Chinese tech company NetEase has announced that it has purchased Killer7 and No More Heroes developer Grasshopper Manufacturer, giving Suda51's company much-needed funding for the future.
If you're not quite familiar with Grasshopper Manufacturer, it's a Japanese game developer that was founded by Goichi "Suda51" Suda 23 years ago. The company's most recent release was No More Heroes 3, a game that may very well be the final adventure of Travis Touchdown. The eclectic designer behind these delightfully weird games is also exploring teaming up with Hidetake "Swery" Suehiro, a fellow director and writer who most recently launched The Good Life.
Suda51 and Swery's game Hotel Barcelona -- which Suda51 is still very interested in making -- is the only upcoming project that we had any details about from Suda51. Now, we know at least one reason why there hasn't been much information on the company's next game: a deal has been in the works for Grasshopper Manufacturer to be acquired by Netease, and that deal has finally gone through.
"Grasshopper Manufacture Inc. (Headquarters: Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, CEO: Goichi Suda) announced that the company will join NetEase Games under the equity transfer agreement signed on May 31st, 2021." read an announcement on the company's website.
The Future of Suda 51 and No More Heroes Developer Grasshopper Manufacture
Hotel Barcelona aside, No More Heroes developer Grasshopper Manufacturer appears keen to leverage the resources of NetEase now that it's become a part of the company: we'll apparently get a few interesting projects over the next decade.
"NetEase Games will be mainly responsible for advising on our business planning activities and providing sufficient funding for game development," read a portion of the statement from Suda51. "We will be responsible for the creativity and production of games to ensure that we are able to continue to maintain the consistent 'Grasshopper Manufacture flavor' and game quality for which we are known. In addition, we will also receive strong support from the NetEase team composed of thousands of artists and technical experts in terms of game art and quality assurance. We will make the most of this support and strive to offer three even higher-quality 'Grasshopper Manufacture Games' to all gamers in the next ten years."
It's difficult to predict what those games will be like. Killer7, No More Heroes, and Lollipop Chainsaw were all great games in their own right, but they also brought their fair share of weirdness to the table. That unique design philosophy is apparently part of what attracted NetEase in the first place.
"NetEase Games is a company of passionate gamers, and many of them are fans of Grasshopper Manufacture Inc. Mr. Suda's games have unique characteristics," read a statement from NetEase. "They manifest his design philosophy and artistic pursuit in every aspect – from concept to content."
"[...] Grasshopper Manufacture Inc. is one of a kind in terms of mood setting, movement design, and narrative rhythm design. Their strong passion for creativity, which has continued for decades, is extremely admirable. NetEase is honored to be the companion of Mr. Suda and Grasshopper Manufacture Inc. on this new journey into the future."
Whatever the end result may be, bringing No More Heroes developer Grasshopper Manufacturer under its fold is sure to increase the strength of NetEase's offerings -- along with the bonus of giving Suda51 the resources to make his designs come to life.
What do you think of NetEase acquiring Grasshopper Manufacturer? What would you like to see from Suda51's next game? Let us know in the comments below!