other character. Only 100 frames of animation out of an average of 1500 were made for her, and only 5 lines of dialogue out of an average of 100 were recorded.
  • Peter tweeted that Stanley Whitefin is Ms. Victoria’s husband but very quickly said that was a lie.

PC Version

UPDATE – Peter Bartholow

One of the reward tiers will include a Steam code for the PC version, and exclusive beta access. This is basically a chance for non-Daigo people to playtest characters and provide feedback.

  • The PC version is not very system-intensive. It runs on Mike Z’s “toaster” of a computer and should run on any modern setup. Pete says it runs just fine on his Macbook Pro.
  • The team is looking into porting Skullgirls to DirectX11
  • The PC version is confirmed to have online lobbies.
  • The team is currently looking into adding online training mode and replay recording to the PC version.
  • Crossplatform play with the PS3 will, unfortunately, not be included. Steamworks, the technology that makes it possible, is not an approved middleware.

Other Details

  • UPDATE – Michiru Yamane agreed to compose NEW music for Skullgirls if new stages can happen.
  • Skullgirls is capable of running at 1200 FPS unrendered on the PS3 and Xbox 360.
  • The Skullgirls team has reached out to Zone, creator of high quality NSFW flash films, for the vectorized lifebar assets created for one NSFW Filia parody.
  • Autumn Games is still very interested in working with the LabZero team on Skullgirls. If their legal troubles turn out well it is likely that a Skullgirls 2 will be greenlit.

Mike Z signed off the night by saying that this crowdfunding drive is, essentially, the only way development on Skullgirls can continue. The team is currently receiving no money from their publisher due to the lawsuit. If the crowdfunding drive is not successful, then the team would have no money coming in from the publisher or the fans, which will effectively halt development on Skullgirls all together.

So this is your chance Skullgirls fans. Support your favorite game and see if you can make it something great. Want to see Venus Lovelace, D. Violet, TJ Maximum, or any other crazy obscure Skullgirls characters finally be made playable? Now is your chance!

Source: SkullHeart, tip via Sairus

Angelo M. D’Argenio A.K.A. MyLifeIsAnRPG got his start in the fighting game community as a young boy playing Street Fighter II in arcades down at the Jersey Shore. As president of Disorganization XIII, he travels the convention circuit presenting a variety of panels from discussions on gamer culture, to stick modding workshops, to fighting game comedy acts. He has a passion for looking at the fighting game community from an academic standpoint and has completed several studies on effective fighting game learning and the impact fighting games have on social circles. A six year veteran of the gaming industry, he also writes for Cheat Code Central and is a lead game designer for Ember Games. On Tuesdays, you can find him getting bodied by Chris G and getting mistaken for Seth Rogen at The Break.
  • Disco-lemonade

    You better believe I’m gonna be backing this.

  • ReoAyanami

    So Squiggly is not guaranteed yet?

    • peter bartholow

      We don’t have the money to finish her, which is why we’re doing the crowdfunding thing in the first place.

      She’ll be free for three months after release, so consider it a preorder.

      • How does one donate?  what source of donations could one give(Like cash, check, ect) Where can one mail it to?

        • peter bartholow

          It’ll be done on the crowdfunding site IndieGoGo, and will (probably) be starting up on 2/25.

          And IndieGoGo processes all payments through PayPal, so there are multiple ways to pay securely.

  • NyuBomber


    …Huh. Okay.

    EDIT: Hope I didn’t imply this will affect my decision to support them, because it won’t and I will.

    • SpongeJordan123

      Hey, they REALLY follow their fanbase 😛

      • No I Don’t want this! This is gross, I don’t want a games to constantly give fanservice to their weird internet perversions! 

        • Guest

          This is refreshing. I’m not even into women and my interest is piqued 

        • Mr. X

           That bullet is terribly out of context.

        • Alexis A. Rivera-Montalvo

          The whole point is that Zone is not doing porn of it, for Christ’s sake.

          It’s vector graphics.  Drawing game assets in another format.


        • Ricardo Medero

          this is not DOA5

        • Agreed.

        • Snow Loss

          Stop being such a prude. Tap talent where talent is. Zone happens to be a very good animator and artist regardless of what he/she does.

          The whole “Oh no he drew a dirty picture, we have to blackball him!” anti-porn stigma in America is laughably juvenile.

