After producing and continuously supporting the eye-catching indies Skullgirls and Indivisible, Lab Zero Games became more known for the controversy surrounding lead designer and programmer Mike Zaimont and the mass exodus of staff members that followed.
While work on Skullgirls will continue (with new character Annie still due for release on both the game’s mobile and full versions) thanks to mobile maestros Hidden Variable and IP holder Autumn Games, what about all of the talented people who’ve been behind the game since the beginning?
It’s been announced that they’ve banded together to found Future Club, a new games studio dedicated to “…handcrafted art and traditional 2D animation, engaging and responsive gameplay, and unique and memorable worlds.” So, though Future Club is brand new, the staff is primarily veterans, with not just the previously mentioned titles but Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game, Sound Shapes, and League of Legends under their belt.
Though no projects were announced, it’s still an exciting new beginning and a group worth keeping your eyes on. We wish Future Club nothing but the best and look forward to their ‘future’ work – hopefully on Switch. The full press release of their founding, including quotes from core staff, follows:
Veteran designers and artists behind Skullgirls and Indivisible form a new games studio: Future Club.
LOS ANGELES, SEPTEMBER 21st, 2020 – A veteran team of artists, programmers, and designers behind the award-winning games Skullgirls and Indivisible have banded together to form Future Club, a cooperatively structured independent game studio founded with the goal of creating games with handcrafted art and traditional 2D animation, engaging and responsive gameplay, and unique and memorable worlds.
“We love classic games and are mega influenced by them, but we picked the name Future Club because we want to think of the future too,” says Jonathan Kim, Senior Animator. “We want to make games that inspire kids and adults as much as our old favorites inspired us. 2D hand drawn animation has a long future ahead of it, and we want to see how far we can push the medium. Like the games that influenced us, our goal is to create games that are compelling and beautiful enough to be remembered long after their time.”
“We wanted to start fresh with a company structure that was worker owned and gave everyone a say in the future of our organization,” says Francesca Esquenazi, CEO/Producer. “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. We value open, honest communication with peers, partners and players, and take pride in our strength as a team. I’m very excited to continue leading and working with such an incredibly talented and passionate team of game developers.”
Earl Gertwagen, Designer, explains why the team believes a co-op structure is so important to collaborative game design: “Games aren’t the sole effort of a single developer. We’re a highly diverse team of 15 developers, including artists, animators, programmers and designers, and we shipped our past games as a group effort of teamwork and communication. A co-op structure lets us put that philosophy into reality, and gives us all an equal role in shaping our future as a company alongside the games we make.”
“We’re so grateful to our fans for supporting us over the years. We love making games and want to keep making them with each other. ” says Mariel Kinuko Cartwright, Creative Director. “We’re excited to get the chance to develop our own IPs, and we can’t wait to get back to work designing games. Come hang out with us at the Future Club!”
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