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WayForward Technologies, Inc. (also known as WayForward) is a video game development studio based in Valencia, California. It was founded in 1990 by Voldi Way. WayForward started by developing games for consoles such as the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, Sega Genesis, Game Boy Color and others, before branching out in 1994 to TV games and PC educational software. In 1997 they returned to producing more generalist video games, choosing to be a contractor for other publishers and working on several licensed assets.

Besides these, the company has created a few original games IP, including Shantae and the Mighty! series. Currently, WayForward Technologies works on games for the Nintendo 3DS handheld console, and WiiWare games for Nintendo's Wii U console, as well as a few for the PlayStation Network and Xbox Live Arcade.



Voldi Way, founder of WayForward.

WayForward Technologies was founded in 1990 by Voldi Way as an independent video game design company, after a previous company of which he was also a co-founder that specialised in software for sheet metal fabrication.[1] He financed WayForward by selling his parts in this company.[2] The name WayForward Technologies may refer to the novel "Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency", by Douglas Adams, where a character named Gordon Way had founded a company by the same name.[3] The company first focused on producing games for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, Sega Genesis, Sega CD, Game Gear and Game Boy Color. They also began to branch out into educational computer games for PC and Leapster.[1] During these early years, many of the staff were doing other jobs to live, as the pays were not always enough to support their ambition to become game developers. Some were delivering lunches, and Matt Bozon, for instance, was doing sketches in a Six Flags theme park.[4]

As an educational games producer

The Muppets, among other educational titles produced by WayForward at the time.

In 1994, WayForward Technologies concluded a partnership with American Education Publishing in order to focus on developing exclusively educational computer games[5] (working under the name Brighter Child Interactive).[6] The partnership was successful, with the company winning awards for innovation at the 1995 Consumer Electronics Show. During this time, WayForward still focused on licensed assets such as the Muppets for their educational games, but also Godzilla or The Scorpion King for their more traditional games.[4]

Return to traditional video games

WayForward returned exclusively to their video game development business in April 1997, choosing to be a "developer for hire" by providing services to software publishers.[1] John Beck, the current CEO, has said that by providing services on these projects the company managed to create a stable structure.[1]

Creation of Shantae

The cover art of Shantae.

In mid 2002, WayForward released their first game based on their own intellectual property called Shantae,[1] created by Matt Bozon, with Capcom as publisher.[7] It achieved critical acclaim, but it was released for the Game Boy Color one year after the release of the Game Boy Advance and as a result only enjoyed limited success.[1] It would later develop a small cult following by the era of emulators.[8]

Early plans for a Shantae sequel

Despite this setback, WayForward believed in the franchise's potential and started work on a sequel for the Game Boy Advance. The resulting game, Shantae Advance, was cancelled during production as WayForward did not find a publisher because of the sales of the first game.[9] When Nintendo announced a dual-screen handheld console that became the Nintendo DS in early 2004, WayForward began examining the various possibilities offered by this new engine. Work started on a sequel to Shantae called Shantae: Risky Waters using the two screens. However, they were yet again unsuccessful at securing a deal.[4] As a large number of Shantae related assets were produced, including 3D models, WayForward frequently used them when trying out new technology or development platforms.[1]

From 2004 to 2009

Contra 4, one of WayForward's biggest critical hits.

Later in 2004, the company was contracted by THQ to produce a new chat game, Ping Pals, for the Nintendo DS. Despite the tight timescales involved in developing the game, WayForward seized the opportunity to obtain development kits for the platform.[4] The game was panned by most critics and gained only a single positive review.[10] In 2006, the company produced Justice League Heroes: The Flash as the Game Boy Advance was reaching the end of its commercial life cycle, which this time met with largely positive reviews.[11] Since then, WayForward has gone on to develop further titles for the Nintendo DS. One of them, Looney Tunes: Duck Amuck, based on the 1951 Warner Bros. cartoon Duck Amuck was highly anticipated[12] at the E3 trade show but unfortunately received mixed reviews upon release.[13] On the contrary, Contra 4, a game developed for Konami for the popular series of Contra games, was almost universally praised by critics.[14]

On February 19, 2008, John Beck and Matt Bozon were speakers at the Independent Games Summit, during the 2008 Game Developers Conference, discussing a range of issues facing independent games companies.[15] By this time, WayForward was developing titles for Nintendo's Wii console using internally developed intellectual property anew. LIT was announced on March 5, 2008 and was released on February 9, 2009 for the WiiWare online shop platform.[16]

Creation of the Mighty! series

Mighty Flip Champs!, the first game in the Mighty! series.

In the Spring 2009 entry of the Shantae Fan Club online newsletter, WayForward introduced a new character named Alta, a pink-haired girl wielding a scepter. She was to represent a brand-new original franchise. This was revealed on March 9, 2009 to be a DSiWare exclusive game called Mighty Flip Champs!.[17] The game spawned an entire Mighty! series, including Mighty Milky Way, another puzzle platformer with a new character named Luna, and its sequel, Mighty Switch Force! which was released on the Nintendo 3DS eShop on December 22, 2011. Another sequel was released two years later called Mighty Switch Force! 2 on the 3DS eShop.

