|Industry||Video game industry|
|Headquarters||Valencia, California U.S.|
|Key people||Voldi Way (Founder)
John Beck (CEO)
Matt Bozon (creative director)
Jake Kaufman (audio designer)
WayForward Technologies is an American video game developer based in Valencia, California. Founded in 1990 by technology entrepreneur Voldi Way, WayForward started by developing games for consoles such as the Super Nintendo Entertainment System 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 including Shantae, which appeared on the Game Boy Color and was published by Capcom. Currently, WayForward Technologies works on games for the Nintendo 3DS and PlayStation Vita handheld consoles, WiiWare games for Nintendo's Wii and Wii U consoles, and other licensed titles for PlayStation Network and Xbox Live Arcade.
WayForward Technologies was founded in 1990 by Voldi Way as an independent videogame design company, following on from a previous company he started that specialised in software for sheet metal fabrication. 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. Early on, the company focused on producing software for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, Sega Genesis, Sega CD, Sega Game Gear and Game Boy Color. They also branched out into educational computer games for the Personal Computer and Leapster. During this time, many of the staff were doing other jobs in order to support their ambition to become game developers.
In 1994, WayForward Technologies entered into a partnership with American Education Publishing in order to focus on developing further educational computer games. 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 or Godzilla or The Scorpion King for their more traditional games.
WayForward restarted their videogame development business in April 1997, working as a "developer for hire" by providing services to software publishers. 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 called 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.
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. 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. Later in 2004, the company was contracted by THQ to produce a new 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. The game met unfavourably with the majority of critics and gained only a single positive review. 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. Since then, 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 was highly anticipated at the E3 trade show but also received mixed reviews upon release.
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. Currently, WayForward are developing titles for Nintendo's Wii console involving the use of internally developed intellectual property. LIT was announced on March 5, 2008 and was released on February 9, 2009 for the WiiWare online shop platform. A new game in the Shantae series is also being considered for the platform.
According to the Spring 2009 entry of the Shantae Fan Club online newsletter, WayForward introduced a new character named Alta who is a pink-haired girl that wields a scepter. She represented a brand-new original franchise. This was revealed on March 9, 2009 to be a DSiWare exclusive game called "Mighty Flip Champs!". WayForward would create Mighty Milky Way, another puzzle platformer with a new character named Luna. Its sequel, Mighty Switch Force! was released exclusively on the 3DS eShop on December 22, 2011, with a sequel two years later called Mighty Switch Force! 2 on the Nintendo 3DS' eShop.
Recently, WayForward Technologies developed a game for the Nintendo DS and 3DS based on the popular Cartoon Network show Adventure Time called Adventure Time. 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 is currently in the works along with a Regular Show video game. On February 24, 2013 WayForward Game Director & Designer Austin Ivansmith confirmed that a sequel to Mighty Switch Force! was in development on the 50th episode of "Sup, Holmes?" on Destructoid which was released on June 13th, 2013. A new Shantae title was revealed via Nintendo Power called Shantae and the Pirate's Curse, which is currently set for a release date in 2014 on the Nintendo 3DS eShop. Another game in the series, Shantae: Half-Genie Hero, is currently in development.
- Retail games
- 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)
- Rescue Heroes: Billy Blazes (2003, Game Boy Advance)
- Nickelodeon Toon Twister 3D (2003, PC)
