It's been on my mind. Of course, I have to lay a few things out: I have a couple of personal friends who've done/are doing freelance animation work on Skullgirls. The Kawaiikochans are fans, and they have fans on staff. So I have a lot of reasons to love this game. I personally like the game a lot (though the only version I can play, 360, is presently out of date)... but not as much as I like VF5 Final.
Anyway, if you haven't heard, Skullgirls was planned to expand long after the original release, but that didn't really go down. Everybody was laid off immediately after release, programmer Mike Z threw out a quick balance patch for the PS3 version even though he wasn't getting paid for it (360 patches cost money, for no good reason)... and that might have been the end for Skullgirls. However, the team did something last-ditch and drastic to save the game, and it worked.
They're crowdfunding the game's continued development. $150K pays for the first new character, Squigly. The prizes are very personalized (voice actresses leaving you voice mail, your character being drawn into the game, that kind of thing!) Squiggly was paid for within the first day, if I recall. They'll almost certainly make it to $375K for the next character, Big Band, and at $600K they'd be putting a new character to a vote.
I don't think anybody expected this level of support this fast. There had been advance buzz about this campaign, and a lot of people were questioning that $150,000 was an acceptable figure to put one character in a fighting game. These people miss the difference between simply buying DLC for some game (DLC with its own budget, backed by some publisher, which may or may not make money) and actually paying to produce the content. The budget is broken down in a rare, candid way on the Indiegogo page, and I recommend you have a look even if you don't care about this sort of thing. It's interesting on its own to see the details of a budget that still qualifies as very low by game dev standards!
A lot of the objections on Neogaf etc were ignorant, sometimes willfully so, but they revealed an attitude which still persists. I specifically thought it was interesting that this title was considered inherently less deserving for being 2D and independent. Ask anybody doing a 2D, traditionally animated game and they'll tell you it's a hell of a chore, extremely expensive, extremely difficult. A 2D fighting game is even harder, because the animation-- the amount of frames, the hitboxes-- is the lifeblood of the game. And most observers, as evidenced by a lot of the internet response to this, can't really tell anyway and probably don't care. There's a reason high-end 2D went away, and there's a reason everybody doing their game that way these days does so only because they are that passionate about it. I'm not saying 3D is somehow easy, mind...
(I'm sure that if so inclined, Capcom would have been able to make a beautiful hand-drawn Street Fighter IV, something that surpassed Third Strike by a mile. But the people who buy videogames wouldn't have given a damn, and it wouldn't have sold anywhere near the millions of copies the 3D game did. I'm sure the horrendous-looking Tokitowa also cost a lot to animate.)
Anyway, the attitude is that 2D is worse, that creatives should be happy to work for scraps or free, and that professionals aren't worth what they charge. As a freelance creative, I assure you that all of these attitudes are shit. It's depressing to see that the majority opinion of consumers is that it's perfectly okay for the folks who make the product they love to live off peanuts. (See also anime fans.) That's probably not going to change any time soon.
The other interesting backlash was actually from some corners of the fighting game community, which I find even more fascinating. In the competition scene Skullgirls is a very minor game. It's a hell of a game, but sheer craftsmanship by itself doesn't guarantee any kind of tournament turn-out (see also Virtua Fighter, a game as unpopular as it is well-made). Marvel 3-- the ultimate spectator fighting game, with extreme speed, a gigantic meta-game, and the possibility for a full turnaround at any moment-- is absolutely the most popular game in SG's corner of the genre.
So some people are kind of mad that a "dead" game is getting all this money, because it's a waste, right? Don't these guys know they could be putting that money into a game people play in tournaments?
And of course this is myopic. Fighting games have always had these two really disparate fan groups, even deep at the core. There are the tourney people who care first and foremost about the competition, the tournaments, the big name players, and of course how fine-tuned the game is for these environments. Then there are the other fans, who follow just about everything else: the increasingly convoluted mythology, the stories of their favorite characters, and so on. There are people who seriously care about the story in Tekken! Smart developers lavish care on both the "story" and "versus" modes for this reason.
There is, of course, overlap-- I care more about the competitive aspects, but I have a great affection for the characters and the genre in general as well-- but these groups are often at odds.
My case in point here is Guilty Gear XX, where the chaotic, sprawling plot has moved once in ten years because GGXX is such a popular competiton game. People die in the GGXX story, and if they're dead they aren't playable anymore, right? Same thing happens in King of Fighters, where characters have had to be brought back from the dead in a story that went completely incoherent about a decade ago.
Some fans want a game to have more characters than any other: competitive players want the characters to be tightly balanced and value that balance over the number. See Marvel 2, which has a gigantic cast that is mostly useless for competition play. Opinions vary very widely on that game, perhaps more widely than any other, depending on what one values in a fighting game.
And a lot of the time competitive players will call a game dead, like Skullgirls or Blazblue, because it's no longer interesting as a competitive game (looking mostly at BB here, whose design and balance come off pretty confused), or it hasn't picked up in their scene.
The thing is... fans don't just disappear because there aren't people playing a game in a tournament. Skullgirls wasn't just liked by people who play fighting games in tournaments. It has a wider appeal than that. The people who couldn't buy $1000 "draw me into the game!" (sadly I could not put Masaka and Majide in) spots fast enough were probably not a pack of tournament fighting game players. It's not just them out there, and I think the scene often doesn't realize this. It's a much wider world out there. I'm glad the Skullgirls team were able to find the people they needed.