Last month, Lab Zero Games had conducted an extremely successful fundraising campaign to back the DLC for their popular 2D Fighter, Skullgirls. Over the course of a few weeks, the team raised over $829,000 for 4 DLC characters, as well as stories and maps for most of them. Much to the surprise of CEO Peter Bartholow, PayPal, which is the money transferring company used by the fundraising website Indiegogo, froze the funds in Lab Zero’s account. “Whee! Paypal’s freeze on our account is making it so that I can’t pay people today,” Bartholow angrily posted on the NeoGaf message board. “I think it’s sketchy, but their logic sort of makes sense.”
The tie-up that Bartholow was speaking of was the potential for a large amount of chargebacks. The fear was that PayPal would could not honor their commitments to deliver the new DLC for Skullgirls, thus PayPal being responsible for the money. Bartholow wrote, “They also asked if we’re good for the $700,000 if something goes wrong. I said ‘No,’ because, well… we’re not? The whole point of crowdfunding is to give us the money to develop stuff, not take out a loan.” After contacting PayPal and sending the proper documentation, Lab Zero’s funds were eventually unfrozen, with the exception of $35,000 being held as collateral.
With threats of chargebacks still looming, Lab Zero has continued to pay their staff. Delays in the production of Skullgirls DLC are not expected.