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Former Skullgirls and Lab Zero developers create new studio Future Club

From the ashes

Posted by Dakota 'DarkHorse' Hills • September 22, 2020 at 6:08 a.m. PDT • Comments: 37

Following the complete evaporation of what was left of Lab Zero Games earlier this month, almost all of the studio's former staff have come back together to form a new yet familiar adventure.

Future Club is the new development studio made up of 15 senior and other previous Lab Zero members as announced by the team themselves.

Many fighting game players' first thoughts go to wondering if Future Club is going to pick up where Lab Zero left off in continuing to develop for Skullgirls going forward, but that doesn't appear to be the case right now.

No mention of continuing to work with publisher Autumn Games on the property was mentioned in the new studio's first press release where they instead stated they'd be working on crafting their own IP using the 2D animated art style that the Skullgirls team was known for.

They did, however, express interest in continuing work on the fighting game and Indivisible if approached by their respective publishers according to Kotaku.

Mariel "Kinuko" Cartwright serves as the creative director of Future Club while Jonathan "Persona" Kim will be in charge of animation though they're structuring their company in a way where all of the team has a voice in where their development goes.

"We wanted to start fresh with a company structure that was worker owned and gave everyone a say in the future of our organization," said CEO and Producer Francesca Esquenazi. "Future Club is an employee-owned cooperative game development studio, established with the belief that strong teams are greater than the sum of their parts."

This all comes after Lab Zero's studio head Mike Zaimont came under fire for multiple controversies over the summer which led to other board members negotiating to get him to resign from the company.

Talks reportedly fell through, however, with Zaimont assuming control of Lab Zero directly and led to many of the aforementioned staff quitting instead.

Autumn Games, the publisher and rights holder for Skullgirls, followed that by stripping Lab Zero of all of its developmental duties for the almost decade-old fighting game.

Everyone remaining at the developer was then essentially fired at the start of this month with Zaimont claiming they no longer had the funds left to pay staff.

Work on Skullgirls 2nd Encore is scheduled to continue with Annie of the Stars still slated to release in 2021 as a new fighter though there's been no official word as to who will be helming that ship going forward.

You can find out more information about Future Club and what they have planned on their website.

Sent in by Erawan, tobydanger and Kodiak.

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