Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night is one of the most successful Kickstarter crowdfunding projects from 2015, and it is still in development. But now, a new team is coming in to support production of the Metroidvania-style action game. Shantae: Half-Genie Hero studio WayForward Technologies is joining developers ArtPlay and DICO. Together, all three will polish up the game for its release in 2019.
“As you may already know, [WayForward is] top-tier when it comes to side-scrolling action games,” Iga wrote in a blog post. “There is even a staff member who previously worked on one of my projects, which is incredibly encouraging.”
Fans of the later-day Castlevania games have waited for years to play Bloodstained. But since 2015, producer Koji Igarashi has delayed the game repeatedly. Iga says his team is struggling to deal with bugs and other elements of development. That is where WayForward is going to come in and offer up its support.
“In consideration of their past achievements, WayForward will be helping the development team realize my vision for this game,” wrote Iga. “Maybe I am even more excited than everyone else — with their help Bloodstained will become an even better game.”
Iga notes that WayForward has already started working on Bloodstained. The studio is trying to eliminate a “really tough” bug at the moment.
But WayFoward’s contributions will go beyond quality control.
WayFoward has a pedigree
In all of gaming, few studios have worked on 2D sidescrolling action games as consistently and at such a high level as WayForward. The company’s first game was Mickey’s Ultimate Challenge for the Super Nintendo, Genesis, and a variety of other platforms in 1994. It has then spent the next several decades bouncing between its own projects and a number of licensed games.
While fans know WayForward for Shantae, the studio also has a reputation for producing high-quality licensed releases as well. The most famous of those projects is The Mummy Demastered, which is a retro-style adaptation of the Tom Cruise film from 2017. But it has also developed respected licensed games such as Batman: The Brave and the Bold and Looney Tunes: Duck Amuck, which are both for the Nintendo DS.
Bringing that studio on should give Bloodstained a better chance of living up to expectations. That’s a concern because Iga would likely want to turn this into an ongoing franchise. But to accomplish that, it has to nail Ritual of the Night. If that comes out and disappoints fans, it could come and go similar to other Kickstarter project (and Mega Man spiritual successor) Mighty No. 9.