When Microsoft showed the Australian developed Way to the Woods at E3, the response was incredible. The developer, Melbourne’s Anthony Tan was featured on Junkee, the Sydney Morning Herald and Polygon to name a few outlets. Tan started work on what would become Way to the Woods when he was 16 and uploaded screenshots to Reddit and it took off.
Shortly after, in 2016, Way to the Woods was featured on Polygon and word of mouth began to spread. When I asked Charla about how ID@Xbox got involved, he told me that he saw it on Twitter.
“Honestly, one morning I was just looking at Twitter in bed and I saw somebody retweeted Way to the Woods. I think it was a gif of the deer in the subway or something.
“I was like ‘Oh my GOSH!”
Way to the Woods
That same day, Charla got into work and gathered his team, telling them he had something he had to show them.
I’m like, ‘You guys, have you SEEN this?!
And everybody just looked at me and said, ‘You mean the deer game? We’re already trying to email them…
Charla said that everyone in his team was equally excited and since everyone follows the same kinds of people, Way to the Woods had been in all of their feeds.
“We started emailing with Anthony [Tan] and the next thing, it’s on stage at E3.” Finding a game on Twitter like that seemed crazy to me so I asked Charla if it was a common occurrence and he said it happens all the time.
We certainly have people who will come to us all the time and we often have devs who we’ve worked with before, introduce us to their friends. But we’ll often see something and Twitter and just go nuts.
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Way to the Woods certainly looks like an incredibly beautiful and artistic game and it’s one I’m keen to play. It’s likely that the game would still exist today, but without ID@Xbox it would have a very different path.
It’s absolutely brilliant that developers in this day and age are able to get noticed by the internet and in turn, have Microsoft reach out to them to help support development.
Way to the Woods is coming to Xbox One and PC in 2020.