    • Soulsden B


    • Yeah…we do not need that trash.

  • Vaughn Anderson

    *puts on shades* lets begin… B3

  • EA575

    Is it wrong that I squealed like a little girl when I saw this news?

    • peter bartholow

      No, it is one of the few things right in the world.

  • Raidanzoup

    Let’s go, Squigs, you got this.

  • xanderglz

    “The team is looking into porting Skullgirls to DirectX11”

    Pardon my ignorance, but isn’t DirectX11 the newest, smokin hot technology that’s only compatible with Windows 8? I hope I’m wrong since that would be a huge drawback

    • SpongeJordan123

      Not exclusively. They said right there that it works on the dude’s POS. They just want it to be able to make use of the DX11 shit in case people have that kind of hardware (People do.)

    • DX11 has been around for a while.  so you are wrong

      • xanderglz

        Glad I am though. That means I’ll be able to pick this game up. Thanks

        • Delusibeta

          Yeah, it’s DirectX 11.1 that Microsoft are being dicks about. Vanilla DirectX 11 will be the version of DirectX everyone will use for a good few years as a result (hell, there’s still some AAA DirectX 9 games being released, a fairly recent example being Borderlands 2).

    • Skudd Stevens

      DirectX 11 is supported in Windows 7 and up. Of course, supporting DX11 doesn’t mean it will use exclusively DX11. It will very likely also support older versions of DX as well (DX9 in particular) as well as possibly OpenGL.

  • James Reilly

    Well time to raise that $

    Also, Skullheart article has updated a bit. 

    -Michiru Yamane agreed to compose NEW music for Skullgirls if new stages can happen. Source is official Skullgirls Twitter

  • Thanks so much for the update!

  • Much love to MikeZ and SG. And Ahad and the rest of the SG team.

  • GeForceFX

    The real question is – will pc run 1080p native?

    • peter bartholow

      Yeah, it will.

      • 1080p UI assets? Up-rezzed Character art?

        I’ll be dropping fat stacks of cash on this, regardless.

        • Guno

          the characters are easily uprezzable since they were downscaled from a really high number for the console versions

        • Raidanzoup

          I think all the art was originally done in a resolution higher than 1080p, so yeah.

        • peter bartholow

          The characters are drawn at a size that would befit 1440p resolutions, and are currently downscaled to get nice filtering, etc.

          We’re not redoing all the art, but it’ll still look nice and crisp.

    • Mike Jones

      Yes. Also Mike did mention that because the art is based on vectors, you could zoom in 2x and not notice a pixel. With that said if they wanted they could double the native resoloution for PC.

      • peter bartholow

        The art is NOT based on vectors, it’s just drawn at at double 720p resolution.

      • Makr0ss

        Someone said something about vectors: The DDrive poster was made on vector so you can print it in any resolution. A little bit off topic but whatevs

  • Hays Kronke

    Today is a good day.

  • Eric Nguyen

    Just say the word. We won’t let this die.

  • RenaTurnip

    Maybe my exhausted slug of a machine could run this, haha… but I don’t feel hopeful.

    Good luck in any case, Skullgirls!

  • Could we get Zone OUT of my fucking fighting games, seriously wtf?

    • The guy was in the chat room and just happened to have high resolution recreations of the UI sitting on his harddrive. Regardless of what they were used for previously, they’d end up having to craft identical assets if they’re going to fully polish greater-than-720p resolutions with the PC version.

      We’re not talking like… character art… so I don’t know what the problem is. The MechaFetus crew who were on board for the majority of the project have a wide portfolio of guro/nsfw illustrations and animations.

    • James Reilly

      What? At most Zone would help out with the animations since Mike Z acknowledged the talent on Vector  and maybe the VA for “ZONE-tan” that series up on Youtube is interested in Voicing Squigly. Chill out… don’t know what you thought this would mean

    • Kyle D. Johnson

      Man, what the hell is your problem?

    • metaXzero K

      I hope in these 3 hours you’ve learned exactly what Zone is working on instead of throwing a bitch-fit over Zone in general.

    • what is your problem with zone animators are animators so who cares that they are borrowing one little thing from zone?

  • Christopher Wrightson



    but seriously I hope they get what they need to progress. GL guys!

  • Johnathon Otero

    obligatory “shut-up and take my money!” comment.

