News Article

WayForward Launches Kickstarter Campaign for Shantae: Half-Genie Hero

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

Wii U listed as a platform

Late last week WayForward began a countdown to a Kickstarter project, prompting fans to speculate on what it could be. Perhaps unsurprisingly it's for a new title in one of its most adored original IPs — Shantae: Half-Genie Hero. If funded it'll be a multi-platform HD adventure for the character, with the Wii U listed.

Led by the company's Matt Bozon, its main goal of $400,000 will deliver an opening stage and boss, three chapters and a big conclusion; stretch goals beginning at $600,000 could potentially add additional chapters. The usual re-traversal will be included, as returning to previous chapters with new abilities will provide accessibility to fresh areas. In explaining the choice to use crowdfunding, the studio explains that it wants to "create a large-scale multi-console game that's well beyond our usual self-publishing budgets".

The cheapest pledge that will secure a copy of the game is $15, though there is an "early adopter" option limited to 1000 backers that offers the same deal for $12; these are disappearing fast. You can check it all out on the official Kickstarter page; the target release window given is October 2014.

So, are you excited for this? Check out the video below and let us know what you think.

[via kickstarter.com]

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User Comments (95)

ThomasBW84Admin

#7

ThomasBW84 said:

By the way all, the $12 options are disappearing super fast :/

@Yasume - Yep, Wii U, Steam, 360, One, PS3, PS4.

Luigifan141

#9

Luigifan141 said:

Is the 3DS Shante still coming? I haven't really heard anything about it for a while.

MrWalkieTalkie

#14

MrWalkieTalkie said:

With this and Mighty No. 9, I feel sorry for any indies starting their donation campaigns this month. They won't hold a candle against big names like Wayforward and Inafune.

Yorumi

#17

Yorumi said:

Ok I'm all for a new shantae game but this just seems abusive. $400,000 for 3 chapters in a game that's roughly 3ds quality give or take? It's a bit of an abuse to me for an established and profitable company like wayforward to use kickstarter. I can get past that but the budget seems outrageous, I hope those chapters are beyond massive.

Don't get me wrong I like shantae games, it just seems to me like they're using kickstarter because they don't want to make the game under a reasonable budget.

Tender_Cutlet

#19

Tender_Cutlet said:

AWESOME! Got my money!! Come on people - if you're reading this then you're a Shantae fan - get your hands in your pockets! :-)

MasterGraveheart

#22

MasterGraveheart said:

...all of my money, all of my money, all of my money... o.o

Hehehe, awesome! I guess they read my tweets last night! ^^

Kroisos

#23

Kroisos said:

As soon as I figure out what rewards I want I'll be pledging. Sheer genius of them to make the t-shirt as high a tier as it is; if it were lower I'd have pledged already.

alrighthearthis

#24

alrighthearthis said:

I hadn't backed a Kickstarter since Massive Chalice. In the past week I've backed Mighty No. 9 and now I'm a proud backer of Shantae: Half-Genie hero.

Shambo

#25

Shambo said:

More belly-dancing goodness? In H to the flippin' D? Say what you want, but great gameplay aside, Wayforward cartoon girl games are still stunning.

russellohh

#27

russellohh said:

@Yorumi I thought about that at first, but you do get a copy of the game. $12-15 feels more like a pre-order than a "please just give me money" type deal. If this helps keep quality companies like WayForward away from big publishers, I'm all for it.

Yorumi

#29

Yorumi said:

@russellohh yeah but all kickstarters do that. This even looks like they're reusing large parts of the duck tales engine. I just don't like that a successful and profitable company is asking for money through kickstarter, and seemingly not fronting any of the bill themselves(there's just no way this should cost $400k). Among other things profits are for funding new projects.

I'll probably back it since I'd be buying the game anyway, it just seems like they're trying to get us to find a game they're perfectly capable of funding themselves, that they'll then sell for profit.

hcfwesker

#30

hcfwesker said:

@alrighthearthis Same Here! I knew the Shadow of Eternals was gonna fail; but Mighty No.9 amd Shantae I have pledged for as well. Though sadly I'm cheap, I'm just pledging for the pre-orders.

sinalefa

#31

sinalefa said:

I wanted Mighty Switch Force 2 in a big screen, so of course I will support a Shantae in the big screen too.

And while I am there, I think I will pledge more for Mighty No. 9. They just said the stretch goal for the console versions lowered to 2 million 2 hundred K!

