During a Twitch livestream, Lab Zero Games design director, Mike Zaimont, announced that the title will probably disappear from PSN by Dec. 17 and from XBL by Dec. 31.
“I don’t want to cast any aspersions but Konami submitted the request for [Skullgirls’ removal], didn’t tell us, and we found out from Sony after the request was approved,” Zaimont said. “It doesn’t make any sense for [Konami] to have submitted that request because they make money off of every copy that’s sold with their logo on it.”
Skullgirls publisher Autumn Games ceased business relations with its co-publisher Konami last month. Lab Zero is now scrambling to get a new game build published solely by Autumn resubmitted to Sony’s QA department by the 17th.
“We have to give this to [Sony] immediately,” Zaimont said.
If the new build passes QA, it’ll come with all the updates and beta changes. If it doesn’t, Skullgirls won’t be seen until after winter break. Lab Zero is also working on presenting the build to Microsoft.
Those who have already downloaded the game shouldn’t have to worry about it being deleted off their hard drive, but it’s unknown whether or not the game will be playable online.
This brings up an interesting and troubling question: if a person’s console’s HDD fails, how would he or she be able to download another copy if the game is taken down? This is one of the main flaws of digital video game distribution.
Hopefully all will go well and Skullgirls will pass QA. Keep your fingers crossed!
*UPDATE* Skullgirls is still slated to be removed from PSN and XBL by Dec. 31st. Lab Zero was able to find new publishers, however. Like a phoenix, the game will rise from the ashes anew in 2014 as Skullgirls Encore.
Encore will come out on PSN as a completely new game. That means all achievements, leaderboards, and saves will be wiped. Previously bought DLC will also become incompatible. In response, Lab Zero will make the all-encompassing Color DLC Bundle free for a limited time.
In contrast, the XBL version will receive a patch, which means all achievements, leaderboards, and saves will remain intact and keep DLC compatible. The catch here is that Encore on XBL will come out later than PSN since the new build can’t be submitted to Microsoft until after the holidays.
Encore will be free to current Skullgirl owners, who will still be able to play their current downloaded copies while awaiting the new version that will arrive sometime in January.