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.
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 is now 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, a popular online retailer that the company has worked with before. This partnership hands the merchandise production side of company over to We Love Fine, though What Pumpkin will still be involved with the process. The What Pumpkin site 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.
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.
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 second is due to release on the 27th of that month.
- 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 gives 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.