Tender_Cutlet

#32

Tender_Cutlet said:

@Yorumi

Throughout the 90s and 00s, Wayforward used to make 2-3 titles a year and have only started to take on more and more projects since the turn of this decade. They are planning on releasing at least 7 titles this calendar year - their most productive year to date. That type of growth requires significant funding and whilst they're still not making Ubisoft money they do have an established core Fan base who they can [intelligently] rely on to support further projects and ambitions. You can't knock their strategy.

Yorumi

#34

Yorumi said:

@Capt_Charlie I understand all of that, but with the size of the budget and what's being delivered it just seems like they're making no effort to control their expenses, nor front any of the bill themselves. It also looks like a good bit of the engine already exists since it has to be a modified version of duck tales, that should cut the cost quite a bit too.

I'm not knocking them as a company or the quality of their work, it just seem odd they're asking for almost half a million dollars to make a 2d platformer.

WoottWinds

#37

WoottWinds said:

Happy to back anything Shantae related, one of my favs. I don't know if it's popular enough to hit most of the stretch goals (which is a shame because I want ALL OF THEM), but I'm really hoping it at least gets funded. Really thinking Shantae, Shovel Knight, Mighty No. 9, and Project Phoenix should help and promote each other to get more support.

Warbeard

#39

Warbeard said:

Looks like the same as the previous two games - wasn't impressed at all I'm afraid, although they were good looking.

Kaze_Memaryu

#42

Kaze_Memaryu said:

Wow, that trailer was impressive, needless to say the song was kicking it up!
...but I don't like how Shantae starts looking too much like Mighty Switch Force's art style. They should retain it as they did in Risky's Revenge.

EDIT: I just noticed on their Kickstarter page that apparently, the game seems to get released on WiiU regardless of the outcome, the campaign is seemingly for all the other platforms. So they don't need the money for the game alone, they need it mostly for devkits and stuff on those other platforms.

Reverandjames

#43

Reverandjames said:

@Yorumi I think this is a great idea. $12 will get you the game as a download on the console of your choice, so if the goal is met, they will make the game, and you will have already paid for it. I for one will pledge $20 because I really want it to get made and it's all I can afford. Plus I love wayforward.

NintyMan

#44

NintyMan said:

Cool; I hope this new Shantae game gets good support. This reminds me that we haven't heard much at all about Pirate's Curse in a very long time, and it should be coming out very soon.

citizenerased

#46

citizenerased said:

Anyone know how this "We'll send you a download code for the platform of your choice" works? Does that include the Wii U? I somehow can't imagine Nintendo okay-ing download codes...?

Birthday_Boy

#48

Birthday_Boy said:

I still don't see why this needs to be crowdfunded and they can't publish it completely without our money.

Yorumi

#49

Yorumi said:

@citizenerased nintendo already does download codes through club nintendo and certain cards sold in stores. You'll just get the code in your email and put it into the system and it'll show the game as purchased so you just download it.

Kodeen

#50

Kodeen said:

@Yorumi

$400,000 is not a lot of money in terms of game development. Earlier this year, the team for Skullgirls (a fighting game) launced a $150,000 campaign for a single character. What was really helpful was that they gave a complete breakdown of that amount. And that was assuming an annual salary of $31,200 for their devs, which is nothing.

Now, this is a different scenario, of course, but it gives you a good idea of why development is so expensive.

http://kotaku.com/5986592/it-will-blow-your-mind-to-see-how-much-it-costs-to-add-one-new-character-to-a-fighting-game

Yorumi

#51

Yorumi said:

@Kodeen I know it costs a lot, it just rubs me the wrong way with an established company with an existing engine using kickstarter to fund a game. I just feel it's not in the spirit of kickstarter. To me it just seems like it should be for start ups and people that don't have their own money, nor can secure the kind of loads necessary to start up.

Doesn't matter though I'm still going to back it, this certainly isn't a hill I'm going to die on.

Bilko

#52

Bilko said:

I'm assuming that if it's funded, the game will be available in Europe as well as NA?

Edit: Yep, just heard back from WayForward that a European release is planned.

