Lab Zero Games

Fighting games are a strong niche. Nothing exemplifies the dedication of that audience like 2D brawler Skullgirls. That title raised a gigantic sum through crowdfunding to pay for the development of its downloadable characters. Now, developer Lab Zero Games is creating an arcade version of Skullgirls for the core Japanese market.

A Japanese arcade release document reveals that Skullgirls will invade gaming parlors in that country later this year. Skullgirls lead developer Peter Bartholow confirmed the arcade version on gaming message board NeoGAF.

“We are stupidly excited for this just because I can’t think of a single other non-Japanese dev that can say they have a game out in Japanese arcades,” wrote Bartholow. “[We see this] more as a marketing opportunity for the property and other versions than something [we] intend to make a lot of money on.”

Bartholow says the arcade cabinet is due out “as soon as possible.” It will receive the new characters, which his team is working on right now, through network updates.

“We’re still working a lot of this stuff out,” he said. ” We’re not doing the port ourselves — a Japanese developer is.”

Bartholow could not confirm which developer is handing the port.

Skullgirls is an Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network (and soon PC) title that pits a cast of two-dimensional female fighters against one another. In March, Lab Zero raised over $800,000 to continue development on the expansion characters for the title through crowdfunding site IndieGoGo. It was the fastest-funded game-related project in the history of that platform.