It Costs $150,000 To Add A Character In Skullgirls
Nothing’s cheap these days, not even producing just one DLC character.
Lab Zero Games, the developers of Skullgirls, have plans for a brand new character for the independently produced 2D fighter. Squigly will be the title's first DLC character, but for her to happen, they need some financial assistance. Hence why they're going the crowd-sourced funding route.
And how much are they asking for? $150,000. That's a lot, right? Indeed it is. Perhaps that sounds a bit too much? To be honest, that does seem like a somewhat ridiculous amount, which is why we have the following video, by Mike Zaimont and Peter Bartholow of Lab Zero Games. They both explain quite clearly why they're asking for so much and how the money will be utilized:
As you see, it costs a ton to add just one character in a pre-existing game. There are many associated costs that must be accounted for. Everything from the animation to the audio, plus voice acting. You also need to consider Q&A testing plus certification. Heck, even hit boxes cost money; two grand apparently.
The bulk goes towards the staff who are putting it all together, and who are already asking for the bare minimum. Once the goal has been met, the actual process of putting Squigly will actually be quite fast. Just two and a half months. It definitely helps that she was figured out well in advance.
As is often the case, there are stretch goals. If $175,000 is reached, Squigly will have her own story mode and stage. If $375,000 is reached, an often requested character. The reason why he costs so much is that the team hasn’t even begun working on him, so he’ll require more time and money.
$400,000 gets Big Band his own story mode and stage. $600,000 nets a mystery character that will be determined by fan voting, and the $625,000 gets him or her the same trimmings as Squigly and Big Band.
The IndieGoGo campaign just started, and thus far, it’s going great. Less than one day in and it’s already at the $122,000+ mark. Clearly Skullgirls has its fans. Though the promise of the DLC character being free (for the first three months) is a strong selling point. To donate, simply click this link.