Gamasutra has confirmed Harvest Moon creator Yasuhiro Wada and Little King's Story creator Yoshiro Kimura are no longer part of Grasshopper Manufacture, as originally reported by Siliconera.
The pair joined the company, led by No More Heroes creator Goichi Suda, last October, with Wada serving as Grasshopper's chief operating officer and Kimura as the chief creative officer.
"This move will help us produce games in a more stable manner," Suda said of the hiring at the time. "Having these two people join Grasshopper will make us a more sturdily-organized company, and it'll improve our development, technical, and release skills."
In an interview with Gamasutra shortly after his hiring, Wada said he joined the company "because what I wanted to do personally, and what Suda-san wanted to achieve, the goals were the same." The pair had previously worked together on No More Heroes and Flower, Sun and Rain.
Wada also said he believed Suda was trying to expand the company past his own unique vision. "He realizes he canít always be there for every project, so what he wants to do create a game of his own, and also have [Silent Hill composer Akira] Yamaoka-sanís game, and Wada-sanís and Kimura-sanís games so we can really grow," Wada said of the Grasshopper founder.
"If he just keeps on having stamps for every game, thatís not going to work as a company," Wada continued. "He is a creator as well as CEO of a company, so thatís what he wants to do. Of course weíll definitely have to have a brand as a Grasshopper, so weíll have a common image or style in every game, but itíll be different."
It's unclear what titles Wada and Kimura were directly working on before their departure. Grasshopper's announced pipeline currently includes titles such as Rebuild of Evangelion: Sound Impact, Sine Mora, Black Knight Sword, and the recently revealed Lollipop Chainsaw. In June, Grasshopper released the zombie title, Shadows of the Damned.
[UPDATE: Gamasutra has independently confirmed that the duo have left Grasshopper.]