WayForward Technologies, Inc.
Company typePrivate
IndustryVideo games
FoundedMarch 1990; 34 years ago (1990-03)
FounderVoldi Way
Headquarters,
U.S.
Key people
Voldi Way (CEO)[1][2]
Matt Bozon (creative director)
Products
Websitewayforward.com

WayForward Technologies, Inc. is an American independent video game developer and publisher based in Valencia, California. Founded in March 1990 by technology entrepreneur Voldi Way, WayForward started by developing games for consoles such as the Super NES and Sega Genesis, as well as TV games and PC educational software. In 1997, they relaunched their video games arm, placing the company as a contractor for publishers and working on a variety of licensed assets.

The company has created a variety of original game properties such as their flagship Shantae series, including the first title in the series which appeared on the Game Boy Color and was published by Capcom. WayForward Technologies has worked on games for the Game Boy Advance, Nintendo DS, Nintendo 3DS and PlayStation Vita handheld consoles, WiiWare games for Nintendo's Wii and Wii U, Nintendo Switch consoles and games for personal computer and mobile phones.

History

WayForward Technologies was founded in 1990 by Voldi Way as an independent video game design company, following on from a previous company he started that specialized in software for sheet metal fabrication.[3] Early on, the company focused on producing software for the Super NES, Genesis, Game Gear and Game Boy Color. They branched out into educational games for the personal computer and Leapster.[3] During this time, many of the staff were doing other jobs in order to support their ambition to become game developers.[4]

In 1994, WayForward Technologies entered into a partnership with American Education Publishing in order to focus on developing further educational video games.[5] The partnership was successful, with the company winning awards for innovation at the 1995 Consumer Electronics Show. During this time, WayForward focused on licensed assets such as the Muppets for their educational games.[4]

WayForward restarted their video game development business in April 1997, working as a "developer for hire" by providing services to software publishers.[3] John Beck, CEO, stated that by providing services on small projects the company has managed to remain a stable level of work. In mid-2002, WayForward released their first internally developed game based on their own intellectual property Shantae. While it achieved critical acclaim, it was one of the last games to be released for the Game Boy Color and as a result only enjoyed limited success.[3]

When Nintendo announced the dual-screen handheld console that became the Nintendo DS in early 2004, WayForward began examining the various options the new console offered. Work started on a sequel to Shantae using the two screens. Despite presenting the concepts to a number of publishers, they were ultimately unsuccessful at securing a deal.[4] Because of the large number of Shantae related assets that were produced, including 3D models, WayForward frequently uses them when trying out new technology or development platforms.[3] In 2004, the company was contracted by THQ to produce a chat game called Ping Pals for the Nintendo DS. Despite the tight timescales involved in developing the game, WayForward used the opportunity to obtain development kits for the platform.[4] The game was received unfavourably by the majority of critics and gained only a single positive review.[6] In 2006, the company produced and released Justice League Heroes: The Flash just as the Game Boy Advance was reaching the end of its commercial life cycle, which met with largely positive reviews.[7] WayForward has gone on to develop further titles for the Nintendo DS. Looney Tunes: Duck Amuck, based on the 1951 Warner Bros. cartoon Duck Amuck[8] received mixed reviews upon release.[9]

On February 19, 2008, John Beck and Matt Bozon were speakers at the Independent Games Summit, part of the 2008 Game Developers Conference, discussing a range of issues facing independent games companies.[10] Lit was announced on March 5, 2008, and was released on February 9, 2009, for the WiiWare online shop platform.[11] A new game in the Shantae series was considered for the platform.[12]

WayForward introduced a new character named Alta, who is a pink-haired girl that wields a scepter. She represented a new intellectual property. This was revealed on March 9, 2009, to be a DSiWare game called Mighty Flip Champs!. WayForward created Mighty Milky Way, another puzzle platformer with a new character named Luna. Its sequel, Mighty Switch Force!, was released on the 3DS eShop on December 22, 2011, with a sequel two years later called Mighty Switch Force! 2 on the Nintendo 3DS' eShop.[citation needed]

