NetEase acquires Grasshopper Manufacture

NetEase acquires Grasshopper Manufacture, developer of games like No More Heroes, Killer7, and Lollipop Chainsaw.
NetEase Grasshopper
NetEase has acquired the successful Japanese game studio Grasshopper.

Chinese mobile game developer NetEase is steadily expanding through investments, acquisitions and publishing deals. Now, as part of this expansion, the company will also include the leading Japanese game studio Grasshopper, which celebrated its 23rd anniversary in March.

Goichi Suda (also known as Suda51) founded Grasshopper Manufacturing in Tokyo in 1998. The name of the company comes from the song of the same name by the British band Ride, which Suda listened to many times during its founding.

In 2005, the company made Killer7, a game for the GameCube and PlayStation 2, and it tells the story of a team of elite assassins. This venture succeeded in establishing the company’s recognition as a global developer. It also expanded its presence with the Nintendo DS, making connections with the development of projects such as the No More Heroes series and Shadows of the Damned for the Nintendo Wii platform.

In 2013, GungHo Online Entertainment acquired Grasshopper Manufacture and released Let It Die. But in 2018, the companies separated from each other. Grasshopper Manufacturing released No More Heroes III for Switch this year.

No More Heroes
No More Heroes, a game by Grasshopper Manufacture.

Suda said the following in a press release:

“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.”

In another part of the same press release, Suda added:

“NetEase Games understands the strengths of Grasshopper Manufacture 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, Suda noted that NetEase has thousands of artists and technical experts in terms of game art and quality assurance that can assist Grasshopper, which aims to make three high-quality games within the next decade. The successful name said that he wanted to benefit from this team.

The statement made by NetEase on the subject is as follows:

“NetEase Games is a company of passionate gamers, and many of them are fans of Grasshopper Manufacture. Mr. Suda’s games have unique characteristics. They manifest his design philosophy and artistic pursuit in every aspect – from concept to content. Grasshopper Manufacture Inc. has also integrated styles and elements from various media formats, such as film noir, detective fiction, punk rock, psychedelic electronica, cyberpunk, and so on.”

The meeting of two successful companies is among the news whose results are eagerly awaited by both the followers of the sector and the niche audiences of the companies.

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