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OFFICIAL: 2022 Skullgirls State of the Game

Sairus

Cellsai
Hidden Variable
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Cerebella Valentine
Hey everyone,

It’s been a while since we’ve had an update on Skullgirls 2nd Encore’s development, but now is finally the time to pull back the curtain on just what we’ve been working on this year (spoilers: it’s a LOT). We also wanted to take this opportunity to look back at everything we’ve accomplished in 2022, give a general status update on the state of Skullgirls as a whole, and take a look at some of our plans for 2023.

We’ve got a lot to talk about, but as a quick preview here’s what to expect below:
  • UMBRELLA
    • Skullgirl Voice Pack and Palette

  • BLACK DAHLIA
    • Skullgirls Mobile
    • Skullgirls 2nd Encore
    • Black Dahlia’s Full Release

  • MARIE
    • Early Animation Teaser

  • OTHER 2ND ENCORE UPDATES
    • Balance Adjustments
    • Story Mode Updates

  • UPDATES FOR OTHER SYSTEMS
    • Japan Season 1 Pass Release
    • Nintendo Switch Release
    • Xbox Release

  • SKULLGIRLS COMPETITIVE SCENE
    • A celebration of our amazing scene

  • SKULLGIRLS GLOBAL DOMINATION
    • Nendoroid
    • Eighty Sixed Merch
    • Skullgirls x Webtoon + New Ms. Fortune Palette!

Enough intro! IT’S SHOWTIME!



UMBRELLA

Skullgirls’ first major addition of 2022 was the pint size princess herself! Umbrella had a wildly successful launch in both Skullgirls 2nd Encore and Mobile, proving that after 10 years (#Skullgirls10thAnniversary), Skullgirls is still a force to be reckoned with.

Umbrella was a particularly special milestone for our teams as she was the first character that was designed for simultaneous release in Skullgirls 2nd Encore and Skullgirls Mobile. She was also a true first voyage for the ongoing partnership between Hidden Variable Studios and Future Club, going right from conception to full release!


SKULLGIRL VOICE PACK AND PALETTE

Umbrella also saw the grand return of Alternate Voice Packs! Her Skullgirl Voice Pack was included as a bonus addition to the Season 1 Pass, and thanks to some technical wizardry from our engineers, also features some bonus Skullgirl effects when paired with her Skullgirl palette.


With all that special treatment, you have to wonder why Umbrella is so salty…




BLACK DAHLIA

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SKULLGIRLS MOBILE

Black Dahlia has finally made her grand playable debut in Skullgirls Mobile!

You can check out her launch trailer below to see just some of the murderous mayhem she brings to the game! While Mobile has a simplified control system compared to 2nd Encore, we’re proud that her ammo management and flexible gun combos are all fully intact.


Skullgirls Mobile continues to grow at an incredible rate (over 15 million downloads!), and we’re excited to see it continue to grow in 2023!

Download the game today to try Black Dahlia out, and get a free welcome package for your trouble too!



SKULLGIRLS 2ND ENCORE

Our initial goal with Black Dahlia was to have her launch on Mobile and 2nd Encore at more or less the same time. However, as development marched on, the timetables have shifted a little. Not to worry though, if you have the 2nd Encore Season 1 Pass on Steam, we have a MAJOR update coming to the Black Dahlia Alpha later this week!

What does this update bring?

  • Black Dahlia is now fully animated, with full voice acting and shiny new VFX! Goodbye, sketchy animations!

  • Three new moves, which gives Black Dahlia her complete kit:
    • Counter, Strike! (DP + K) is a lightning fast counter. You may have glimpsed this in the Mobile trailer above.

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    • Parting Gift (QCF + PP) lets you deploy a sticky bomb on the stage, opponent, or ally (!), which you can detonate later.

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    • Girl’s Night (QCB + PP) summons Black Dahlia’s loyal henchbunnies, who will independently harass the opponent while Dahlia presses her own attack.

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  • Black Dahlia’s existing moves and kit also gets a some balance adjustments, which you’ll be able to read about in the patch notes for the update when it releases later this week.

  • A brand new stage! The Bunny Burrow is now open for business!
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  • New music! You can listen to Down The Rabbit Hole here, or hear it while playing in The Bunny Burrow stage.

  • 10 new palettes! You may recognize many of them from Black Dahlia’s debut in Skullgirls Mobile.

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  • A full set of Character Tutorials and Trials. (Please note these are currently in English only)


BLACK DAHLIA’S FULL RELEASE

There’s a lot of new content to chew on in this latest update, and while Black Dahlia is almost there, she’s not quite finished. Though we really hoped to have her complete before the end of the year, Black Dahlia will fully release in early 2023.

Normally Season 1 Pass characters have three main phases: Alpha, Early Access, and Full Release. Black Dahlia is so close to completion that we’re actually skipping Early Access. Early next year she will go from her Alpha on Steam directly into Full Release!

Full Release will come with all the bells and whistles:
  • A brand new and murderous story mode for Black Dahlia.
  • Available as stand-alone DLC separate from the Season 1 Pass.
  • Final Black Dahlia balance pass.
  • Even more palettes.
  • Fully translated tutorials.
  • A new alternate voice pack.
Wait, new alternate voice pack?! Yes! We’ll announce more details closer to the Full Release, but like Umbrella, Black Dahlia comes with an alternate voice pack as an extra bonus for Season 1 Pass holders. And yes, Annie will be getting one too later on!



MARIE

The final DLC character in the Season 1 Pass, Marie, is still on track for release in 2023. We’re excited to finally share more about the Skullgirl in the near future, but here’s a little teaser to tide you over!

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(Just a note that this is an extremely early look at Marie’s development, and this animation may change significantly before she makes her actual debut!)



