In rather surprising news, Suda51's studio Grasshopper Manufacture is forgoing its independence and has been acquired by Japanese corporation GungHo Online Entertainment. The mutli-studio corp. is perhaps best known for Gravity Corp. and its game Ragnarok Online, along with the sequel which is currently in open beta. Suda51 sold out!
Here's what Goichi Suda had to say about the acquisition and the future of Grasshopper Manufacture:
"By joining GungHo Online Entertainment, we are aligning ourselves with a strong, established publishing force that will support our vision to further create inspired new games that appeal players across the world. The Grasshopper team and I have many new ideas to share with our fans as we move forward so this union with GOE will help us realize our future plans."
It's rather curious to see a studio acquisition so soon after a particularly large media campaign to reveal a new game. We've been bombarded by Killer is Dead concept art, early details and a trailer in recent weeks, which leads me to believe Grasshopper was shopping itself. Perhaps the studio was facing money troubles and needed funding quickly.
I only say this because GungHo doesn't especially seem like Suda51 or Grasshopper Manufacture's style. Microtransation-based MMOs, mobile games and handheld RPGs aren't exactly what Grasshopper's focus is in. Still, if it means Suda51 can keep making the games he loves to make, then by all means.
Want more Killer is Dead, please.