And continuing the game of musical chairs going around the games industry this month, Grasshopper Manufacture has just been purchased by Japanese publisher GungHo Online Entertainment. Founded in 1998 by CEO Goichi Suda (Suda 51), Grasshopper is home of creative titles including killer7, No More Heroes and the recent Lollipop Chainsaw.
GungHo is best known as the Japanese publisher of Ragnarok Online and iOS release Puzzle & Dragons. The American arm of the company publishes and distsributes "network-oriented games" across handheld, mobile, console and tablets, as well as MMO-style PC releases.
Kazuki Morishita, President and CEO of GungHo Online Entertainment explains the deal:
We believe the strength of a publisher lies in its creative talent so with the addition of GRASSHOPPER MANUFACTURE and SUDA51 we are adding some of the most innovative talent in today’s gaming world to our stellar family of independently-operated studios. SUDA51 projects are known to put a unique spin on every game so coupled with our proven ability to support development with AAA resources including a tailored online experience, we believe gamers will benefit from this collaboration.
Games and projects that are currently in the works at Grasshopper are safe, with GungHo reassuring fans that they "will not be affected by the deal" and will continue under any current publishing terms.
Suda 51 continues:
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.
While we do know that Grasshopper is currently hard at work on Killer is Dead, we're also told to keep an eye out over the next few months, there are still more new projects on the way from Suda 51 and his team.
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Jimmy the Geek