[UPDATE]For the sake of consistency, I’ll just update this article instead of making a new one. Hit the jump to see the update.
After a few hints and inklings since the initial game’s Japanese release, in comes word that XSEED might be localizing a Senran Kagura game. First was the registration of HanzoNationalAcademy.com domain, referencing the setting of the Senran Kagura games. The site is registered to XSEED JKS inc. Going there (at the time of this writing) only shows blank slate with text that reads “Your website is ready. This site has been successfully created and is ready for content to be added. Replace this default page with your own index page.”
Next up was an image of a kinda yellow, kinda flesh toned square tweeted by the XSEED’s Twitter account. This was followed by Kenichiro Takaki, the Senran Kagura producer, tweeting this, and then this.
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?