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Creator / WayForward Technologies

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WayForward Technologies is an American Video Game developer and publisher founded in 1990 by actor-turned-programmer Voldi Way, and named for a joke in a novel by Douglas Adams.

The company established itself as a "developer-for-hire", initially being tasked with adapting franchises such as Sabrina the Teenage Witch to handheld consoles. Their work with such licenses quickly garnered them a reputation as a developer that can consistently deliver examples of No Problem with Licensed Games, which would eventually lead to major game publishers such as Konami and even Nintendo trusting the studio with remakes, spin-offs, and even brand-new entries in long-standing franchises like Contra and Advance Wars.

However, WayForward's true labors of love are its original properties, often headed by creative director Matt Bozon and composed by legendary chiptune musician and sound designer Jake Kaufman (a.k.a. virt). The first of these projects would be Shantae: a 2002 Game Boy Color title published by Capcom. While initially garnering little more than cult status due to releasing late into the system's life, following the release of a second installment almost a decade later, Shantae would grow to become the company's flagship franchise.

Games developed by WayForward include:

     Original Games 

     Other Games 

Other Video Game Franchises

Licensed Games

Published Games

  • Dawn of the Monsters (2022; Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Stadia, and Steam; developed by 13AM Games)
  • Mystik Belle (2017; PlayStation 4 and Xbox One; developed by Last Dimension)note 

Tropes associated with WayForward include:

  • Action Girl: Chances are that whichever game they're working on will usually feature at least one of these. Bonus points if the active girl is the main protagonist.
  • Animesque: The vast majority of their original properties have a distinct Japanese-influenced character art direction. Even some of their early licensed games had in-game graphics similar to Xtreme Sports and Shantae.
  • Black Comedy: Their original games tend to have a liberal amount of cruel humor (even Mighty Switch Force! and Shantae aren't exempt, albeit to a lesser degree).
  • Creator Thumbprint:
    • Young, fun and excitable female protagonists.
    • Lots of humor making fun of video game tropes, shout outs to other games, and even some Self-Deprecation.
    • Well-animated and expressive character sprites, especially true for their older handheld games.
    • Animesque art design of their sprites and characters.
    • Plenty of Fanservice, but not too lewd.
  • Fanservice: You can expect most of their original major female characters to be generously-endowed, up to and including when they're not scantily-clad.
  • Retraux: Their modern licensed and contracted games generally use a pixel graphic style.
  • Self-Deprecation: The company has a distinct sense of humor about themselves. They'll take a mistake or goof on their part and turn it into a Running Gag.

Alternative Title(s): Way Forward