What transpired this week has been nothing short of chaotic and, personally, further enlightening of how I feel about the state of affairs regarding the gaming community and gaming journalism. As I write this, I’m still afraid of the repercussions that might be imposed on me, my staff, and everything we’ve worked on since 2011. So much so that I’m even afraid to name names. I’m not even tagging this article with the terms that it should be tagged in. Never before have I seen a single article be enough to take an entire website offline, and self-hosted no less. I expressed my concerns when this whole thing started blowing up, and that’s exactly what happened. Thankfully, the site has returned, but I can’t imagine how stressful it must be to see everything you worked on disappear because of something you said on a single article. This is the kind of thing the SOPA fiasco warned us about, where criticism and reporting, even at its most objective, would simply be wiped away because the subject(s) didn’t like what was being said.
I’ve been somewhat ignoring this game for a while now. Don’t know why. Probably because I didn’t quite get a good grasp on how this game was going to be played when the first trailers were shown. There’s also the fact that a lot of the KID stuff is in Japanese without English subtitles, so I did quite get a grasp of the story either. However my recent need to gravitate to the free spirits of the game industry has brought me here, and now I’m hyped as hell for the game!
Last week came news that Grasshopper Manufacture, the developer known for housing the batshit insane Suda 51, was bought up by GungHo Entertainment. GungHo is known for hosting the servers for Ragnarok Online and acquiring Gravity Co. Ltd., the developers of the game. GungHo also hosted the servers for MMORPG Shin Megami Tensei Imagine (which is now run by Atlus Online). Given the track record of this company, it seems like a strange choice for them to acquire Grasshopper Manufacture since GM has no experience with online games. However GungHo has faith in this new venture, stating in a press release, “We believe the strength of a publisher lies in its creative talent so with the addition of GRASSHOPPER MANUFACTURE and SUDA51 we are adding some of the most innovative talent in today’s gaming world.” The press release also touts GungHo’s access to AAA resources that Grasshopper can use in its development of future titles.
The other news regarding this acquisition is the announcement of Killer Is Dead‘s U.S. release. Grasshopper’s latest game will be published by rising niche publisher and fan favorite XSEED. Interestingly, GungHo already has a U.S. publishing branch with GungHo Online Entertainment America, and is run by XSEED’s former president, Jun Iwasaki. XSEED themselves have published several GungHo games, so it seems like these two publishers have a good relationship going. So why bother with a U.S. publishing branch for GungHo?