OTHER 2ND ENCORE UPDATES

Aside from the contents of the Season 1 Pass, we also plan to roll out some general updates for Skullgirls 2nd Encore.

BALANCE ADJUSTMENTS

We've run into some scheduling challenges working on balance patches at the same time as other time sensitive tasks such as new platform development, Skullgirls Mobile releases, and making consistent design and animation progress on Marie.

As such, Black Dahlia’s full release will not contain any balance changes for the rest of the cast so we can focus on completing her as soon as possible. A balance pass for existing characters will be started and completed in the new year when we can give it the proper attention it deserves, and have enough time to test changes.

These balance changes may even start before Marie’s Alpha so that they can be the center of attention with minimal distractions. Thank you for your patience and feedback!



STORY MODE UPDATES

Black Dahlia and Marie’s story modes will both be added in 2023. Once Marie’s story mode is complete all of the Season 1 Pass character story modes will be updated with full voice acting.

We’re beginning the process of organizing recording sessions for the LARGE returning cast that we need to voice the myriad of characters that appear.

And who knows, maybe while we’ve got the voice cast back together we’ll be able to record some fun extras…



UPDATES FOR OTHER SYSTEMS

JAPAN PS4 SEASON 1 PASS RELEASE

Although the Japanese PS4 version of Skullgirls has unfortunately lagged behind other territories since the release of the Season 1 Pass, the PS4 distribution of Skullgirls in Japan was recently transferred back to Hidden Variable and Autumn Games. This paves the way for a much smoother and regular release of updates and content.

We are delighted to finally announce that in early 2023, the Japanese edition of Skullgirls 2nd Encore will be updated to match the Western release, and the Season 1 Pass will finally be made available!

We are also planning to give the new DLC cast full Japanese Combat Voice Overs, however we don’t anticipate that happening until closer to the end of the Season 1 Pass.
We are still determining if we will be able to add full Japanese Voices Overs to the new Story Modes.
We’ll have more news to share about this in 2023.



NINTENDO SWITCH RELEASE

The Nintendo Switch will finally have its day! This has been heavily requested, and high on our priority list, but we can now confirm that on January 3rd, the Switch release will get a massive update! This update will bring it into parity with other systems, and includes the release of the Season 1 Pass.
(NOTE: This update will NOT include Black Dahlia. She will arrive on Switch around the same time that she releases on PS4.)

When we say a big update, we mean it! This update will completely replace the previous version of Skullgirls on the Nintendo Switch with almost a full rewrite of the port’s codebase, fixing numerous issues specific to that version.

That means faster load times (over twice as fast as before!), better performance, sharper UI and smoother online play.



XBOX RELEASE

But wait there’s more! Skullgirls is FINALLY coming back to Xbox after 9 years!

We’ll have more information in the new year, but the Xbox release of 2nd Encore and the Season 1 Pass are now in active development. We are projecting a release for the Xbox One and Xbox Series X in early 2023.

Please note that Xbox development only covers the Xbox One and Xbox Series X - the Xbox 360 version will not be updated.



SKULLGIRLS COMPETITIVE SCENE

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2022 started with a bang for Skullgirls, with the successful conclusion of the Skullgirls Championship Series! This year-long event saw Triviality crowned Champion in a spectacular final.

This was just the beginning of a year packed with an explosion of Skullgirls competitive events, including Skullgirls finally being featured on the Main Stage of Evo, and the return of other large scale in-person events like Combo Breaker and AnimeExpo. There have simply been too many events to try and compile here, though @SGMolly_ does an amazing job of reporting on all of them!

The Skullgirls competitive scene has never been more alive. There’s a seemingly unending torrent of events popping up all over the world, and the Skullgirls majors just keep getting bigger and better!

We can’t wait to share what we have in store for 2023, but stay tuned early in the new year for more details!



SKULLGIRLS GLOBAL DOMINATION

Everyone knows and loves the Skullgirls games, but we know there’s a fervent desire for more Skullgirls content in other mediums as well! Here’s a look at just some of the projects outside the games that have come to fruition this past year.



NENDOROID

No game can say they’ve really made it big until they get their very own Nendoroid, and in 2022 we finally opened pre-orders for Valentine. This was a labor of love between the Skullgirls team and the lovely folks at Good Smile. We’re amazed with how well she turned out, and can’t wait for her official release date in May 2023!

Hopefully this is the first of many Skullgirls figures - fingers crossed!

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EIGHTY SIXED MERCH

We’ve had a long standing relationship with Eighty Sixed as purveyors of top quality Skullgirls merch and apparel.
2022 saw limited runs of Skullgirls pins along with a steady supply of fantastic shirt and poster designs. Stay tuned for more amazing Skullgirls merchandise in 2023!

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SKULLGIRLS X WEBTOON

Have you been following the official Skullgirls series on Webtoon? After many years in production it finally debuted in November this year! It releases weekly, and at the time of writing, we’re 5 episodes in, with no plans on slowing down!

Check it out here: http://bit.ly/webtoon-skullgirls or find it on the Webtoon app!

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To celebrate, we’re also adding a new palette for Ms. Fortune based on her design in the comic. It’s totally free, and will be available in the next update!

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Phew!
This only outlines some of the plans we have for 2023, which is set to be one of our biggest yet!

A status update like this has been long overdue, and communication on the 2nd Encore side of development in particular has been lighter than we’d like recently. We’ll be redoubling our efforts to keep news and updates flowing at a more reliable rate in the new year, including responding to feedback and questions in the comments of our socials, and here on the forums.

If there’s anything we haven’t covered above, let us know in the comments, or reach out to us on our social media pages and we’ll try to respond directly, or address any concerns in future update posts!

- All of us at Hidden Variable Studios and Future Club <3
 
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