Grasshopper Manufacture is the latest studio to be bought out, shortly after Suda51 revealed he almost made a Deadpool game.
It’s easy to forget that Microsoft and Sony aren’t the only companies on the prowl for new studio acquisitions. Chinese company NetEase (the second largest games company in the country behind Tencent) is the latest to make such an acquisition, namely Grasshopper Manufacture – the studio behind the No More Heroes series.
CEO Goichi Suda (aka Suda51) shared the announcement on the studio’s official website, who describes it as less of a buyout and more of a ‘get together’ and ‘a unique opportunity to rethink the game development and organization structure of Grasshopper Manufacture Inc. moving forward.’ Although it is assuredly a buyout since Grasshopper originally belonged to GungHo Online Entertainment, which has been Grasshopper’s parent company since 2013.
NetEase is best known for publishing mobile games, but the acquisition doesn’t mean Grasshopper will be forced to change its modus operandi. Suda even states that talks with NetEase involved ‘developing more unique console games together’ and that its main responsibilities will lie with the business and funding side of things.
‘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 flavour’ and game quality for which we are known.’
A statement from NetEase adds ‘NetEase Games is a company of passionate gamers, and many of them are fans of Grasshopper Manufacture Inc. … 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.’
Speaking of new games, Suda mentions that three ‘even higher quality’ games are in the works and aim to be released over the next 10 years. In an interview with VGC, he confirmed that all three are brand new properties and not sequels to any of the studio’s previous games (so no No More Heroes 4), although he says he’d love to work on a Gundam game, as well as potentially revisit Killer Is Dead with a remake or remaster.
In that same interview, Suda reveals that he was once approached by Activision to make a game featuring Deadpool, Marvel’s fourth wall breaking Merc with a Mouth. Considering his experience with over-the-top action and meta comedy, Suda does seem like the perfect choice to make a Deadpool game.
The offer came shortly after the release of the first No More Heroes, but it never got past the planning stages. Suda seems to still be interested in the idea, but he also believes it may not happen now.
Suda does technically have an in with Marvel to try and get it off the ground. In 2012, he worked on Lollipop Chainsaw with James Gunn, who directs the Guardians Of The Galaxy movies. Gunn doesn’t seem opposed to working with Suda again either; one of the fight scenes in The Suicide Squad (which he also directed) was even directly inspired by Lollipop Chainsaw.
Deadpool’s actor Ryan Reynolds also liked a VGC tweet mentioning Suda’s desire to work with the character. If Suda’s lucky, perhaps Reynolds can pull a few strings.
No More Heroes creator @suda_51 has said he would love to make a Deadpool game with Marvel.https://t.co/ePE74G1mft pic.twitter.com/vncFHbolzl
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