A Grasshopper Manufacture, the studio led by the legend of the games Goichi Suda (or Suda 51) and responsible for games like 'No More Heroes', was acquired by the Chinese giant NetEase, through a share transfer agreement carried out in the first half of 2021 – more specifically, on May 31st.
In the year that marks the game developer's 23rd birthday, Suda was happy with the acquisition, and stated in an official announcement that he has good prospects for the future. He also stated that the purchase will allow a rethinking of the approach to the development and structural organization of titles, with several advantages in the creative process.
“Our studio is made up of a diverse team with varied experiences and personalities, all passionate about video games. By reflecting on the strengths and peculiarities of our company, I could see a new future for our way of creative production”, stated the company's CEO.
Suda also commented on the desire to create more unique console games and “give free rein to creativity” knowing that budgets can grow with the acquisition by NetEase, thus allowing them to dream bigger than they ever could. “Our goal is to make the most of these features and deliver three quintessential Grasshopper Manufacture games over the next 10 years,” he revealed.
“NetEase Games has released a lot of fantastic games and I've been hearing about their good reputation for a long time. When NetEase Games presented the opportunity to work together on exclusive games, I came to the conclusion that by working together, we can create even more powerful and creative titles for our audience,” he says in an announcement.
Suda also guaranteed that he retains the position of President of Grasshopper Manufacture and assured that they will maintain full creative control of future projects. “The games will remain characteristic of the studio's DNA,” he said.
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Suda concluded the announcement by highlighting how positive the partnership is for the studio, both financially and human resources, "with access to new resources provided by NetEase". The acquisition, he said, also means that Grasshopper Manufacture will expand and "is currently looking for new employees."
Netease Games currently has more than 10 game producers and is betting on the Japanese market to reach global reach. Rumors, according to the website IGN, suggest that the studio is in talks with Toshihiro Nagoshi, creator of the 'Yakuza' franchise and who recently left Sega, for a new project.
Also in an official statement, NetEase added that it is "delighted" to partner with the Japanese studio, whose "design philosophy and artistic creativity make it different from all others." Total creative freedom and the necessary resources is what they promise – and guarantee – to offer.
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