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The Gamasutra 20: 2008's Breakthrough Developers

August 13, 2008 Article Start Previous Page 9 of 21 Next

Gamasutra 20 'Breakthrough' Honoree:

Grasshopper Manufacture

Studio overview

Started in 1998, Grasshopper Manufacture has its headquarters in Tokyo. Over the years, the company has built a substantial resume of both licensed games such as Samurai Champloo: Sidetracked and original work like Killer7 and No More Heroes.

Key staff

Goichi Suda, also known as SUDA51, is Grasshopper Manufacture's CEO and the primary public face of the company. He has also been the main creative force for the studio, acting as director and/or writer for a majority of the games the company has created.

Resume highlights

While Grasshopper Manufacture released a number of titles prior to 2005, including the Silver Case games, it was Killer7, with its distinctive cel-shaded graphics and bizarre story, that brought the company more widespread attention, particularly in the North American market.

The company's 2007 release of No More Heroes on the Wii brought more acclaim, with critics praising the game's dark humor, mature themes, and unique style.

The studio's original work has won it a number of fans, including the likes of Hideo Kojima; in fact, Suda is working with Kojima on Project S, a series of projects based on Kojima's classic Snatcher franchise.

What's next

Tecmo contracted Grasshopper Manufacture to work on the fourth installation in its Fatal Frame survival-horror series; the game recently came released on the Wii in Japan and is expected next year in North America.

Suda has also announced that the studio is also working on DS ports of PlayStation title Silver Case and PS2 adventure Flower, Sun, and Rain.

Our take

"With Killer7 and No More Heroes, which tapped into a newly-created American fan base for Grasshopper, creative lead Goichi Suda has finally created a global audience for his aggressively abstract, schizophrenic -- dare I say, postmodern? -- attitude towards game design.

Few designers let their own personal sense of style shine through as strongly as Suda does, even in licensed titles such as Samurai Champloo: Sidetracked and his games' lack of polish only speaks more to that uniquely no-common-denominator ethic."
- Chris Remo

Article Start Previous Page 9 of 21 Next

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