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Skullgirls IP holder cuts ties with Lab Zero Games

The controversy surrounding Lab Zero Games and Mike Zaimont has proven too much for Skullgirls IP owner Autumn Games to handle, as they have now officially cut ties.


It's been a very long day for anybody tied to the Skullgirls brand. Lab Zero Games had gradually gotten more and more mired in controversy, mainly due to studio head Mike Zaimont. However, it all looks to have come to a head throughout Monday, August 24, culminating with Skullgirls IP owner Autumn Games cutting ties with Zaimont and Lab Zero.

The following statement was issued jointly by Autumn Games and Skullgirls Mobile developer Hidden Variable Studios:

For context, Zaimont initially drew negative attention following a tasteless joke referencing Eric Garner and George Floyd's last words on a livestream. From there, Twitch streamer Bunny began sharing disturbing DMs from Zaimont. Allegations snowballed from there with more cosplayers coming forward about Zaimont's behavior, which ultimately led to Monday, where multiple Lab Zero employees began announcing their departure from the studio en masse. First there was Mariel Cartwright, followed by Jonathan Kim, and then Brian Jun. All three testified that Zaimont was sole owner of Lab Zero and refused to step down in the wake of his behavior. Dominique 'SonicFox' MacLean, who started their illustrious esports career as a Skullgirls champion and has been one of the game's biggest ambassadors, also gave their support to the departed Lab Zero employees while also issuing strong words directed at Zaimont.

Until this statement from Autumn Games and Hidden Variable, there had been questions on how the studio would handle this situation, especially given that Autumn Games held the IP rights to Skullgirls. Those questions have been answered and it looks like not only will Zaimont not be a part of the equation any longer, but Autumn and Hidden Variable are formally expressing intent to continue supporting the long-running fighting game in the years ahead.

Senior Editor

Ozzie has been playing video games since picking up his first NES controller at age 5. He has been into games ever since, only briefly stepping away during his college years. But he was pulled back in after spending years in QA circles for both THQ and Activision, mostly spending time helping to push forward the Guitar Hero series at its peak. Ozzie has become a big fan of platformers, puzzle games, shooters, and RPGs, just to name a few genres, but he’s also a huge sucker for anything with a good, compelling narrative behind it. Because what are video games if you can't enjoy a good story with a fresh Cherry Coke?

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