Skullgirls Color DLC

XBLA gamers had to wait about six months longer than their PSN counterparts did, but the waiting finally ended on Monday. That’s when the frequently delayed Skullgirls Slightly Different patch finally arrived on Xbox Live Arcade. Just one day later, on Tuesday, it was followed by the release of the Color DLC, which offers eight packs of four new character color palettes for $1 each or $8 for the entire pack.

Slightly Different is the same patch that Peter Bartholow, CEO of Skullgirls developer Lab Zero Games, told XBLA Fans last month would likely be releasing within two weeks of his statement. (That didn’t happen.) It’s the same patch that Lab Zero said in January was unable to be released due to Microsoft’s stingy patch size limitations. (They eventually downsized it.) It’s the same patch that was in November revealed to have been developed by new studio Lab Zero Games, not original developer Reverge Labs. (It’s the same core team.)

Yes, Lab Zero’s biggest little patch has had quite the pre-release history on XBLA. But now, it’s all just that: history. “#Skullgirls owners on Xbox 360…please load up your game now!” Lab Zero tweeted Monday morning. The patch that contains new features, bug fixes, tutorials, gameplay changes and more was finally out.

Lab Zero previously informed XBLA Fans that it worked closely with Microsoft to shrink down the 590 MB size of the original file that was submitted to Microsoft for certification many months ago while, somewhat miraculously, retaining all of the content. Of course, no one in the development community has ever accused Microsoft of working quickly to get XBLA patches released. And so fans of the XBLA version of Skullgirls waited for months without any reliable indication of when that wait might finally end until Bartholow spoke up in late April. He mentioned that approximately two-week release window that the parties involved (Microsoft, Konami, Autumn Games and Lab Zero) were ultimately unable to meet.

Speaking with XBLA Fans via email on May 1, Bartholow was unwilling to say on the record what the issues were that caused this latest delay, instead preferring only to confirm that there were “hiccups” in the certification process. It was clear from the tone of his emails that his frustration level with the situation was high.

On Monday, the tone of his emails changed. Obviously relieved and excited, Bartholow confirmed the release. He wasn’t alone in that feeling. As seen in this impressively silly picture, Skullgirls designer Mike “MikeZ” Zaimont appears to have been experiencing similar feelings Monday morning. In conjunction with that picture tweeted by Lab Zero, the studio told fans that it was “Sorry it took so long” to release the patch.

Following its wildly successful Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign that raised $829,049, Lab Zero has much more in store for fans in the months ahead. Those fans who pledged contributions during the campaign recently voted Eliza, who is described as an “Egyptian-themed lounge singer,” as the third character to be released as part of the DLC funded by the campaign. Lab Zero says that Eliza is “the ultimate attack-from-disadvantage character” and that she will have two different modes revolving around the way in which a blood-sucking parasite that accompanies her into battle is used.

Sources: @LabZeroGames 1, 2, 3, PlayStation Blog and Lab Zero Games on Facebook