Adventure Time: Hey Ice King! Why'd You Steal Our Garbage?! was released on November 20, 2012. A sequel, Adventure Time: Explore the Dungeon Because I Don't Know!, as well as Regular Show: Mordecai and Rigby in 8-Bit Land, were released in 2013.[13] A sequel to Mighty Switch Force! was released on June 13, 2013.[14] A new Shantae game was revealed via Nintendo Power,[15] Shantae and the Pirate's Curse, which was released on October 23, 2014, on the Nintendo 3DS and Wii U eShop. Another game in the series, Shantae: Half-Genie Hero, was crowdfunded via Kickstarter and released in December 2016.[16] On April Fool's Day 2013, Wayforward made a fake announcement for a game called Cat Girl Without Salad! Fans responded positively to the game's concept, leading WayForward to later develop it into a full title, which was released via a Humble Bundle in June 2016.[17][18][19] In May 2017, Mystik Belle, originally developed and published by Last Dimension for Steam, was published by WayForward for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.[20]

In 2020, Matt Bozon expressed a desire to work on a 3D polygon Shantae game.[21] Bozon also had an interview with USGamer about where the team would like to see Shantae series go next. Bozon has said that there has been talk about creating a 3D Shantae game.[22]

Games

Year Title Platforms Co-developed with Ref(s).
1992 FunPack PC [23]
1994 Mickey's Ultimate Challenge Sega Genesis, Super NES, Game Boy, Game Gear, Master System
My Paint: The Animated Paint Program Sega CD
1997 Star Warped PC
1998 FunPack 3D
Casper: Animated Activity Center [24]
Microshaft Winblows 98
Outburst
1999 The Land Before Time: Preschool Adventure
Life's Little Lessons with The Berenstain Bears: How to Get Along with Your Fellow Bear
Xtreme Sports Arcade: Summer Edition
2000 Xtreme Sports Game Boy Color
Bear in the Big Blue House: Bear's Sense of Adventure Windows
Delirium
Sabrina: The Animated Series: Zapped! Game Boy Color
2001 Sabrina: The Animated Series: Spooked!
Pearl Harbor: Defend the Fleet Windows
Wendy: Every Witch Way Game Boy Color
WWF Betrayal
2002 Shantae
The Scorpion King: Sword of Osiris Game Boy Advance
Godzilla: Domination
2003 Rescue Heroes: Billy Blazes
Nickelodeon Toon Twister 3D Windows
2004 The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie Game Boy Advance
Ping Pals Nintendo DS
2005 Sigma Star Saga Game Boy Advance
SpongeBob SquarePants: Lights, Camera, Pants!
Tak: The Great Juju Challenge
Barbie and the Magic of Pegasus
2006 X-Men: The Official Game
Unfabulous!
Justice League Heroes: The Flash
American Dragon: Jake Long – Attack of the Dark Dragon Nintendo DS
American Dragon: Jake Long – Rise of the Huntsclan Game Boy Advance
SpongeBob SquarePants: Creature from the Krusty Krab Game Boy Advance, Nintendo DS
Barbie in the 12 Dancing Princesses
2007 Looney Tunes: Duck Amuck Nintendo DS
Shrek: Ogres & Dronkeys
Contra 4
2008 Space Chimps
2009 LIT WiiWare, iOS, Android, Windows
Mighty Flip Champs! DSiWare
A Boy and His Blob Wii, Nintendo Switch
Where the Wild Things Are Nintendo DS
Barbie and the Three Musketeers Nintendo DS, Wii, Windows
2010 Galactic Taz Ball Nintendo DS
Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem
Batman: The Brave and the Bold – The Videogame Nintendo DS, Wii
Shantae: Risky's Revenge DSiWare, iOS
2011 SpongeBob SquigglePants Nintendo 3DS, Wii
Centipede: Infestation
Thor: God of Thunder Nintendo DS [25]
Mighty Milky Way DSiWare [26]
Mighty Flip Champs! DX PlayStation Minis
BloodRayne: Betrayal Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Windows [27]
Aliens: Infestation Nintendo DS [28]
Mighty Switch Force! Nintendo 3DS [29]
Happy Feet Two: The Video Game Nintendo DS, Nintendo 3DS
2012 Hotel Transylvania
Double Dragon Neon Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Windows, Nintendo Switch
Silent Hill: Book of Memories PlayStation Vita [30]
Adventure Time: Hey Ice King! Why'd You Steal Our Garbage?! Nintendo DS, Nintendo 3DS [31]
Mighty Switch Force! Hyper Drive Edition Wii U, Windows
2013 The Smurfs 2: The Video Game PlayStation 3, Wii, Wii U, Xbox 360