  • I’m going to back this shit as hard as I can.

    • peter bartholow

      Should be some nice bonus items in it for you, then!

  • Chris Wilson

    Is one of the possible characters the “like Q but doesn’t suck” character that Mike was talking about?  Also, what happens if less than $150k is raised?

    • James Reilly

      You Mean Big Band (Big dude that is part Saxophone) ? He is a very likely character to be the possible male characters along with Panzerfaust (Big dude with Tank on arm), Especially since Leduc (Average size dude with electric fighting style) got deconfirmed by Mike Z. The Male character should be increasingly obvious when the milestone gets closer and closer

      Also, if not enough $ is raised for not even Squigly then Skullgirl production is halted since publishers or even the community is unable to give enough $.

    • peter bartholow

      No money is kept if we don’t reach the first funding goal.

  • Nazareth Gabriel

    Wow, they need 150k to finish one character? 

    • Jeff

       The talent (voice, art) isn’t cheap.  This isn’t SF4 where you can make T.Hawk in 2 days.

      • Brad Chanley

        I seriously hope you don’t believe this. 

      • WeirdingWay

        Sounds like they’re overpaid. I don’t need some recognizable VA to enjoy the character. And there are plenty of people with artistic talent with jobs so they don’t need to charge up the ass for art, and they would be happy with the publicity and recognition as a hobby. But in the case you can’t change the art but  they don’t have to pay so much to do fucking voice overs. This isn’t a movie.

        • GeForceFX

          Wow. Do you even know how video games are made? First of all. 150k per character is NOTHING. It can easily go above 1kk. Yes. That is a MILLION DOLLARS PER CHARACTER. Read it again now.

          Million dollars. Per character.


          Also, the fact that you said “oh people with jobs can do it for e-penis points” makes me SICK. People should be rewarded for their hard work. They have responsibilities, families.
          Why not make anyone’s profession a “go work at a different job, and do THIS one for free!”. That is pathetic.

          • WeirdingWay

            It’s called a hobby. Lots of people would gladly provide their voice during their free time. Also I lol’d at *hard work* as if speaking scripted text into a microphone is really all that difficult. Having a vocal talent =/= hard work. 150k…1m…either way…VAs charge too much.

          • GHNeko

             You think Voice Acting isnt hard work?

            lol you’re sadly mistaken.
            The amount of time and effort someone has to go through in order to
            properly train their voice to access a multitude of vocal ranges,
            accents, and stress while maintaining proper pronunciation for extended
            periods of time and sounding as natural as possible is ridiculous.

            years of being a Bass 1/Tenor/Baritone, singing in chorus made me learn
            to how much practice you have to put into vocal exercises just to hit
            that one note you’ve been trying to hit all week.

            have to go through similar things that Voice Actors, but it’s a lot
            easier on them because they’re in a group where other people cover other

            Not only that, but like half of the time, VA’s dont even get to properly rehearse the script, if they get to rehearse it at all.

            only that, but half-assed voice acting is soo easy to spot, even if you
            don’t understand the language. You don’t want that representing your
            shit ever.

    • James Reilly

      Thats actually really “cheap” for the production of a fighting game character from step 0 to final step. 

    • Mr. X

      The bigger companies spend way more like 5x that amount and takes much longer.

    • That is what I thought yeah really expensive, I wonder how much its going to end up being total. When I read further, they talked about the other DLC that is when I thought, oh that makes sense. Its no wonder why certain projects on kickstarter get put on hold you just don’t know how much its going to take.

    • datagram

      Yeah, turns out you need to pay people if you expect them to work on something for a few months. Crazy.

      • GeForceFX

        It’s not like people need food, or electricity, or running water. There’s so much in life we don’t need for coding and paying other people to use their own talents for their work in collaborating in the project, yep. They do all of this for free in fact.
         I mean, if they really wanted this, they would just get another job. People with only 1 job are lazy anyway, even if they work overtime and spend every bit of their passion and heart in it. Yeap.

      • WeirdingWay

        The problem is that they are getting paid too much.

    • peter bartholow

      That’s at reduced salaries, too – they cost around $250k when we were being paid at Reverge.

      Also included in that figure are testing and patch submission costs and money for the physical premium items. Together those account for almost half of her total cost.

