Former Skullgirl Devs Form Future Club, a New Worker-Owned Studio

Former Skullgirl Devs Form Future Club, a New Worker-Owned Studio

The creatives behind Skullgirls are taking the wheel.

Following a mass exodus at Skullgirls studio Lab Zero, the creators behind those projects are coming together to form a new collective. Dubbed Future Club, the new studio is a cooperatively structured independent game studio.

Employees at Lab Zero left in droves in response to the reported misconduct and behavior of studio lead Mike Zaimont. The combination of an inappropriate joke, accusations of inappropriate comments and remarks, and ongoing tensions within the company led to many employees leaving the company. A mass layoff soon followed.

Today, some of those developers are announcing a new studio that is all their own. Future Club will be aiming to create games with handcrafted art and traditional 2D animation, much like its developers' previous work on games like Indivisible. But it will also be worked-owned.

"We wanted to start fresh with a company structure that was worked owned and gave everyone a say in the future of our organization," Future Club CEO Francesca Esquenazi says in a press release. "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."

Other studios, like Motion Twin (of Dead Cells fame) and The Glory Society, have led the charge on co-op studio models—though Motion Twin has since ditched the model.

As a response to the unrest around Lab Zero and the reports of internal issues, Future Club is aiming to put the co-op philosophy into reality. 15 developers are banding together under this banner to all have an "equal role" in shaping the company's future, according to designer Earl Gertwagen. Hopefully it's a brighter future than what they've been through so far.

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Eric Van Allen

News Editor

Eric is a writer and Texan. He's a former contributor to sites including Compete, Polygon, Waypoint, and the Washington Post. He loves competitive games, live music, and travel.

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