Following his shock departure from Konami after sixteen years, it has emerged that Akira Yamaoka has joined Japanese indie studio Grasshopper Manufacture.
The decorated game director said he had been “hooked” on Grasshopper ever since he met the firm’s CEO – Goichi Suda –at an event in Los Angeles.
“I knew about Suda long before I met him,” said Yamaoka in an interview with Famitsu (as cited on 1Up).
“I saw Grasshopper as one of those few Japanese outfits whose games can appeal to an overseas audience. I had a chance to meet him in Los Angeles and we talked about this and that, and once we started discussing how we wanted to do something creative for a world audience, I was hooked on the company."
Yamaoka joined Konami in 1993 and today his signature musical styles can be found across numerous Silent Hill games, many of which he acted as producer for. The matters surrounding his departure remain unclear.
Now the experienced designer will begin to compose music for Grasshopper’s next, as-yet unannounced project, which is said to have already secured a publishing deal with EA.
"I really love Yamaoka," said Goichi Suda. "Ever since I saw a video of Silent Hill 2 at the Tokyo Game Show nine years ago, I’ve always dreamed of working alongside him. That’s why I thought I’d invite him over when I started hearing rumors that he left [Konami].”
Konami previously delegated dev duties to UK indies Climax Studios, giving the go-ahead to develop the acclaimed Wii title Silent Hilll Shattered Memories.
Climax Studios, following positive reception, revealed it wanted to make a sequel to the game.