The CEO of Grasshopper Manufacture, Goichi Suda (Suda 51) has recently shared some words in an interview with 4Gamer about the future of the company and some of the new ideas they would like to try. These new ideas would come with the death of previous ones because the biggest changes occur when started from scratch rather than updating older ideas. Is this a good idea for a company so known for their personal aura?
Suda 51 and Grasshopper certainly have a reputation. Their games are quirky, overly stylistic, and sometimes deeper than expected, but always fun. Their games are not for everyone, which is why they’ve become more of a cult following game company. Games like No More Heroes, Killer 7, and Lollipop Chainsaw are games that are so drenched in the Suda 51 aura that it is hard to even pretend that they could come from any other company.
Just over a year ago Grasshopper was purchased by GungHo and since then they’ve been discussing how they want to change what they are doing. “I personally would like to thoroughly demolish the existing Grasshopper traits.” Whoa, that a serious decision to make, but with such change, new ideas can take their place. “I’d like to propose new ideas, and create new ways to play.”
Basically, Suda 51 is looking to create new moves entirely by destroying current foundations. What sort of ideas do they have so far? It is too early for anything to be concrete but the idea of movement was discussed. “Should analog sticks be [strictly] used as a means of movement?” They weren’t kidding about trying something new. The majority of games follow the same very basic principles, creating their individuality with what they base from the beginning foundation, but Suda 51 may be trying to go entirely original.
Suda 51 is walking a very dangerous line with such talk. Grasshopper is known for their quirky ideas and unique style. Trying something new is fine, that is how we grow, but demolishing the most important traits of a company is a sure way to lose fans that have loved you from the beginning. This is not to say that Suda 51 will make something unenjoyable, but in the end it depends on what parts of their game they demolish.
Being fully aware of innovation can lead to new and exciting discoveries, it is why they want to try something like this in the first place. Suda 51 already does some interesting things, can you imagine if they somehow manage to make their next game capture the quirkiness they are known for while creating extremely unusual mechanics that entirely change the outcome of the game? Such is exactly the risk I think they are looking to make.
With change on the horizon Suda 51 looks to demolish existing Grasshopper ideas and traits for new possibilities. Taking such risks is how Suda 51 got to where they are today, they enjoy pushing the envelope. Hopefully their future will be a bright and not muddled with the decay of attempt.