      • Nazareth Gabriel

        $250k??? For one character? Now I understand that “sprites are really expensive to make” thing most SFIV supporters harped on.

        • GeForceFX

          Just to make it clear. 250k is not even the upper limit. There were cases where it was over 1,000,000 per character.

          • WeirdingWay

            Mismanagement of monies. Every company has overbudgeted projects from improper spending.

          • GeForceFX

            Yes, because capcom is new to making fightin games, they don’t know how to spend their budget so they allocate 1-2M per chara just to make sure they get it right. Right?

  • Let me donate, plz

  • 1. Why not OpenGL? I didn’t know Mac handled DX11 well?
    2. THREE dlc characters planned, nice!
    3. Zone-Sama, regardless of what people think of his work, nobody can deny it’s very well done and he could probably do some nice graphic work (Obviously nothing too pervy, because the game age rating) just the lifebar from what I read though?

    Where do I go to donate etc?

    • James Reilly

      It would be at Indigogo when it opens on 2/25

      •  Thanks, I’d really like to donate, I want SG to do well and making Squig free just seems odd.

        • Disco-lemonade

           About the squigs being free, I remember either mike or ravi saying that they intend to make her free for the first three months to encourage the people who would buy her to use that $5 you’d spend on her to fund her development instead.

  • Fabrizzio Trucido

    that’s some really nice information right there but there’s no hint about the pc release date, i’ve been waiting since the debut of skullgirls to get it for steam, for real, also is it any chance to have a Team Fortress 2 item for the pre-release? i would kill for a peacock hat!!!, and for the last, i’m really happy to know that’ there will be a possible skullgirls 2 that shows the success of the series and the amazing talent Lab Zero guys, but please don’t make us wait the same amount of time of SkullGirls 1 to get it on PC

    • Jeff

       PC release date was said to be 3-4 months last month.

  • Epsilon Karamazov

    What is this business about legal troubles?

    • Nyoka2

      Autumn games is getting sued over Def Jam Rapstar, something totally unrelated to Skullgirls, but as a result they are devoting all their money to the lawsuit and can’t devote any to Lab Zero

      •  It’s not that they’re “devoting” money, it’s that up to 15 million in revenue is being held by the courts until proceedings are finished.

    • Jason Slade

       Autumn Games, the Publisher that funded Skullgirls, got sued for ~15 million dollars over some bad debts relating to Def Jam: Rap Star. Thanks to this giant legal tangle, the Skullgirls team were laid-off. Pretty much everything MikeZ and his team has done for this game since then has been without any compensation or payment on their end.

      Autumn Games has said that they wish to continue to work with the Skullgirls team but they simply can’t get funding until the lawsuit is over.

      Hence why they now need to crowdsource $150,000 to finish Squiggly.

  • Jeff

    I’m hoping for a Skullgirls 2, just so the gameplay can be a little different.  Right now the game is a little too brutal and the combos are too long.  Even with my complaints, I’ll still fund this because I love everything else about the game.  I just think the gameplay could be better.

    • 0bscura

      i agree the game feels a bit too auto-pilot with all the 30 second combos with 50 different ways to reset… and invincible assists that give you 5 seconds to hitconfirm off it… still like the game though im gonna donate

      • Elloyd Bennett

        quick question? are you guys playing the xbox version? because that stuff was address to some extent in the update. (which is not on xbox btw….)

        • Jeff

           The patch helped in this regard, but the game still has an accessibility problem, and a few situations where things get really stupid.   It helped, but I think a sequel, and backing off on some of the Marvel 2 stuff, is what is needed.

          I really do think these things played a big role in turning some folks off from this game who would have given it a chance- I’ve heard that from several locals (and this includes myself) who loved the art/incidentals, but didn’t like the gameplay as much.

          • WeirdingWay

            Elaborate on backing off with Marvel 2 stuff. No team vs team? No team hyper combos or DHCs? Assists? Snapbacks? The core mechanics are clearly lifted from Marvel (no problem with that) but there aren’t a lot of points they can attack before the game feels completely different.

          • Jeff

             Cut down on the long combos.   Maybe have something more like BBCP where hitstun is largely based on the first hit and how you hit it perhaps?  

            I just get tired of fishing for jabs into big combo type games.

