This is not strictly API related but hopefully someone can provide some insight.
Any help you can provide would be much appreciated. And if scrapers of this sort are unwelcome I will of course stop.
I think the people who still balk at the $150k figure even after being shown the breakdown almost have a point. I suspect they are people for whom the addition of one new character to a fighting game that already has a dozen is of minimal value. The more extreme example is SSF4: two new characters to a roster of 30-odd. They see a lot of money spent for a very small result.
The point they aren't quite making is that if it is "so expensive" to produce "so little", maybe there is a flaw in the original premise. As a first time studio, maybe they should have gone the easier route of 3D? Maybe they should have started with something easier to make than a fighting game?
This is certainly why we see dozens of indie platformers with an 8-bit-inspired art style. Yet for small-scale indie developers to survive in the long run, they need to be even more ruthless than the big publishers when it comes to budgets, project scope and the man-hours involved. It may not be your dream game, but you don't have that luxury.
Make the game you can afford to make. Make the game you don't have to kill yourself to make.