Skullgirls is a 2D fighting game developed by Reverge Labs and published by Marvelous and Autumn Games. The game was released through the PlayStation Network and Xbox Live Arcade in North America, Europe, and Australia from April to May 2012, and later received a Japanese release by CyberFront for the PlayStation Network in February 2013. A Microsoft Windows version, developed by Lab Zero Games and co-published by Autumn Games and Marvelous, was released in August 2013. A Japanese arcade version, produced by M2 for the NESiCAxLive service, was released in 2015. A mobile version of the game, developed by Hidden Variable Studios and published by Line, is scheduled to be released for Android and iOS devices in 2017.
In Skullgirls, players engage in combat against one another with teams of one, two, or three characters, attempting to knock out their opponents or have the most cumulative health when time runs out. The setting of the game revolves around the "Skull Heart", an artifact which grants wishes for women. If a wisher with an impure soul uses the Skull Heart, she is transformed into the next "Skullgirl", a monster bent on destruction. Skullgirls received generally positive reviews from critics, who praised the animation and gameplay mechanics, while criticizing its limited roster size and online multiplayer features.
Development of post-release content faced numerous setbacks. In May 2012, publisher Autumn Games was sued over allegations of fraud regarding an unrelated property, Def Jam Rapstar, cutting off Skullgirls' financial support and forcing developer Reverge Labs to lay off the entire development team. The core team would eventually reform as Lab Zero Games in November 2012, launching a successful crowdfunding campaign to raise funds to continue their work. After Autumn Games severed ties with distributor Konami Digital Entertainment in December 2013, the latter formally requested to have the game removed from the PlayStation Network and Xbox Live Arcade. The game was later re-released on both platforms in 2014 as Skullgirls Encore. When the game was ported to the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita in 2015, it was renamed once again to Skullgirls 2nd Encore.