          • Austin Davoren

            The game is “as is” because this is what Mike Z and his team wanted.
            I’m not saying ‘hold dat’, but this is their game, please play it, and not your version of it.

    • WeirdingWay

      I thought the patch was supposed to fix the forever combos?

  • Asaid AieezyOle Falah

    150,000!! God damn. Diamond encrusted DLC, jeez

    • worldjem

       150k is dirt cheap to fund a character. If only you could see how much a character costs in any other fighting game.

    • Jason Slade

      Capcom was pushing ~1-2 million per character for Streetfighter 4 so $150,000 is pretty affordable.

      • peter bartholow

        We have trained our community so well, I love it.

        • Moribund Cadaver

          Trained the community to understand how expensive making software with heavy production values is?

          There are still people who think that a fully designed, modeled, animated, tested character in a 3D fighting game costs like fifty bucks to make because they saw some guy on DA use zbrush to make a painting of Guile in 3D so dat shiz is like free dude.

          • peter bartholow

            Yeah, I don’t expect people to understand what things cost, which is why we need to explain it. Like, there will be a budget breakdown in our campaign.

            And we have it on pretty good authority that SF4 characters cost around $1M each.

          • Stanley Seymour

            ONE MILLION!!! 0.0 OMG! I never knew it would be that expensive, Jesus.

        • Snow Loss

          Fingers crossed this goes well and that Microsoft starts behaving in regards to the patch.

          Any reason you guys didn’t decide to go with Kickstarter? I’m assuming it’s due to the 10% cut of the funding or whatever the amount is.

          • peter bartholow

            It’s mostly because they take a larger cut.

            We didn’t investigate it too much because of that, but I believe Kickstarter’s rules also prevent you from giving something away.

          • Snow Loss

            Thanks for taking the time to respond to me Peter, really helping this goes well for you guys!

      • Jeff

         I don’t believe Capcom on 1-2mil per character.   If it’s $150k for Skullgirls (which means $250-300k for Capcom), they would have stuck with 2D for the aesthetic advantages.  Animators are also cheaper in Japan due to the glut.

        Capcom went to the style they did because it’s cheaper.

        • Nyoka2

          For the record (I have experience with this) 2D animation is actually more expensive than 3D animation. 3D animation is essentially hand-drawn frame by frame. 3D animation is moving a model around. It’s just less labor intense.

          • peter bartholow

            They’re fundamentally different.

            There’s a lot more setup involved with 3D, because you have to model, rig, texture, etc. before you can do anything. With 2D, you just start drawing.

            Also, just because you “just move the model” doesn’t mean it’s not more complicated. With good 3D animations you’re going to just as many keyframes, if not more. It’s really detail-oriented, especially if you’re dealing with facial animations, too.

    • Raidanzoup

      Key frames animation, actual animation, cleanup work, the fact that everything is hand-drawn, voice artists need to be paid, programming needs to be done, animators need to get paid… 

  • MasterBP

    TJ Maximum better be on that character poll, also, get your shit together already Autumn goddamn.

    • peter bartholow

      TJ Maximum is a Vulcan Heel character, I believe.

      • Nyoka2

        *Stares a death stare*

        If you make 450,000 dollars on crowdfunding, TJ Maximum better be on that voting list whether he is a Vulcan Heel character or not!

  • Thomas Crane

    Skullgirls really brings new meaning to the term “poverty fighting game”. 

    • WeirdingWay

      Not sure how they compete with MUGEN for that term.

  • Skudd Stevens


  • Delusibeta

    tl;dr edition of the lawsuit (meant to be a response to Epsilon): Autumn Games & Konami is being sued by Def Jam over some stuff that was said behind the scenes over Def Jam Rapstar.

  • Brad Chanley

    $150k haha oh fuck!

  • YourAshyAss_Elbows

    $150k? wow.A couple things, not to sound bitter; but shouldn’t the team opened that slot for a male character? And why wasn’t this done sooner?

    • James Reilly

      1. Squigly is already 1/3 done, they were working on her while under Reverge. So she would be the easiest to work with first

      2. Again, this was back when they had funding by a publisher. Now with news about their PC and JPN release they might as well get Squigly done through crowd funding(And hopefully more) since again they lack funding

    • peter bartholow

      Squigly was already partially complete, about 1/3 – it’s the only reason she’s as cheap as she is, and that’s why we started with her.

