Fighting game Skullgirls will be re-released on the PlayStation Store and Xbox Live Marketplace as Skullgirls Encore, its developer has announced.
Following the breakup of the relationship between co-publishers Autumn Games and Konami, Skullgirls was set to be delisted from Sony and Microsoft's digital store fronts.
But developer Lab Zero Games has successfully navigated this tricky obstacle, and plans to re-release the game under a new name.
On 31st December 2013 Skullgirls will be removed from PSN and XBLA. Skullgirls Encore will replace it at some point in January 2014.
At least, that's in the US. For European PlayStation owners, it "may take a little longer", Lab Zero Games admitted.
All PSN purchasers of the original release of Skullgirls get Skullgirls Encore free, similar to a PS3 / PS4 / Vita Cross-buy. Squigly's character DLC will be released at the same time, and will be free for a period of three months, and will only be compatible with Skullgirls Encore. However, the original Skullgirls DLC is not compatible with Skullgirls Encore. To make up for this, the character colour DLC bundle will be free for everyone for a limited time. This unlocks additional colours for all existing characters, as well as Squigly and all future characters.
Expect fresh leaderboards and a new set of trophies to earn. Unfortunately your previous save data will not be compatible.
Now for the Xbox 360 version. Unlike the PSN version, Skullgirls Encore is a patched version of the original game, not a separate product. The publisher of the new version is MarvelousAQL (Microsoft does not allow self-publishing on Xbox 360). It looks like Encore is even further out, because MarvelousAQL can't submit the new build until after Christmas, but you can continue to play Skullgirls online during the transition.
When the patch is ready, there will be a title update and a new mandatory Compatibility Pack DLC. Leaderboards, achievements and save data are unaffected, and previously bought DLC will still be compatible with Encore. But the character colour DLC bundle will be free for everyone for a limited time, and Squigly will be available and free at this point as well.
The Steam version has already been updated. As it was self-published, it's unaffected.
Konami is yet to comment on the issue that led to Skullgirls being delisted, but in this latest blog post Lab Zero Games claimed the Japanese company refused to submit the console patch unless it was able to fully test it - at great expense to Lab Zero Games.
This caused Autumn Games to sever its distribution arrangement with Konami, in effect to clear the way for the IndieGoGo-funded downloadable content patches. Autumn then signed an agreement with MarvelousAQL to secure a replacement slot for the XBLA version.
But Konami requested Skullgirls be delisted on PSN as of 17th December. Lab Zero Games only found out about this after Sony had agreed to the request. Konami then agreed to push this back to 31st December.