Lauren is a reporter for The Next Web, based in San Francisco. She covers the key players that make the tech ecosystem what it is right now. Lauren is a reporter for The Next Web, based in San Francisco. She covers the key players that make the tech ecosystem what it is right now. She also has a folder full of dog GIFs and uses them liberally on Twitter at @lhockenson.
Just a couple years ago, Lab Zero was in trouble. After creating a well-received fighting video game called ‘Skullgirls,’ the developers were bled dry by the legal troubles of the game’s publisher, Autumn Games. Unwilling to let the property die, the developers raised a wildly successful Indiegogo campaign that not only revitalized the title, but nearly doubled the content of the game over the last few years.
Now, the company is back on the crowdfunding site to bring its sophomore effort to market. Called ‘Indivisible,’ Lab Zero is seeking $1.5 million over the next 40 days to make the game a reality.
It’s a lot of money, but the company is doing a lot to prove that it’s worth paying for. Right now, Windows users can access a fully-working half-hour prototype of the game — which has the classic exploration of the Metroidvania genre along with the real-time fight mechanics from classic RPG ‘Chrono Trigger’ and Japanese Playstation game ‘Valkyrie Profile’ — with a Linux and Mac version to follow.
The game builds off of the developers’ own “Z Engine,” which was the fighting engine built specifically for ‘Skullgirls’
Check out the game’s campaign video below:
Lab Zero has been teasing the game for its fans for the past few months, as the company documented the short development of the prototype. However, if the company does not reach its fixed $1.5 million goal, the company did say that it would be scrapped:
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.
The success of crowdfunding a game relies a lot on nostalgia — just take a look at the $3 million raised for ‘Mighty No. 9.’ But it doesn’t equal success or even met expectations: the aforementioned ‘Mega Man’ inspired game was supposed to come out this year, but instead was pushed back to 2016.
It’s clear that Lab Zero isn’t trying to play specifically upon a beloved idea or trope, and that’s both a good and a bad thing depending on how you believe the psychology of crowdfunding works. But what it does have that rarely any game companies do is experience with delivering on its crowdfunding process as well as a working model of the game for anyone to download.
It’s a longshot, but it’s promising.
➤ Indivisible: An RPG by Lab Zero and 505 Games [Indiegogo]
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