NetEase Games acquires 'No More Heroes' series developer, Grasshopper Manufacture Inc.

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Best known for developing games like No More Heroes Series, LOLLIPOP CHAINSAW and killer 7, Grasshopper Manufacture Inc. has been integrated into China-based NetEase Games (Identity V, LifeAfter, NARAKA: BLADEPOINT). The acquisition, under an equity transfer agreement signed on May 31st, 2021, was made public today for an undisclosed sum. NetEase Games maintains that the acquisition will support the developer in the following aspects:
  • Creative freedom: Creators can create games in the theme and gameplay style about which they are most passionate.
  • Managerial autonomy: Creators have full authority to manage their own teams.
  • Incentives for success: Providing creators with a worry-free environment allowing them to fully focus on creation.
Goichi Suda, Representative Director and CEO of Grasshopper Manufacture Inc., also issued a statement following the news, which you can read below:

Grasshopper Manufacture Inc. has just celebrated its 23rd anniversary in March this year. For the past 23 years, our team of creators with various backgrounds and personalities have presented a variety of games to gamers. We are now given a unique opportunity to rethink the game development and organization structure of Grasshopper Manufacture Inc. moving forward. While understanding our own advantages and unique position, we were presented with new possibilities in game creation.

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. When talking with NetEase about "developing more unique console games together", we resonated. After a lot of thoughts, we’ve unanimously decided to "get together" in the long term through deeper cooperation to create more good content for gamers.

NetEase Games understands the strengths of Grasshopper Manufacture Inc. and is willing to support us, and is an extremely reliable partner. NetEase Games will be mainly responsible for advising on our business planning activities and providing sufficient funding for game development. 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.

Grasshopper Manufacture Inc., moving towards the brand-new future of game development, is now reborn and will continue to create history. Stay tuned.

:arrow:SOURCE: GBAtemp Inbox
 
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duwen

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Bittersweet news. While it's saddening to see any indie team get absorbed into a larger corporation (especially one as beloved as Grasshopper), it really does seem like it may be a beneficial move.
Here's hoping we get to see a bunch more Suda craziness over the coming years!
 

Foxi4

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This is worrisome to me considering No More Heroes and all related intellectual property belong to Marvelous, not to Grasshopper. With Grasshopper being now acquired by another party I think number 3 may have been the last sequel we’ll see for a while, if we’ll see sequels or spin-offs at all. Shame, really - one of my all-time favourites.
 

Foxi4

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"Incentives for success: Providing creators with a worry-free environment allowing them to fully focus on creation."
One of things is not like the other.

+ usual will it be catering to Chinese sensibilities concerns.
Don’t worry - gamers already get negative social score anyway, so SUDA doesn’t have to worry too much about his rights. :lol:
 

duwen

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This is worrisome to me considering No More Heroes and all related intellectual property belong to Marvelous, not to Grasshopper. With Grasshopper being now acquired by another party I think number 3 may have been the last sequel we’ll see for a while, if we’ll see sequels or spin-offs at all. Shame, really - one of my all-time favourites.
Suda already said that 3 would be the last in the franchise, as he wanted to concentrate on new IP's - which is what Grasshopper are best at, and what I as a a Grasshopper fan am most excited for. The only Grasshopper titles to get sequels have been NMH and Silver Case (and Suda wasn't writer/director on NMH2, he's only credited in a supervisory role).
 

Foxi4

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Suda already said that 3 would be the last in the franchise, as he wanted to concentrate on new IP's - which is what Grasshopper are best at, and what I as a a Grasshopper fan am most excited for. The only Grasshopper titles to get sequels have been NMH and Silver Case (and Suda wasn't writer/director on NMH2, he's only credited in a supervisory role).
He’s already reversed himself on that statement in interviews, but he was more interested in spin-offs rather than a direct sequel, and if he were to make a sequel, he specified a timeframe - in 10 years, so no plans until next gens come out, whatever they might be. According to SUDA, the only reason why 3 is likely the last game in the series is because he doesn’t technically own the IP and any development would be contingent on Marvelous giving him the green light to do so. He has a script for the sequel ready and the ending of NMH 3 directly references what he wrote down.
 
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ArcharGelod

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That's a really great news. More money means they'll release more games. Can't wait for new "Killer is Dead", "Lollipop Chainsaw" for ios and android. /s
 

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seems like an usual purchase for a chinese investor. Were they struggling financially? I really doubt it was a purchase driven by admiration for Marvelous' back catalogue, but who knows.
 

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Working for billion-dollar Japanese mobile game publisher: cool and indie and punk
Working for billion-dollar Chinese mobile game publisher: very uncool, sell-out
 

deisuke1234

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If I remember correctly that company has recruited one of the creator for the Yakuza serie. Also now they have bought grasshopper. I have a feeling something big will happen.
 
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