      Additional characters will be more.

  • Kofi Adu-Gyan

    If one does not have a credit card, or anything like that, how does one donate?

    • Ndebe

       Get a prepaid debit card at your local convenience store.

    • James Reilly

      go to Indigogo on 2/25, they accept many secured payment methods

    • peter bartholow

      IndieGoGo uses Paypal to process all payments, so if Paypal takes it, you can use it.

  • 1338h4x

    So I guess DirectX means there no chance of a Linux version then? We still don’t have a single fighting game here, we need something!

    • James Reilly

      Beasts Fury. Google their fundraiser. Includes Linux

    • GHNeko

      Mike Z said that he would try to keep it DX9 if possible. They were having framerate issues on high end PCs and thought that porting the game to DX11 would fix the issues.

      If they can get their issues resolved on DX9, they will stay on it.

  • Joseph King

    I wish creative companies were more open about how much they spend on talent, the general public has no concept of production costs lol. ON TOPIC: I’m throwing some money at this for sure!

    •  For whatever reason, they find it a bad thing for others to know.

      some strange fucked up corporate logic

  • no ps3 crosplay??? damn this is a huge disapointment !! 🙁

  • Wolfkiller

    My only gripe is the planned male characters. I think having an entirely female roster was a cool move and it should stay that way. That being said, I will likely try to help support this even though I never have time to play.

    • peter bartholow

      Alex has always had plans for male characters – the title isn’t about the characters, but about the boss-girls the story centers around.

      And you’re, unfortunately, in the distinct minority when it comes to thinking that an all-girl cast is cool.

    • Deniz Genc

      It would actually make Skullgirls more distinct as a game if its cast had a male, instead of a female, minority. There are already a couple of fighting games with women-only casts, such as Arcana Heart 3 and… uh… (checks Mizuumi wiki) Vanguard Princess, which are pretty heavy on the fanservice. I think that Skullgirls has attracted some ire by being compared to those games for that reason.
      Plus it’s always been the FG standard to have a high male:female ratio – it would be interesting to seen it turned around.

  • Oerba

    Just picked this game up again and I’m hitting myself for not sticking with it when I got it at launch. I’m donating for damn sure.

  • Jason Pash

    Find it hard to believe that other fighters cost 1-2 million a character. So SSFIV has about 39 characters. So it would cost about $50- $100 million to produce the characters alone. That’s a lot of money.

    • Moribund Cadaver

      I believe the trick is economy of scale. this is always the issue with producing piecemeal DLC for a game.

      If you have the artists, animators, voice talent, programmers all together and working on a set of characters you can knock them out in an assembly line fashion.

      But, if you call everyone in to make “batches” of DLC every so often, it can cost more. Because there’s a base level of pay everyone involved requires, no matter how little or much time they work. Not everyone is paid by the hour.

      It is why folks made an error when complaining that $5 for a DLC character in a fighter was too much, since the entire game was only $50. It doesn’t work that way unfortunately.

      • windsagio

        that’s why companies like to put in so much work on the DLC characters before the game is done.  Not only is it waaaaay more efficient (as you say), it also gets the content available when people are most likely to actually buy it.

        you don’t want retention rate messing up your 2% DLC purchase rate even more.

      •  too bad nobody will ever understand that because nobody ever makes an effort to let people know what’s actually up

    • Nyoka2

      Believe it! Look at it this way. Street Fighter IV launched with 26 characters. Highballing that, that’s 52 million dollars. BUT, Street fighter IV has sold 3 million copies worldwide. 3 million at 60 bucks a pop is $180 million dollars. That amounts to 128 million dollars of profit! Granted lots of that will be reduced by retailers and so forth taking their cut, but you are still talking millions of dollars worth of profit!

      Technically, SFIV actually came out with fewer characters in the arcade first so production costs were lower AND they had an opportunity to make their money back before working on the console port. So let’s say they broke even on the arcade version. Only 6 new characters were added for the home retail version, which would cost 12 million dollars… remember that SFIV home versions alone amounted to $180 in sales!!!

      Then super was made, once again it wasn’t a matter of making all 39 characters. It was a matter of making the ten next characters that hadn’t been added yet. IDK the super sales numbers but if they had half the attach rate they would still make money. 

      Then there was AE, and that was 4 characters, once again even a smaller attach rate would still make money.

