No More Heroes Developer Grasshopper Manufacture Joins NetEase Games

Grasshopper Manufacture, the developer most recently responsible for No More Heroes III, has announced that it will be joining NetEase Games. The news was announced in a press release from the two companies, following an equity transfer agreement signed in May. In the press release, both NetEase and Grasshopper Manufacture stressed that the partnership ensures that the developer will maintain creative freedom, while NetEase provides greater funding, allowing the team to focus more on game development, and less on the stresses of publishing. The press release also stresses that the two will work on "developing more unique console games together."

"NetEase Games understands the strengths of Grasshopper Manufacture Inc. and is willing to support us, and is an extremely reliable partner," said Grasshopper CEO Goichi Suda. "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."

For those unfamiliar with NetEase, the company is responsible for publishing games such as Naraka: Bladepoint, and developing games such as LifeAfter. Meanwhile, Grasshopper Manufacture is responsible for some of the most unique games in the industry, including titles like Lollipop Chainsaw, and killer7.

Given Grasshopper's history, some fans can't be blamed for having reservations about the partnership. However, Suda51's comments on the agreement should help to put worries at ease. Video game development is incredibly costly, and the price has only continued to increase over the last few years. A major partner could help Grasshopper continue to create its innovative works with less pressure. Grasshopper has been in the industry for 23 years now; hopefully, this partnership will allow it to continue long into the future!

How do you feel about Grasshopper Manufacture joining NetEase? Are you concerned about the future of the developer? Let us know in the comments or share your thoughts directly on Twitter at @Marcdachamp to talk all things gaming!