WayForward Joins Bloodstained Development Team, Aiming for 2019 Launch

WayForward is now co-developing Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night. Koji Igarashi and his team tapped the Shantae developer to help finish Bloodstained development. Publisher 505 Games expects to release the Castlevania spiritual successor in 2019.

In a Kickstarter update from today, Igarashi announced the partnership with WayFoward.

“For this month’s update, we have an incredible support who will be joining the Bloodstained team,” said the post. “Can you guess who? It’s WayForward! That’s right, WayForward, the makers of Shantae! As you may already know, they are top-tier when it comes to side-scrolling action games. There is even a staff member who previously worked on one of my projects, which is incredibly encouraging. In consideration of their past achievements, WayForward will be helping the development team realize my vision for this game. Maybe I am even more excited than everyone else – with their help Bloodstained will become an even better game.”

WayForward joins DICO and ArtPlay on Bloodstained development. The American studio was founded in 1994, and its first game was Mickey’s Ultimate Challenge. Shantae came out in 2002 on the Game Boy Color, which launched their most well-known series. Shantae Half-Genie Hero, which released in 2016, was crowdfunded and received critical and commercial success. The studio released The Mummy Demastered last year, which earned a cult following for its wicked good theme song and solid 2D action.

Bloodstained was kickstarted in 2015 to the tune of over $5.5 million on a $500,000 goal. Koji Igarashi, the project’s lead, was instrumental to Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, and later Castlevania titles. He left Konami in 2014, and founded Artplay to begin work on Bloodstained. The game was originally set to release in 2017, and has been delayed as recently as August of this year.

A companion game, Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon, was released earlier this year. It was a throwback to 8-bit Castlevania titles, and was well-received upon release in May. Ritual of the Night is currently planned for release on the PS4, Switch, Xbox One, and PC. PlayStation Vita and Wii U versions of the game were planned, but have since been cancelled during the game’s protracted development.