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Skullgirls developer to crowdfund its new role-playing game, Indivisible

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Michael McWhertor is a journalist with more than 17 years of experience covering video games, technology, movies, TV, and entertainment.

Lab Zero Games, the indie developer behind fighting game Skullgirls, is working with publisher 505 Games to bring its next title, side-scrolling action role-playing game Indivisible, to life. The developer is also co-funding development of the game through Indiegogo, the crowdfunding website that Lab Zero used previously to fund a slate of new characters for Skullgirls.

Indivisible was announced at this year's Anime Expo alongside a teaser trailer. Lab Zero says the game is similar in design to Valkyrie Profile, "with the addition of Metroid-like traversal and progression abilities." Secret of Mana composer Hiroki Kikuta is attached to score the game.

On 505's website, Lab Zero CEO Peter Bartholow explained that the developer's relationship with the publisher will help the team build a playable prototype, but that crowdfunding — and matching contributions from 505 — will ultimately make the game possible.

"If we meet or exceed our goal, 505 will contribute the remaining development budget, and full production will begin in earnest," Bartholow said. "So, up until the initial goal, 505 Games will effectively be matching your contributions. And the more money the Indiegogo campaign raises, the better the game gets, and the better the deal is for Lab Zero.

"To be clear, this isn't a campaign to 'gauge interest' — Indivisible represents a more equitable funding split, where your support directly influences not only the game, but also the post-release benefits Lab Zero receives. Indivisible will not happen if we don't hit our goal. But should the campaign succeed, Lab Zero will have a better outcome than we would've gotten through a more traditional publishing deal — that's the risk we took, and we feel it's a worthwhile tradeoff."

Lab Zero plans to release its playable prototype to the public and launch its crowdfunding campaign for Indivisible in September.

Skullgirls was released in 2012. The developer took to Indiegogo the following year in an effort to "keep Skullgirls growing" with the addition of new characters. Lab Zero initially sought $150,000 to add a new character to the game, and ultimately raised more than $820,000, funding additional characters, stages and voice packs.

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