Konami has requested Skullgirls be removed from PlayStation Network and Xbox Live, according to Mike Zaimont, design director of the indie fighting game.
During a Twitch stream Zaimont, who worked with indie studio Reverge Labs to develop the title, revealed the game would likely vanish from PSN and Xbox Live soon at the behest of Konami.
"We were associated with Konami. We soon will not be associated with Konami but they have managed to do something," said Zaimont, during the stream, "here's the deal: Konami has requested - well, it's not a request, they said 'do the thing' - that Skullgirls be delisted from PSN on December 17... As far as Xbox goes, they have also requested that it be pulled from Xbox on the 31st.
"I don't want to cast any aspersions," he continued. "but Konami submitted their request for that, didn't tell us and we found out from Sony after the request was approved. It doesn't make any sense for them to have submitted that request because they make money of every copy that is sold with their logo on it."
According to Zaimont, Konami has refused to extend the deadline on the removal of the PSN version.
"[Co-publisher] Autumn Games asked if Konami would extend the deadline to the 31st and Konami said Sony wouldn't let us. Then Sony asked Konami if they would extend the deadline and they said Autumn won't let us. Then they asked [Konami] together and we haven't got a response.
"I will any value judgements out of this but that's amazingly annoying."
Skullgirls was due for new character DLC and balance Tweaks, and Zaimont has said he is working with Autumn Games to resubmit the game independent of Konami.
"I have been preparing basically a new game. It's still Skullgirls but it's published by Autumn," he said. "We are going to get this build together and we need to wait for some numbers arrive so that it's not Konami's numbers anymore, and then we give them this build.
"If it gets through QA, then it will come out with Squigly and all the beta changes pretty soon. If not then it won't until after everyone comes back from Winter Break."
In regards to the different Sony territories, Zaimont said he is unable to say what will become of Skullgirl outside of the US as he does not have a Sony contact in other regions.
"There are three Sonys: Sony US, Sony Japan and Sony the rest of the world. We will be submitting the Sony US build because they were the ones with a very nice account representative that told us what was going on... We don't know anyone at Sony the rest of the world, so it will probably disappear.
"In Japan it wasn't published by Konami, so they can't do this there. We will be making a patch that the Japanese company will be able to submit."
Although the game probably will still be accessible to those that have already downloaded it, Zaimont says he has not been able to ascertain whether the game will still be playable online.
"I don't think that means it deletes it off your hard drive, but no one at Sony could tell me if you can still play online because this has never happened before [to a game with online play].
Posting on the Skullgirls IndieGoGo page Peter Bartholow, an associate of co-developer Lab Zero Games, explained the situation further.
"As it's been alluded to in the past, things have not always been hunky-dory between Autumn Games and Konami," he said. "Around the time of the last update, it became clear that it would not be possible to proceed with the new patches as long as Konami was involved with Skullgirls."
"So, as of today, Autumn and Konami have terminated their business relationship, allowing us to move forward with the PS3 and Xbox 360 patch in a more timely and cost-effective manner."
Autumn Games will become the new publisher of Skullgirls on PSN and it is "working with MarvelousAQL to secure a replacement XBLA publishing slot". Japanese versions should be relatively unaffected.
"Since Konami was the distributor in the US and EU and not Japan, this shouldn't have any profound effect on the release of the Japanese PS3 patch," Bartholow explained.
"However, before we can finalize the Japanese PS3 patch we need to get the US and EU patches completed. We're working closely with our Japanese distributor, CyberFront, to make sure that all of the patches land as close to each other as possible.
"We apologize that these deep business dealings have come between you and the first character your collective efforts have funded, but we're confident that subsequent patches will go more smoothly with this all of this behind us."