Massive Chinese tech company NetEase Games has acquired Grasshopper Manufacture, the Japanese developer of No More Heroes founded by Goichi Suda (“Suda51”). An equity transfer agreement was signed back on May 31, 2021, and now the acquisition is official and public. NetEase says that Grasshopper Manufacture, like all entities it works with, will retain creative freedom and managerial autonomy and receive incentives for success. NetEase wants to provide “creators with a worry-free environment allowing them to fully focus on creation.”
Suda51 of Grasshopper Manufacture and NetEase Games have both released statements about the acquisition:
[Grasshopper Manufacture Inc. Moving Forward]
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.
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.
NetEase Games understands the strengths of Grasshopper Manufacture Inc. 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, we will also receive strong support from the NetEase team composed of thousands of artists and technical experts in terms of game art and quality assurance. We will make the most of this support and strive to offer three even higher-quality “Grasshopper Manufacture Games” to all gamers in the next ten years.
Grasshopper Manufacture Inc., moving towards the brand-new future of game development, is now reborn and will continue to create history. Stay tuned.
At the same time, we are also recruiting talented individuals and partners who are interested in making “Grasshopper Manufacture Games” together. Please visit our recruitment website: https://www.grasshopper.co.jp/
Representative Director and CEO Goichi Suda
[A Message from NetEase Games]
NetEase Games is a company of passionate gamers, and many of them are fans of Grasshopper Manufacture Inc. 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. Additionally, Grasshopper Manufacture Inc. is one of a kind in terms of mood setting, movement design, and narrative rhythm design. Their strong passion for creativity, which has continued for decades, is extremely admirable. NetEase is honored to be the companion of Mr. Suda and Grasshopper Manufacture Inc. on this new journey into the future. 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.
NetEase would like to extend its invitation to brilliant game creators in Japan and around the world. NetEase Games has been committed to the concepts of “Unleash the potential of creators” and “Bring quality interactive entertainment experiences”. We hope to empower more outstanding creators and continuously create good games.
NetEase Games itself is a big developer community of tens of thousands of developers. In the past few years, NetEase has built connections with top game studios in Japan, the US, Europe, and other regions through investment, joint ventures, co-development, etc.
Additionally, NetEase will provide funding, technology, resources, and other support, and organize communication and sharing sessions among top creators around the world, so that creators can inspire each other and fully release their creative potential.