History[edit | edit source]
Origins, label and merch store[edit | edit source]
The website launched in June 2010 as a record label to represent the musicians that composed the music for MS Paint Adventures. Eventually it grew into an online store, producing and selling god tier hoodies, plush dolls, vinyl figurines, poster prints and much more.
Homestuck Kickstarter[edit | edit source]
Once the Homestuck Adventure Game Kickstarter concluded, the fundraising campaign for what later became Hiveswap, What Pumpkin was left with the arduous task of shipping out over 7000 packages to their backers. The studio also had a hand in developing the HTML5 web based game Namco High. What Pumpkin's Director of Business Development George Rohac and Andrew Hussie both took part in the project as co-producer and creative director respectively.
In October 2014, Andrew Hussie announced that What Pumpkin had taken the reins from The Odd Gentlemen in the development of Hiveswap, thus effectively becoming a game development studio. It can be assumed that What Pumpkin was split into two separate branches, with What Pumpkin Studios Florida which handling retail orders for MSPA merchandise, and What Pumpkin Studios New York handling video game development.
In July 2015, it was announced that What Pumpkin would be entering a partnership with We Love Fine (now known as Forfansbyfans), a popular online retailer that the company had worked with before. This partnership handed the merchandise production side of company over to We Love Fine, though What Pumpkin would still be involved with the process. The What Pumpkin site was redirected to the Homestuck group on We Love Fine.
In April 2016, following the release of [S] Collide, the website was relaunched, primarily to sell prints, but also to sell other items previously available on the old site. This iteration of the website has since also closed.
Post-Homestuck[edit | edit source]
In May 2016, a new suite of projects in development were announced in collaboration with actor Dante Basco, under the name Homestuck 2.0. However, the video announcing these was removed by What Pumpkin on October 24th 2016, and many of the initiatives described in it appear to have been shelved.
In September 2017, after five years due to frequent production delays and changes, What Pumpkin Studios successfully released the first episode of the Homestuck Adventure Game, known as Hiveswap: Act 1. Two months later, in November, it was announced that Hiveswap: Act 2 was projected to release in Spring 2018.
Viz Media partnership[edit | edit source]
In March and April 2018, a number of high profile employees at What Pumpkin Studios confirmed that they had parted ways with the company, including Hiveswap director Cohen Edenfield, composers James Roach and Toby Fox, and artists Shelby Cragg, Poinko, and Rah Bop. The company revealed that they were undergoing a period of transition, but that development of Hiveswap would remain the long-term focus. These changes coincided with the hosting for Homestuck being moved from mspaintadventures.com to the new homestuck.com host, and the shift in management of the site and content to media company Viz Media, seemingly de-emphasizing the role of What Pumpkin as some of its copyright credits were redacted from various Hiveswap and Homestuck websites.
At the same time, What Pumpkin announced via the same post and with a trailer the debut of Hiveswap Friendship Simulator , a new Hiveswap spinoff game series modelled on dating sim visual novels, as part of a new focus on producing smaller, lightweight games between the release of Hiveswap acts. The first volume of this series released on April 13th, 2018, and the last, Vol. 18, released on December 14th of that year.
In December 2018, the What Pumpkin tumblr was shut down, and the URL is currently owned by another group. On New Year's Day, 2019, the former What Pumpkin twitter account was blanked and renamed @skaianetsystems as part of the Skaianet Systems Incorporated event. During this time there were no longer any active "What Pumpkin" social media accounts, although news continued to be delivered via Forfansbyfans (formerly We Love Fine), Viz Media, and the Homestuck twitter account.
Homestuck Epilogues and What Pumpkin Games[edit | edit source]
On April 13th, 2019, the @skaianetsystems twitter account was renamed back to @whatpumpkin. On this same day, the release day of The Homestuck Epilogues, the whatpumpkin.com web domain was relaunched with a new logo and title, "What Pumpkin Games". Both What Pumpkin Games and What Pumpkin continue to consist a part of the team and branding behind Pesterquest and Homestuck^2: Beyond Canon, two further post-Homestuck works that commenced later in 2019.
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- The name of the company is a reference to the pumpkin's very enigmatic presence in MSPA.
- Exactly how many people work for What Pumpkin is not known, however Hussie once gave an extremely rough estimate of "somewhere between 30 and 1000".
- Using the Hiveswap dev blog as reference, it would appear there were somewhere between 14 and 17 people working at What Pumpkin Studios NYC during the period of the company's existence for which the blog and the NYC studio were active.