WayForward Technologies is an independent video game developer and publisher that was founded by Voldi Way in 1990. Based in Valencia, California the studio has developed a variety of original games but is best known for the Shantae series.
The company was founded by Voldi Way on March 1, 1990 as an independent video game design company. The inspiration for the name of the company did not only come from Voldi’s last name but was a tribute to his favorite author, Douglas Adams. Best known for “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”, Adams wrote another series called “Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency”. The novel featured a character named Gordon Way who owned a software development company called “WayForward Technologies” and Voldi thought it was the perfect fit for his new start-up company.
Early on, the company focused on publishing games created by independence developers for the PC, as well as developing their own small-scale PC games. They ventured into creating console games with the release of “Mickey’s Ultimate Challenge” developed for the Sega Genesis, Super Nintendo, Game Boy, Game Gear and Master System.
During the mid 1990’s they began working on educational computer games for the PC and Leapster and in 1994 entered into a partnership with American Education Publishing further securing their position in creating educational games. In April 1997 the company would shift focus once again, this time working as a developer for hire offering their services to software publishers looking for a development studio to create particular games.
It wasn’t until 2002 before WayForward released their first game based on their own intellectual property. Developed for the Game Boy Color, Shantae released to critical acclaim however only saw moderate success due to being released as the end of the Game Boy Color lifecycle. It was one of the last games to be released for the Game Boy Color and Nintendo’s handheld successor console the Game Boy Advance was released a year earlier.
WayForward has since worked on games for various publishers for a multitude of handheld and home video game consoles. The company would continue to work on games that publishers contracted them to create such as Contra 4 and DuckTales Remastered while also creating new intellectual properties and expanding upon their existing intellectual properties such as Mighty Switch Force and Shantae.