Founded in 1998 by Goichi Suda, Grasshopper Manufacture is best known for games like Killer 7, Lollipop Chainsaw, and No More Heroes. Today, the studio announced it is being acquired by Chinese conglomerate NetEase Games.
In 2013, the then-independent Grasshopper Manufacture was acquired by Japanese publisher GungHo Online Entertainment, which is best known for Ragnarok Online and Puzzle & Dragons. At first glance, it seemed like an odd fit, to be honest.
“We believe the strength of a publisher lies in its creative talent so with the addition of Grasshopper Manufacture and SUDA51 we are adding some of the most innovative talent in today’s gaming world to our stellar family of independently-operated studios,” Kazuki Morishita, President and CEO of GungHo Online Entertainment, said at the time.
Now, through an equity transfer agreement made this past May, Grasshopper Manufacture will pass from GungHo to the NetEase Games stable.
“As we all know, NetEase Games has developed many excellent games in the past, and I have long been aware of NetEase’s creative capabilities,” said Suda in an official statement. “When talking with NetEase about “developing more unique console games together”, we resonated.” This decision, he added, is a long term one. According to Suda, NetEase Games understands Grasshopper Manufacture’s strengths and will support the studio as a reliable partner.
“NetEase Games will be mainly responsible for advising on our business planning activities and providing sufficient funding for game development,” continued Suda. Grasshopper Manufacture will be responsible for the creativity and making sure the games are Grasshopper Manfacture-y.
“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,” said Suda. “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.”
Most recently, the studio released No More Heroes III on Nintendo Switch. (Read our review right here.)
“NetEase is honoured to be the companion of Mr. Suda and Grasshopper Manufacture Inc. on this new journey into the future,” wrote NetEase Game in an official statement. “We hope to give the studio creative freedom and sufficient resource support in order to empower said studio to create even more sensational works for gamers worldwide.”