Shantae sequel

Just like for the first Mighty! title, the development of the DSiWare allowed WayForward to publish games for themselves,[18] and therefore, a new Shantae title, Shantae: Risky's Revenge, was finally announced as an episodic game. This aspect was criticized, however, and in the end WayForward opted for a stand-alone release.[19] The sequel, Shantae: Risky's Revenge, was released on October 4, 2010 on the DSiWare, and subsequently on iOS on October 27, 2011. A Steam port is expected to be released before the end of Spring of 2014. The game was a huge critical success, being called by some the best game available on the DSiWare.[20][21]

From 2012 onwards

The DuckTales: Remastered remake.

WayForward Technologies developed a game for the Nintendo DS and 3DS based on the popular Cartoon Network show Adventure Time with the same title. The show's creator, Pendleton Ward, confirmed the news of the game's development on his personal Twitter account on the 23rd of March, 2012 and Adventure Time: Hey Ice King! Why'd You Steal Our Garbage?! was released on November 20th, 2012. A sequel, Adventure Time: Explore the Dungeon Because I DON’T KNOW! and a Regular Show video game adaptation were also released in Fall of 2013. In March 2013, Capcom and WayForward unveiled DuckTales: Remastered, a remake of the NES classic[22] which was released in August 2013.[23]

New Shantae titles

A new Shantae game was revealed via Nintendo Power in November 2012,[24] called Shantae and the Pirate's Curse. It is currently set for release before the end of Spring of 2014 on the Nintendo 3DS eShop. A fourth game in the series, Shantae: Half-Genie Hero, is currently in development and was crowdfunded via Kickstarter, and is still receiving fundings via PayPal on the company's website.[25] These projects are developed in collaboration with Japanese developer Inti Creates.[26]

Games developed

Cancelled games

  • Shantae Advance (Game Boy Advance)
  • Shantae: Risky Waters (Nintendo DS)

