Former Lab Zero Devs Partner With Hidden Variable For Skullgirls Content

Future Club is a new studio founded in the wake of last year's controversy surrounding Lab Zero founder Mike Z

Published: March 4, 2021 9:20 AM /


Annie, a new fighter in Skullgirls

Development studio Future Club, made up in part of former Skullgirls developers, will work on all Season 1 Pass content for the game, it has been announced. This will include upcoming fighter Annie, as well as all future content included in the pass.

What will Future Club work on for Skullgirls?

According to a new Steam announcement, Future Club will work on upcoming character Annie, as well as "all the upcoming characters/content included in the Season 1 Pass". In addition to Annie, Season 1 will also include three extra playable characters, with a fourth being considered if the pass performs well. There will also be a soundtrack, a new custom color palette collection, and a digital art book.

New Skullgirls fighter Annie will initially only be available via the beta mode
If you want to check out Annie this week, you'll need to switch to Skullgirls' Beta Mode.

Future Club and Hidden Variable say they're aiming to release the Season 1 Pass, Annie, the art compendium, and the soundtrack "before the end of the week". If you do want to check out Annie, you'll have to switch to Skullgirls' Beta Mode, as she's effectively in Early Access to begin with. To do this, simply select "Play Skullgirls Beta (Annie Early Access)" when you fire up the game via Steam. If you've done it right, you'll see the word "BETA" appear at the top of the screen.

Skullgirls is also getting a balance update at the same time as the Beta version of Annie drops. You'll be able to see what's changed when the update is released, and all balance patch notes subsequent to this initial patch will also be released on Steam. Hidden Variable says the Beta period for Annie will be "much shorter than usual" since she's already very far along in development. We don't yet know when Annie will launch in the full retail version of Skullgirls, but they want to hit a PS4 release date of May for the content.

What happened to Lab Zero Games?

Being able to work on Skullgirls again will no doubt come as a relief to staff members at Future Club. Last year, Lab Zero Games founder Mike Z was at the center of a firestorm of controversy surrounding his conduct towards employees. In September, Mike Z laid off all remaining Lab Zero employees, leaving himself the sole member of the company. After this happened, Hidden Variable - the developer for Skullgirls on mobile - assumed control of the game on all platforms.

For his part, Mike Z - real name Mike Zaimont - appears to have gone quiet. Lab Zero Games hasn't tweeted anything since June last year, and we haven't heard anything about upcoming projects from the studio either. In October 2020, Zaimont was suspended from working on Guilty Gear netcode, with an Arc System Works rep saying Zaimont must "resolve the allegations against him in good faith". We'll bring you more on this as we get it.

Are you looking forward to Skullgirls Season 1? Let us know in the comments below!

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Joe has been writing for TechRaptor for several years, and in those years has learned a lot about the gaming industry and its foibles. He’s originally an… More about Joseph