      Video games are big business  You spend millions of dollars to make hundreds of millions of dollars. That’s how the industry works. 

      • peter bartholow

        We have it on pretty good authority that SF4 cost around $40M to make. Obviously there’s a lot more to that than just character development – programming, environments, etc.

        A 3D character probably takes around the same number of people we use (minus contractors), but they have to work on it much longer.

        And, just to be fair, the publisher only gets about $35 from a $60 sale.
        Also, around $50k of the $150k total is just to test, submit and pay for rewards. There will be a full cost breakdown to show how we’re spending the money when the campaign goes live.

        • Nyoka2

          *does some number crunching* So it cost 40 million dollars to make. The publisher gets $35 from each sale. The game sold 3 million copies.

          That’s $105 million to the publisher. Which means they make approximately $65 million in profit after spending $40 million.

          Well there you have it Jason. Big investment. Bigger payoff. Welcome to the gaming industry. 

        • Jeff

           My guess is much of the cost was the overall engine (a fixed cost), and marketing.   The actual character making wasn’t as expensive.

        • windsagio

          in fairness, given your methods, they probably take a lot less time.

          • Mr. X

            Loc testing SF4 alone took longer than they did to produce a character and the loc test had changes to balance/move functions and character appearances.

          • windsagio

            That’s kind of a separate issue, and is about the process you need to have for a AAA game.

            playtesting and tuning aside, doing 1500 frames manually is going to take a lot longer than doing an initial design and then working out animations in Maya.  (<-simplifying somewhat, but still)

            the one thing ZL has for them in this case is lack of huge company bullshit slowing things down, but I'm just thinking process-wise… and the 3D method is just about always faster and more efficient.

          • windsagio

            random, per wiki, injustice characters take about 6 weeks to get into some kind of playable shape.

          • Mr. X

            NRS models look stiff as hell like they’re half done, I doubt they took as much time as VF/Tekken/SF/SCV/DoA either. I wouldn’t use them as an example of speed and quality or championing them because they look like they need another 6 weeks.

          • windsagio

            hate the limits of the reply system…

            anyways, X, that’s more an issue of MK’s very unusual visual style, which is nothing like the standards for FG’s. They’re not sloppy, they’re just *weird*.

            Some of my coworkers (animators) were doing frame-by-frame watching of SF4 on Friday, and it was interesting to hear them talk about it.  Also interesting how lazy-ass Capcom actually was with their transition animations and such when you watch them slo-mo.

          • Mr. X

            Doesn’t change the fact NRS’s work looks like that speed compared to every other 3D fighter on the market that looks like more care went more than the skins. It’s not weird, it’s rushing and corner cutting.

          • windsagio

            see, I have to beg to differ on that, Aside from the extremely mannish women (I’ll grant you that one), I’ve grown to much prefer the MK style to the ludicrously over-emphasized cartoony look that’s the standard.

            But that’s taste anyways…  To go back to the original point, it doesnt’ really matter what looks better, there’s essentially zero chance that the exceptionally labor-intensive methods used in Skullgirls take less time than the same process for Capcom did.

            I’ve watched people making 3D character animation professionally now, and it’s amazing how quickly things actually come out.

            For skullgirls, I’ll still hold to my old theory; that getting the art assets done was a major reason for the small roster (and for squiggly getting cut originally… that was her right?  Too lazy to look it up)

          • Mr. X

             No one was cut, they’ve always 8 characters and the game shipped 8.

            Your “I know a guy” is quite worthless as evidence against. There’s people that work at Capcom around here better suited to answer than you’re maybe real person that has a job in game design that works on not fighting games.

            It’s more like hypothesis, not theory.

          • windsagio

            who works at capcom that talks here and has spoken on this subject?  Name them.

            Beyond that, I’m fortunate enough to work in the business now (although mobile, that’s where the future is).  When I say I’ve seen somebody make 3D animations *professionally*, I mean that I needed an asset for something and that the guy, who sits near me, made it for me.  

            Nothing so complex as a FG character of course (again mobile, and small company), but nevertheless, its amazing how fast things like animations are to do once you have the skeleton done.  I am speaking from direct professional experience, and beyond that, this is common-to-the-point-of-absurd sense.  It’s a given in the industry that doing 3D animation is faster and cheaper than traditional 2d animation.