BakaKnight

#53

BakaKnight said:

Shantae... Wayforward... Music that remember some nice english adaption of a Anime's opening... I guess we couldn't ask for more ^o^

Actually... I was waiting a bit, but gonna download the VC Shantae asap after this news ^^

DarkCoolEdge

#54

DarkCoolEdge said:

I'm with @Yorumi on this one. They are pretty big and more importantly, Shantae 2 sold enough to warrant a sequel. It shouldn't be a problem to get a loan for this one, seems like they go the cheap way "Let the fans pay it upfront! That way we won't have to pay the bank for the loan!".

I'm starting to fed up with all these big stablished developers asking for money. I understand that nobody wanted to finance Broken Age and some other low profile genre games but now they pretend to fund their games through us.

And as I said, if Shantae 2 was profitable they should be able to get a loan without many problems.

shingi_70

#55

shingi_70 said:

Much rather would have had a new IP but this is pretty good and they're probably get $35 for the soundtrack and a PS4 code from me.

Will admit some of those strech goals seem dubious. It seems like the last five of the bonus chapters should be regular levels, and the Carpet ride sounds like DLC.

UnseatingKDawg

#56

UnseatingKDawg said:

Looks pretty darn good! I like the new art style - that song was pretty catchy too. What I'm wondering right now is what's going down with The Pirate's Curse?

CazTheGamerGuy

#60

CazTheGamerGuy said:

No Cat Without Salad? You broke my heart Wayforward...

In all seriousness, this looks great, Shantae skin color aside. I do wonder what stretch goals they'll meet by the end.

russellohh

#61

russellohh said:

@Yorumi I guess all kickstarters do ...do that. I've only paid a kickstarter once. Although they have been around a long time, they are still a pretty small company. I'd be annoyed if EA decided to do a kickstarter, but WayForward? The CEO's phone # and e-mail address are on the companies website- no secretaries, HR staff, etc. Either they're just super laid back, or WayForward is a pretty small company with a modest budget. In the end, I'll support them for almost anything. Shantae's latest game didn't really do it for me for some reason, but Contra 4 is one of my top 10 favorite games. A $400,000 budget is very small- a team making a full-sized Final Fantasy costs about $9,000 an hour to work on. I don't believe I can do a platformer for under $160,000 or so, and even then it would have to have some realllll simple artwork. Remember when SkullGirls wanted to add one more character for $140,000 or so? I'm rambling here, but essentially, WayForward might be old by gaming standards, but they are a tiny, privately owned company. $400,000-600,000 is a percentage of what a decent game like that costs to make. Just to test it, I'd ask for at least $50,000 for 10 months of work. For programming, developing, level design, 3D modeling if needed? OHhh yeah.

MetalKingShield

#62

MetalKingShield said:

Love WayForward and love Shantae, but something about this seems a bit off to me. The character designs have lost all their charm and sex appeal. Shantae was always about belly-dancing mystique but she does, as @Benjamin says, look a like a child here.

GeminiSaint

#63

GeminiSaint said:

It's a slightly "cartoonier" redesign. I like it. But some animations could use a little more inbetweening in my opinion.

RupeeClock

#64

RupeeClock said:

Yup, I like this.
I love the Shantae games, looking forward to the 3DS instalment and now there's this too, sweet, I'm backing this.

Bizzyb

#65

Bizzyb said:

Does she have vitaligo, like Michael Jackson or something?? She's been getting lighter and lighter with each game..!!?

Lalivero

#66

Lalivero said:

...and I thought I was a big fan...two people have pledged $1000 so far. :o Almost $69,000 total now.

Before the month's time is up I'm going to see if I can pledge enough for the complete platinum set.

Edit: What...the...hell?!

Just randomly checked on Ebay and someone who lives only about 30 min from me has one of the sealed copies of the original game, signed!!! o.o

WaveWarlock

#67

WaveWarlock said:

Hmmm, the quality just doesn't quite look like it's there. Give it time i suppose.Yet at this point i just don't care, as far as KickStartin' goes, Mighty N.9 take my money!!!!

Plucky

#68

Plucky said:

So im guessing indirectly, assuming that the this game comes out after the 3rd game, then presumably the 3rd game wont end with something debatable about the Genie half of her lineage...or pull some stunt by saying she's Half-Youkai...because one half HAS to be human, right?....right?

adam9431

#69

adam9431 said:

In addition to this Kickstarter, Mighty No. 9, and the billion games and systems I have preordered, I will be broke by xmas.......

citizenerased

#74

citizenerased said:

People who love Shantae but are cynical about this project: Why don't you just take this as an opportunity to pre-order the game? It's only 15 bucks for a HD Shantae. That's what I did, and I don't even have my Wii U yet. You pre-ordering it now may very well result in extra stages being added.

