Suda51, creator of games including, Lollipop Chainsaw, Killer7, No More Heroes, and Shadows of the Damned, has sold his company Grasshopper Manufacture to GungHo Online Entertainment. However Suda51 and president of GunHo Kazuki Morishita spoke to 4Gamer to help fans understand that Grasshopper Manufacture didn’t sellout.
Morishita began the interview with 4Gamer by killing the fears fans had… “I’d like Suda-san to remain focussed on Grasshopper rather than GungHo as a whole. Of course now I’ll be involved in Grasshopper’s creative output, but since Suda-san is there, in a lot of ways it actually equates to a taking load off my own work. Basically, I’d like Grasshopper Manufacture to continue to make games in the manner they are accustomed to.” Then Suda explained the origin of the takeover.. “Around 2011, I was thinking about what I should do with the company, groping about in the dark to try and figure out the real purpose, the real value of Grasshopper Manufacture, so, while we were deciding our next project, I was too absorbed in the management side of business to really focus on the creative. Morishita-san said ‘isn’t that my job?’, and it put me back on the right path.”
Apparently, regular drinking sessions and a love for grilled chicken has forged this friendship. In the interview, by 4Gamer, Suda goes into an even larger explanation behind this exchange. This is what he said in quote.. “Up until now, we’ve been lucky enough to have worked with big name clients, and I’m very thankful to have learned all I have from them. However, at the same time, it’s also true it was difficult to truly grasp the creative reigns of a project, which is a situation I’ve been trying to rectify, That’s not the main reason though. For example, in our latest game, Lollipop Chainsaw, the back and forth between us and the client was ultimately a good thing I believe. But I believe as a developer, to stay in this kind of environment is stifling. We really want to go all out in the future, and I think it’s necessary for a closer relationship with the publisher in order to do so.. For example, if we wanted to make a title that was focussed on online play, we wouldn’t be able to if publishers weren’t interested in funding such a game,but equally, since we’ve been focussed on single player experiences, we wouldn’t have the resources and knowledge base to make such a game on our own anyway. I’ve always wanted to make use of the strengths of online. It’s a layer I’ve wanted to add to our repertoire.”
Although no plans mentioned directly, Suda51 also kept talking about the mobile games industry and how Puzzles & Dragons,published by GungHo Online Entertainment, was the game app that made him think of smart phones as competition to traditional gaming devices. After being asked to address his fans directly Suda51 stated..“I’m going to work up a hell of a sweat for the enjoyment of the players of our games, trying to make the most creative games I can.”
I think that is surely a quote to live by. I enjoy Suda51‘s games so I’m excited to hear that this will allow him to delve more into the creativity of his works yet again.