As the No More Heroes director plays down western studio plans

Suda: Yamaoka gives us leadership and creativity

Grasshopper Manufacture CEO Goichi Suda says that the studio’s recent star signing – former Silent Hill producer Akira Yamaoka – will add leadership and creativity to the indie outfit.

In an interview with Develop published today, Suda revealed that his Tokyo-based studio has now risen to around 80 staff, but had high hopes for one particular signing.

Said Suda: “Yamaoka will give us more leadership and creativity. He has the skills to lead our team to a certain level and make us a more powerful developer,” he said. “The people I look for at Grasshopper are the types who have a strong passion, whether they have lots of experience or little.”

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. After sixteen years working for Konami, in December last year Yamaoka quit the group for unknown reasons.

He recently said Grasshopper is “one of those few Japanese outfits whose games can appeal to an overseas audience.”

Grasshopper has built a reputation in recent years for successfully translating its ideas and values to western markets, of which titles such as No More Heroes have sold reasonably well in.

Suda stated that he is now interested in building games for XBLA and PSN – a move which would give his studio more direct access to overseas markets. However, when asked if he would ever open up a new studio in the West – in a bid to ramp up operations across the US and Europe – the Killer 7 director implied that any such plans are a way off.

“I don’t speak English!” he joked. “I have to learn about the language, then I’ll think about it.”

Click here to read the interview in full

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