A legacy 20 years in the making
I can’t even believe it, but somehow the Shantae franchise is already 20 years old! I still remember pining over the original Game Boy Color game, which was extremely hard to find when it first released. When I finally did get to play it, I was floored by the game’s scope, soundtrack, and animations. It instantly became one of my favorites, and that’s remained true to this day.
In honor of the 20th anniversary, WayForward has put together a look back at each installment in the Shantae franchise. That feature includes comment from Erin Bozon, creator of the Shantae character and the original game concept. Erin discussed the franchise’s growth and her aspirations for the character back 20 years ago, and you can see her full comments below.
“When I started, my focus was on character animation, and Shantae was my first original game pitch. I wanted to see if we could develop it into a full game, and maybe if it caught on, it could expand into TV shows or even a toy. I planned for the possibility of sequel games, with more dances and transformations, and a wide array of characters and creatures. Looking back, it was a lot harder and took many years and multiple games to build up a fanbase. But here we are, 20 years later, and fans are still spreading their love of Shantae. Without them, this never would have come to fruition!
Over the years we’ve been sent a lot of fan letters and drawings, and I’ve been lucky enough to meet some of the fans in person. I love talking with them at events, and am honored when someone has drawn a picture of Shantae or when I’ve run into someone wearing a Shantae t-shirt. I’ve even met a few people who have cosplayed as Shantae. It’s such an honor to see their versions of the character, and know that Shantae is personal to them. I’m also happy to see an increase in female Shantae fans lately. It’s especially exciting when I see girls and women who connect with the character, since one of my original goals was to encourage more girl gamers.The next generation of girls in my family have also taken a liking to Shantae, which makes me so happy! Of course, I hope Shantae will be enjoyed by everyone!”