Grasshopper Manufacture Inc. (株式会社グラスホッパー・マニファクチュア) is a video game development company based in Suginami, Japan. It is a wholly-owned subsidiary of GungHo Online Entertainment. It was established on March 30, 1998 by former Human Entertainment scenario writer SUDA51, and began development on its first video game, Shirubā Jiken with a total staff of three. By the first quarter of 2006 Grasshopper employed a staff of around 30, and today the developer is comprised of roughly 74 employees. Grasshopper was founded with the slogan "Salon Analog Organization," although the team's only projects to sport this were Shirubā Jiken and Flower, Sun, and Rain. As the company grew in notoriety, its slogan was changed to "Video Game Band," reflecting how SUDA51 felt Grasshopper's approach to video gaming was similar to that of a music group.
Grasshopper gained mainstream notoriety in 2005 for the cross-platform title killer7, and again in late 2007 with the release of No More Heroes. The company is noted for its unique efforts that are sometimes developed even in the face of a financial risk. For years SUDA51 helmed a number of original titles, valuing the importance of unique material over sequelization, however in 2008 the director announced Grasshopper's first proper sequel, No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle. SUDA51 later spoke with Nintendo Power, expressing that he had enough ideas percolating to write up to three more No More Heroes sequels.
In addition to Grasshopper's original work, the company frequently works on video game adaptations of preexisting series. These titles are Shining Soul, Shining Soul II, Samurai Champloo: Sidetracked, BLOOD+ One Night Kiss, Zero: Tsukihami no Kamen and Evangelion Shin Gekijōban -Saundo Inpakuto-. Grasshopper has also developed long-standing partnerships with a number of parties. Since 2003, the company has developed most of their original work on Nintendo consoles (the team was only partially involved in porting the cross-platform killer7 to the PlayStation 2), and in terms of publishers, Grasshopper has worked with Spike, Ubisoft and Namco Bandai twice each, Atlus three times, and both Marvelous Entertainment and Rising Star Games a total of four times.
In January 2013, Grasshopper announced its acquisition by Japanese games publisher GungHo Online Entertainment. GungHo currently owns several studios, including Ragnarok Online developer GRAVITY, Grandia creator Game Arts and Tenchu developer Acquire. Terms of the deal have not been disclosed, but, similarly to GOE's other studios, Grasshopper will continue to operate under its own brand. Games in development prior to the sale (including Killer Is Dead) will not be affected in any way. SUDA51 stated in an official press release that the merger "will support our vision to further create inspired new games that appeal players across the world", while GungHo CEO Kazuki Morishita said he was pleased to welcome "some of the most innovative talent in today’s gaming world" to the GOE group.
- Main article: List of Grasshopper Manufacture games
- Shirubā Jiken (PlayStation – 1999)
- Flower, Sun, and Rain (PlayStation 2 – 2001)
- Shining Soul (Game Boy Advance – 2002)
- Shining Soul II (Game Boy Advance – 2003)
- Michigan (PlayStation 2 – 2004)
- killer7 (Nintendo GameCube and PlayStation 2 – 2005)
- Shirubā Jiken 25 Ku (i-mode and Yahoo! Keitai – 2005)
- Samurai Champloo: Sidetracked (PlayStation 2 – 2006)
- Contact (Nintendo DS – 2006)
- BLOOD+ One Night Kiss (PlayStation 2 – 2006)
- No More Heroes (Wii – 2007)
- Zero: Tsukihami no Kamen (Wii – 2008)
- Flower, Sun, and Rain: Murder and Mystery in Paradise (Nintendo DS localization – 2008)
- No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle (Wii – 2010)
- FROG MINUTES (iOS – 2011)
- Shadows of the DAMNED (PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 – 2011)
- Evangelion Shin Gekijōban -Saundo Inpakuto- (PlayStation Portable – 2011)
- Sine Mora (Xbox Live Arcade, PlayStation Network and Steam – 2012, iOS and Android – 2013)
- Diabolical Pitch (Xbox Live Arcade – 2012)
- Liberation Maiden (Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo eShop – 2012, iOS – 2013)
- Lollipop Chainsaw (Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 – 2012)
- No More Heroes: World Ranker (Android and iOS – 2012)
- Dark Menace (iOS and Android – 2012)
- Black Knight Sword (PlayStation Network and Xbox Live Arcade – 2012)
- Killer Is Dead (PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 – 2013, Steam – 2014)
- Short Peace: Ranko Tsukigime's Longest Day (PlayStation 3 – 2014)
- LET IT DIE (PlayStation 4 – 2016)
- Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes (Nintendo Switch – 2019)
- A Nintendo Switch compilation of No More Heroes and No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle may be published in the future.
- A PlayStation VR project was believed to be in development in 2016.
- A remastered version of Flower, Sun, and Rain was announced at Hopper's Vol.5.
- A sequel to an existing series was said in 2018 to be on the way, however it is unclear if this was an earlier reference to the now confirmed No More Heroes development.
- A third primary No More Heroes game entered the research and development stage in 2018.
- While a numbered No More Heroes title is in the early stages, a sub-series may continue where Travis Strikes Again left off.
In addition to Masafumi Takada recording soundtracks for Grasshopper Manufacture's video games, Grasshopper has also undertaken sound design for the following titles:
- Robot Alchemic Drive (PlayStation 2 – 2002)
- Simple 2000 Series Vol. 31: The Chikyuu Boueigun (PlayStation 2 – 2003)
- Shin Mikagura Shoujo Tanteidan (Microsoft Windows – 2003)
- Tetsujin 28gou (PlayStation 2 – 2004)
- Steel Battalion: Line of Contact (Xbox – 2004)
- Global Defense Force (PlayStation 2 – 2005)
- Earth Defense Force 2017 (Xbox 360 – 2006)
- God Hand (PlayStation 2 – 2006)
- Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles (Wii – 2007)
- Super Smash Bros. Brawl (Wii – 2008)
- Grasshopper Manufacture's "Punk's Not Dead" slogan is reminiscent of the caption on Marjane Satrapi's jacket in the 2007 film Persepolis, which reads "Punk Is Not Dead."
- ↑ As of Feb. 1, 2011
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 GRASSHOPPER MANUFACTURE > company. Grasshopper Manufacture. April 2009.
- ↑ Suda51 Talks Emotion In Games, 'Breaking Stuff'. Gamasutra. David Low. April 18, 2007.
- ↑ "Into the Darkness". Edge. April 2006. p. 54.
- ↑ http://www.siliconera.com/2013/01/29/grasshopper-manufacture-acquired-by-gungho-online-entertainment/
- ↑ http://www.destructoid.com/grasshopper-manufacture-merging-with-ragnarok-publisher-243542.phtml
- ↑ http://www.gungho.co.jp/news/html_window/2013/01/entry_3489.html
- ↑ http://www.4gamer.net/games/148/G014877/20130124090/
- ↑ http://www.gunghoonline.com/2013/01/gungho-online-entertainment-brings-on-suda51-development-studio-grasshopper-manufacture/
- ↑ Suda51 In Talks With Marvelous About Releasing No More Heroes And Desperate Struggle On Switch. Liam Doolan. Nintendo Life. September 17, 2018.
- ↑ ...over 230 developers, including Capcom, Sega, Koei Tecmo, Grasshopper Manufacture(!!!), and many more, are already working on games for the hardware. Dan Van Winkle. The Mary Sue. March 16th, 2016.
- ↑ http://www.siliconera.com/2018/03/28/suda51-teases-secret-game-possibly-new-entry-existing-series/?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter
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