            That’s why all the companies do it.

          • Nyoka2

            Yes… that’s part of what the million dollar expenditure is for. Extra money means more people on the team means speedier completion. 

  • ryu600rr

    hey i’m a non-daigo

  • ajm1220

    Dat PC version, damn!

  •  Ok SRK. Donate Squaaaaad! (bring that free character)

  • GuyAlpha

     “The Skullgirls team has reached out to Zone, creator of high quality
    NSFW flash films, for the vectorized lifebar assets created for one NSFW
    Filia parody.”

    what the fu-wut?

    • windsagio

      more of their extremly high-quality public relations and marketing.

    • Mr. X


    •  an endorsement of BRZ|LI Joe proportions

    • Austin Davoren

      Guy made porn, porn had really nice lifebars, Skullgirls team asked for the lifebars.

  • Mr. Irrelevant

    You have my wallet.

  • Razberryclownsac

    Love Skullgirls, have since day one. I’m gonna do what I can to help make this happen, especially if I can get it on pc too. Haven’t played much on my pc in a while

  • BeholdMyPower

    I’m actually looking forward to seeing just how money is spent to create a character in an FG, always good to get some knowledge. I’ll be looking to support this in any way I can.

  • Squigly!! omg can I donate my organs!?

  • nyobzoo

    I don’t really like the free for 3 months for everyone. How about just send a DLC code for those to backed the project and just sell the DLC for normal price. Cause I’d rather they do it like that but now if it gets funded and I didn’t support it, I can just wait to get it for free

    • Mr. X

      because they charge them for dlc codes

  • CrimsonMoonMist

    These guys definitely deserved my money and then some,
    so I’ll be happy to give more to support further releases.

  • Bernardo Tavares

    Funding Squigly.

    2nd DLC: voting for Science Shark

    3rd DLC: Marie

    • Snow Loss

      Science Shark would be amazing. No idea what they’ve got in their back pocket for his moves but I’m pretty damn interested.

  • Snow Loss

    Now if Microsoft could stop sucking and OK the patch so I can buy the game, then back this project…

  • MasterChibi

    Peter can I have your babies?

  • Caleb Williams

    i wish i could donate,i really want skullgirls to continue,its a vey good game that deserves all this attention

  • Jamal Robinson



  • Toni Creed

    I love you guys and skullgirls, where do I back you guys up? Cause Im up for this 😀

  • DarkSymphony

    I think people are being deceitful with the “over 1 mil for SF4 characters” comment. It’s being spun as if the SG team are working super cheap when in reality it’s likely that Capcom’s investments in their games cover broader areas with larger teams and more complex bureaucracy structures being funded. I don’t think it translates to “they’re doing the same exact thing as the SG team only paying over 5x more for the work.”

    Even something supposedly unrelated like offering benefits or vacation hours goes into the cost of producing a character. Overseas communication, overhead for the larger team. I don’t think people are factoring in all the different costs that go into the basic running of a bigger company. of course they undertake larger costs because they expect larger returns on a larger scale and with bigger market penetration. But just saying “SF4 characters cost 1 million” is deliberately deceitful.

  • GHNeko

    Peter Bartholow, you sexy CEO you.

    Expect my money. Embrace it. Bathe in it if you must.

    I do not care for Squigly Ass Cheeks, for am I of the Leduc Lightning Legion as well as a resident of Valentine’s Villainous Village, but for you, CEO of my dreams, PR Lead of my wildest fantasies, part of my Tax refund earned from my military service, shall go to you, and Lab Zero. And Leduc. Because Leduc is the male character that SRK deserves.

    • Austin Davoren

      But DAMN sure not the one it needs.
      Give me….I dunno……..
      I don’t think about males in this game.Panzerfaust.
      Then Feng, because I love Feng so much.

  • Exy

    I feel like they shoulda been doing this from the get-go. Now I fear that the biggest contributors are still blue from the last fundraiser.

  • Exy

    Also, if the team is taking such huge sacrifices just to have this work out, I still think they should leave the 360 version behind until absolutely everything works out.

  • Sushi Commie

    So I preordered the game on gamersgate, am I still able to get in the beta for PC or do I just wait until the actual release? (I don’t mind if I can’t play the beta, I’m just wondering if I’ll still get the game through gamersgate)