- Ping Pals (2004, Nintendo DS)
- Sigma Star Saga (2005, Game Boy Advance)
- SpongeBob SquarePants: Lights, Camera, Pants! (2005, Game Boy Advance)
- Justice League Heroes (2006, PS2/PSP/Nintendo DS/Xbox)
- Justice League Heroes: The Flash (2006, Game Boy Advance)
- American Dragon: Jake Long - Rise of the Huntsclan! (2006, Nintendo DS/Game Boy Advance)
- SpongeBob SquarePants: Creature from the Krusty Krab (2006, Nintendo DS/Game Boy Advance)
- Looney Tunes: Duck Amuck (2007, Nintendo DS)
- Contra 4 (2007, Nintendo DS)
- Space Chimp (2008, Nintendo DS)
- A Boy and His Blob (2009, Wii)
- Where the Wild Things Are (2009, Nintendo DS)
- Galactic Taz Ball (2010, Nintendo DS)
- Despicable Me: 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)
- Aliens Infestation (2011, Nintendo DS)
- Happy Feet Two: The Video Game (2011, Nintendo DS/Nintendo 3DS)
- Hotel Transylvania (2012, 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)
- Regular Show: Mordecai and Rigby In 8-Bit Land (Fall 2013, Nintendo 3DS)
- Adventure Time: Explore the Dungeon Because I DON’T KNOW! (Fall 2013, Wii U/PlayStation 3/Xbox 360/PC/Nintendo 3DS)
- Digital download games
- LIT (2009, WiiWare)
- Mighty Flip Champs! (2009, DSiWare)
- Shantae: Risky's Revenge (2010, DSiWare/iOS/PC)
- Mighty Milky Way (2011, DSiWare)
- Mighty Flip Champs! DX (2011, PlayStation Minis)
- BloodRayne: Betrayal (2011, Xbox Live Arcade/PlayStation Network)
- 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)
- Mighty Switch Force! 2 (2013, Nintendo 3DS/Wii U)
- DuckTales: Remastered (2013, Wii U/Xbox Live Arcade/PlayStation Network/PC)
- Future releases
- Shantae and the Pirate's Curse (Q2 2014, Nintendo 3DS)
- Wonder Momo (2014, PC)
- Shantae: Half-Genie Hero (TBA, Wii U/PlayStation 3/PlayStation 4/PlayStation Vita/Xbox 360/Xbox One/PC)
- Transformers: Rise of the Dark Spark (2014, Nintendo 3DS)
- Brandon Sheffield (2004-11-17). "WayForward To The Handheld Future". Gamasutra. Retrieved 2008-06-14.
- Simon Carless (2008-02-08). "WayForward Technologies Vs. Dirk Gently?". GameSetWatch. Retrieved 2008-06-14.
- Stephen Totilo (2007-08-21). "The Flop That Inspired 'Contra 4' And 'Duck Amuck'". MTV. Retrieved 2008-06-14.
- "WayForward Technologies - The Company". WayForward Technologies. Retrieved 2008-06-14.
- Geoffery Winter. "Ping Pals". Nintendojo. Retrieved 2008-06-14.
- "Justice League Heroes: The Flash". Game Rankings. Retrieved 2008-06-24.
- Guy Cocker (2007-07-13). "E3 '07: Duck Amuck Impressions". GameSpot. Retrieved 2008-06-14.
- "Looney Tunes: Duck Amuck". metacritic. Retrieved 2008-06-14.
- "Games Developers Conference - Independent Games Summit". CMP Media. Archived from the original on 2008-03-12. Retrieved 2008-06-14.
- Damien McFerran (2008-03-06). "WayForward Developing Exclusive Horror Puzzle Title for WiiWare". WiiWare World. Retrieved 2008-06-14.
- James Ransom-Wiley (2008-02-22). "GDC08: Shantae summoned for WiiWare". Joystiq. Retrieved 2008-06-14.
- Johnathan Holmes (2013-02-24). "Mighty Switch Force 2 announced for 3DS!-Sup, Holmes?". Destructoid.
- Shantae And The Pirate's Curse for 3DS Announced! (SPREAD THE NEWS!)
- WayForward (2013-09-04). "Shantae: Half-Genie Hero". Kickstarter. Retrieved 2013-09-04.
- Richard George. "Thor: God of Thunder Review - Nintendo DS Review at IGN". Au.ds.ign.com. Retrieved 2012-03-24.
- Dutton, Fred (2011-05-25). "Aliens Infestation outed by ratings board News • News •". Eurogamer.net. Retrieved 2012-03-24.
- Kietzmann, Ludwig (2011-06-10). "Silent Hill: Book of Memories developed by WayForward". Joystiq. Retrieved 2012-03-24.
- "Adventure Time Heading to Nintendo DS Later This Year - News". Nintendo World Report. Retrieved 2012-03-24.
- "New Adventure Time game announced for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii U, PC, and 3DS; Regular Show game for 3DS". Gematsu. 2013-05-14. Retrieved 2013-05-14.
- "Mighty Milky Way is your new planet-hopping puzzle game". Destructoid. Retrieved 2012-03-24.
- "BloodRayne: Betrayal | Majesco Ent". Bloodraynebetrayal.com. Retrieved 2012-03-24.
- "Mighty Switch Force – Coming to the 3DS eShop". Nintendocharged.com. Retrieved 2012-03-24.
- Hopper, Steven. "Double Dragon is Getting a Flashy Neon Reboot". IGN.
- "Latest Nintendo Power cover reveals Shantae and the Pirate's Curse". GoNintendo. 2012-11-06. Retrieved 2012-11-06.
- Brenna Hillier (2014-02-16). "Transformers: Rise of the Dark Spark anounced". vg247. Retrieved 2014-02-16.