DuckTales: Remastered Wii U, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Windows, iOS, Android, Windows Phone [32]
Regular Show: Mordecai and Rigby in 8-Bit Land Nintendo 3DS
Adventure Time: Explore the Dungeon Because I Don't Know! Wii U, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Windows, Nintendo 3DS [33]
Mighty Switch Force! 2 Wii U, Nintendo 3DS
2014 Drawn to Life iOS
Transformers: Rise of the Dark Spark Nintendo 3DS [34]
Shantae and the Pirate's Curse Wii U, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Nintendo 3DS, Windows, Amazon Fire TV, Nintendo Switch [35]
Adventure Time: The Secret of the Nameless Kingdom PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, Xbox 360, Nintendo 3DS, Windows [16]
Wonder Momo: Typhoon Booster Nvidia Shield, Mac OS
Scooby Doo! & Looney Tunes Cartoon Universe: Adventure Windows, Nintendo 3DS
Shantae: Risky's Revenge - Director's Cut Windows, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Wii U, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Danger of the Ooze PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Nintendo 3DS
2015 Mighty Switch Force! Hose It Down! iOS, Windows
Watch Quest! Heroes of Time Apple Watch
Til Morning's Light iOS, Fire OS
Adventure Time: Puzzle Quest iOS, Android
Mighty Switch Force! Academy Windows
Goosebumps: The Game PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Nintendo 3DS, Windows,[36] Nintendo Switch[citation needed]
Marvel Puzzle Quest PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One
Descendants iOS, Android
2016 Cat Girl Without Salad: Amuse-Bouche Windows, Nintendo Switch
Shantae: Half-Genie Hero Wii U, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, PlayStation Vita, Xbox One, Windows, Nintendo Switch [16]
2017 Mystik Belle PlayStation 4, Xbox One [37]
The Mummy Demastered PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Windows, Nintendo Switch
2019 Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night Artplay, 505 Games [38]
Spidersaurs iOS (formerly), PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Windows, Nintendo Switch [39]
Mighty Switch Force! Collection PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Windows, Nintendo Switch [40]
Miraculous Crush: A Ladybug & Cat Noir Match 3 iOS, Android
Shantae and the Seven Sirens iOS, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Windows, Nintendo Switch [41][42]
River City Girls PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Windows, Nintendo Switch, Android Arc System Works [43]
2020 Vitamin Connection (with Nintendo) Nintendo Switch Nintendo [44]
Marble Knights (now discontinued) iOS Apple Inc.
Trollhunters: Defenders of Arcadia PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Windows, Nintendo Switch [45]
Bakugan: Champions of Vestroia Nintendo Switch Warner Bros Interactive, Nintendo
2021 BloodRayne Betrayal: Fresh Bites PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Windows, Nintendo Switch
2022 River City Girls Zero PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch [46]
Dawn of the Monsters PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Windows, Nintendo Switch [47]
River City Girls 2 Arc System Works [48]
RWBY: Arrowfell [49]
2023 Lunark Windows, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5 Canari Games [50]
Advance Wars 1+2: Re-Boot Camp Nintendo Switch Nintendo [51]
2024 Clock Tower PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Windows, Nintendo Switch Limited Run Games [52][citation needed]
Shantae Advance: Risky Revolution Game Boy Advance, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Windows Limited Run Games [53][54]
Contra: Operation Galuga Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S Konami [55]

References

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  50. ^ @WayForward (March 30, 2023). "Join the revolution in LUNARK, the pixel-art sci-fi cinematic platformer! Run, jump, hang, climb, roll, and shoot your way to freedom in this epic 2D adventure, now available on Nintendo Switch, Xbox, and PC via Steam! (Coming soon to PS4/PS5.)" (Tweet). Retrieved April 1, 2023 – via Twitter.
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