No More Heroes developer Grasshopper Manufacture is now a subsidiary of China’s mega-publisher NetEase Games, having moved under a share transfer agreement active on May 31, 2021. Goichi Suda (Suda51) revealed the news late last night on Twitter, confirming GungHo is no longer the studio’s parent company.
“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.”
Announcement on Grasshopper Manufacture Inc. Joining NetEase Games.
For more information, please visit our official website.https://t.co/Il3uYWoDcJ
— Grasshopper (@Grasshopper_EN) October 22, 2021
“NetEase Games has released many fantastic games, and I have heard for a long time about their strong reputation. When NetEase Games presented the opportunity to work on unique consumer games together, I came to the conclusion that by working together, we can deliver even more powerful and creative titles to our audience.
“In addition, NetEase Games is a reliable partner that understands and supports our strengths. They will give us support on the management side and fund our game development, but the planning and production of our games will be left entirely up to us. This means we can guarantee a consistent ‘Grasshopper Manufacture style’ and quality of our games. In addition, we will receive valuable support from thousands of NetEase Games artists and technical staff in areas such as graphics support and QA. Our goal is to make the most of these resources and deliver three more quintessential Grasshopper Manufacture games in the next 10 years.”
“Please look forward to the history this new Grasshopper Manufacture will create in the future.”
What this means regarding the future of the studio, I wouldn’t worry too much. Suda’s adamant about working on new IPs and it is likely he will explore this together with NetEase. His statement indicates Grasshopper will continue to work on console games. Additionally, the studio is currently looking to hire additional staff via Grasshopper Manufacture’s website.
“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.” says a statement from NetEase. The massive publisher will provide the funding, resources, technology and extra support to its studios as well as offer networking with creators from around the world.