Goichi Suda (aka Suda51), now working for one of China’s tech companies expanding heavily abroad, can think more freely thanks to Chinese money.
News emerged late last year that Grasshopper Manufacture and its head Suda51 had joined NetEase Games, so it’s not just Tencent that’s putting its foot in everywhere, but the same can be said for another big Chinese tech giant. And we can already see the effect of this, as Suda gave a somewhat optimistic interview with some of his Grasshopper colleagues to a Japanese website, Automaton.
Grasshopper Manufacture aims to create three new IPs over the next ten years. We have written about this before. To do this, the studio is expanding its team, with a plan to boost its workforce by 100%: Suda51 wants to increase the number of members from thirty to sixty. The Japanese studio will develop these games with Unreal Engine 5, and its ambitions include becoming an AA company, which means that Grasshopper no longer wants to be an indie team. Still, it also doesn’t want to hit an AAA level. (This was the case with Ninja Theory after the creation of Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice. Microsoft has since acquired them; a Hellblade sequel is in the works.)
Suda51 is eager to leave the producer’s seat behind, which is understandable since he has held that post for a good decade. He now wants to be a creative director, or even director, on the three new IPs, and given that No More Heroes III was no slouch, this upgrade seems logical. But what about the Deadpool idea he brought up earlier? The director has revealed that he’s been in talks with Disney (they own Marvel Studios too…), but it’s unclear how much serious dialogue has taken place. It sounds like it’s up to Marvel how serious an opportunity Suda might have… and if he doesn’t get the green flag from the Mouse Empire, Suda will be working on original projects.
Whatever he does, good luck to him.