Randomname19

#75

Randomname19 said:

@ErnisDy Because big video game companies are huge cowards.Just look at Ubisoft,they think Rayman(their best character) is a risk and keep focusing on Assasin's Creed which is getting stale.

AlexSora89

#77

AlexSora89 said:

Don't want to be a stick in the mud, but "multiplatform" means this is yet another franchise losing its status as a Nintendo exclusive. Sigh.

unrandomsam

#79

unrandomsam said:

@citizenerased The first one way very high quality they have spoilt it afterwards. (If they go back to the same length / difficulty / quality of controls it might be worth it but they won't thinking they are improving things).

unrandomsam

#80

unrandomsam said:

@DarkCoolEdge More importantly the only Shantae they did well. (The first one which is truly great) was done in between other games. The rest (Other than Contra 4) have been subpar or too short or basically a tech demo.

UnseatingKDawg

#82

UnseatingKDawg said:

Well... I caved and donated $45. I was only going for the $12 variant, but that's a tad sold out. That, and I have the money, so why not?

Randomname19

#84

Randomname19 said:

@ErnisDy The games Ubisoft made before were even more awesome.I still play them sometimes. I played both Rayman Origins and the Rayman Legends demo and they're good,but not as good.

aaronsullivan

#85

aaronsullivan said:

@Yorumi
I partially agree with your assessment about kickstarter primarily there to help unestablished groups start something, but this is a way around publishers. WayForward isn't a publisher so they have to decide what to make at the whims of others for the most part. In a sense Kickstarter is allowing them to sidestep the publisher system. Not really that different than what other smaller groups benefit from.

To me, Kickstarting games is a step towards closer communication and support (both ways) between the gamer and the developer who makes the games. This follows closely. As an example of the benefit, I betcha she gets her darker skin back before this thing releases, where a publisher might have made the call differently.

About the amount they are asking for:
If 10 people are working on this for a year they are getting a $40,000 salary. That's without any overhead facility costs, benefits, or outside contracting included. That seems reasonable to me.

That_Guy_from_Faxana

#86

That_Guy_from_Faxana said:

I´m actually quite angry at Shantaes change from oriental to white. Feels like a cynical switch to me.

EDIT: They changed her back to her real self. Now I´m a backer :)

I prefer the old pixel style too, but I can live with the vector-looking HD.

Sionyn

#87

Sionyn said:

cool and good luck to wayforward love shantae

one thing i never understood about these types of campaigns for making games is the fact YOU pay for the development of the game THEN YOU have to pay for the game seems like a raw deal, shouldn't it be free if you already paid for the development. The guys who made carmagedon did something similar starting a campaign to port their game to android they decided as a good will gesture they'd release the game for free for a short amount of time to thank the backers.

Henmii

#88

Henmii said:

Nice cell-shading style! Is the 3DS title canceled? Anyway, this looks good!

citizenerased

#91

citizenerased said:

@Sionyn You can back the campaign by pre-ordering the game on any platform for $15... Most videogame Kickstarters put the game as a reward, so I don't get your point.

shinesprite

#92

shinesprite said:

Hmmm, I really really like the Stantae series, but I have my reservations about the new art/music style. The enemies look fine, but the 2.5D world reminds me of Lost Winds (in a bad way), and frankly I just don't think the cartoon/kid style suits the main character. :|

Sionyn

#94

Sionyn said:

i have backed the campaign, but that it you see that it, they made their money my question was is right they charge for this game after they already asked people to pay for the game to be made, this isnt just wayforward up to these tricks.

seems unethical to ask for money to make a game and then profit after the game what about the kind backers who paid for it to be made do they get a cut ? or maybe it should be free since the development cost have been paid for

RadioShadow

#95

RadioShadow said:

@Sionyn: What are you on about? Anyone who pays $15 or more is basically pre-ordering the game while some of the money is going towards development. Once it gets released, you get a code to download the game (1 download) + other goodies.

People who don't support, basically have to pay for the game and that's it. Why should they get it for free? I don't get what you're on about.

If WayForward do make a profit, well good on them. They don't have to give the backers any money. That's like donating money to charity and expecting something in return. Doesn't work like that. <_<

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