Retail games

  • Games Magazine Interactive (1990, PC)
  • Games Magazine Interactive 2 (1990, PC)
  • Windows Fun pack! (1991, PC)
  • Berenstain Bears – Life’s Little Lessons (1993, PC)
  • Mickey’s Ultimate Challenge (1994, Game Boy / Game Gear / SNES / Genesis; as Designer Software)
  • Sega CD My Paint! The Animated Paint Program (1994, SEGA CD)
  • Math Challenge! (1994, PC)
  • Madison: Wild About Cats! (unknown, possibly 1994, PC)
  • Muppets Reading and Phonics and Beginning to Read (ca. 1994 or 1995, PC)
  • Casper: Activity Center (ca. 1995, PC)
  • Kid Pack 2 Deluxe! (1996, PC)
  • Amazing Math Starring Marvel Super Heroes (1996, PC)
  • Speed Racer: Mach 5 vs The Monster Car (ca. 1997, PC)
  • Final Conflict (1997, PC)
  • Star Warped (1997, PC)
  • An American Tail – Animated Movie Book (1998, PC)
  • Lost in Space: Math Adventure (unknown, possibly 1997, PC)
  • The X-Fools (1997 or 1998, PC)
  • Microshaft Winblows 98 (1998, PC)
  • Babe – Early Reader (possibly 1998, PC)
  • Way Point Zero (1998 or 2000, PC)
  • FunPack 3D (1998 or 1999, PC)
  • Xtreme Sports Arcade (ca. 1999, PC)
  • FunPack CE (1999, PC)
  • WCW Mayhem! (1999, Game Boy Color)
  • Howard Marks Video Casino Games (1999, PC)
  • Super Scattergories (1999, PC)
  • KISS Trivia Challenge (1999, PC)
  • The Land Before Time PreSchool Adventure (1999, PC)
  • The King and I: Thinking Adventure (1999, PC)
  • Xtreme Sports (2000, Game Boy Color)
  • Bear in the Big Blue House: Bear’s Sense of Adventure (2000, PC)
  • Sabrina: The Animated Series: Zapped! (2000, Game Boy Color)
  • Sabrina: The Animated Series: Spooked! (2001, Game Boy Color)
  • Pearl Harbor: Defend the Fleet (2001, PC)
  • Wendy: Every Witch Way (2001, Game Boy Color)
  • WWF Betrayal (2001, Game Boy Color)
  • Shantae (2002, Game Boy Color)
  • The Scorpion King: Sword of Osiris (2002, Game Boy Advance)
  • Godzilla: Domination (2002, Game Boy Advance)
  • Pacific Gunner (2002, PC)
  • Rescue Heroes: Billy Blazes (2003, Game Boy Advance)
  • Nickelodeon Toon Twister 3D (2003, PC)
  • The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie (2004, Game Boy Advance)
  • Ping Pals (2004, Nintendo DS)
  • Sigma Star Saga (2005, Game Boy Advance)
  • Tak: The Great Juju Challenge (2005, Game Boy Advance)
  • SpongeBob SquarePants: Lights, Camera, Pants! (2005, Game Boy Advance)
  • Justice League Heroes: The Flash (2006, Game Boy Advance)
  • American Dragon: Jake Long Attack of the Dark Dragon (2006, Nintendo DS)
  • American Dragon: Jake Long Rise of the Huntsclan (2006, Game Boy Advance)
  • SpongeBob SquarePants: Creature from the Krusty Krab (2006, Nintendo DS / Game Boy Advance)
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Battle for the City (2006, Plug 'n Play)
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutants & Monster Mayhem (2006, Plug 'n Play)
  • Looney Tunes: Duck Amuck (2007, Nintendo DS)
  • Contra 4 (2007, Nintendo DS)
  • A Boy and His Blob (2009, Wii / PlayStation 4 / PlayStation Vita / Xbox One / PC / OS X / Linux)
  • Where the Wild Things Are (2009, Nintendo DS)
  • Galactic Taz Ball (2010, Nintendo DS)
  • Despicable Me The Game: Minion Mayhem (2010, Nintendo DS)
  • Batman: The Brave and the Bold – The Videogame (2010, Wii / Nintendo DS)
  • SpongeBob SquigglePants (2011, Wii / Nintendo 3DS)
  • Centipede: Infestation (2011, Wii / Nintendo 3DS)
  • Thor: God of Thunder (2011, Nintendo DS)[27]
  • Aliens Infestation (2011, Nintendo DS)[28]
  • Happy Feet Two: The Video Game (2011, Nintendo DS / Nintendo 3DS)
  • Hotel Transylvania (2012, Nintendo DS / Nintendo 3DS)
  • Silent Hill: Book of Memories (2012, PlayStation Vita)
  • Adventure Time: Hey Ice King! Why'd You Steal Our Garbage?! (2012, Nintendo DS / Nintendo 3DS)
  • The Smurfs 2: The Video Game (2013, PlayStation 3 / Wii / Wii U / Xbox 360)
  • DuckTales: Remastered(2013, Wii U / Xbox 360 / PlayStation 3 / PC / iOS / Android / Windows Phone)
  • Regular Show: Mordecai and Rigby In 8-Bit Land (2013, Nintendo 3DS)
  • Adventure Time: Explore the Dungeon Because I DON’T KNOW! (2013, Wii U / PlayStation 3 / Xbox 360 / PC / Nintendo 3DS)
  • Transformers: Rise of the Dark Spark (2014, Nintendo 3DS)
  • Adventure Time: The Secret of the Nameless Kingdom (2014, Xbox 360 / PlayStation 3 / PlayStation Vita / Nintendo 3DS)
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Danger of the Ooze (2014, Nintendo 3DS / PlayStation 3 / Xbox 360)
  • Goosebumps: The Game (2015, PlayStation 3 / PlayStation 4 / Xbox 360 / Xbox One / Nintendo 3DS / PC)

Downloadable games

  • LIT (2009, WiiWare)
  • Mighty Flip Champs! (2009, DSiWare)
  • Shantae: Risky's Revenge (2010, DSiWare / iOS / PC / PlayStation 4)
  • Mighty Milky Way (2011, DSiWare)
  • Mighty Flip Champs! DX (2011, PlayStation Minis)
  • BloodRayne: Betrayal (2011, Xbox Live Arcade / PlayStation Network / PC)
  • Mighty Switch Force! (2011, Nintendo 3DS)
  • Double Dragon Neon (2012, Xbox Live Arcade / PlayStation Network / PC)
  • Mighty Switch Force! Hyper Drive Edition (2012, Wii U / PC)
  • Mighty Switch Force! 2 (2013, Nintendo 3DS / Wii U)
  • Drawn to Life (2014, iOS)
  • Wonder Momo: Typhoon Booster (2014, Nvidia Shield / PC / Macintosh)
  • Shantae and the Pirate's Curse (2014, Wii U / Nintendo 3DS / PC / Amazon Fire TV)
  • Mighty Switch Force! Hose It Down! (2015, iOS / PC)
  • Watch Quest! -Heroes of Time- (2015, Apple Watch)
  • Til Morning's Light (2015, iOS / Android (Kindle Fire models))
  • Adventure Time: Puzzle Quest (2015, iOS / Android)
  • Mighty Switch Force! Academy (2015, PC)
  • Marvel Puzzle Quest: Dark Reign (2015, PlayStation 3 / PlayStation 4 / Xbox 360 / Xbox One)
  • Descendants (2015, iOS / Android)
  • Shantae: Half-Genie Hero (Winter 2016, Wii U / PlayStation 3 / PlayStation 4 / PlayStation Vita / Xbox 360 / Xbox One / PC)


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External links