The games they create may never be mega hits but somehow Grasshopper Manufacture receives funding to either produce sequels or create new IPs. As a fan of the company I’m not complaining about such a thing as it’s just nice to see a studio live on and not necessarily hinge on every product having to be a two million+ units sold hit in order to stay afloat or receive funding. Lately Grasshopper Manufacture has been focused on creating new properties such as Sine Mora or Lollipop Chainsaw in favor of doing constant sequels, but one GhM game may receive a sequel if all goes according to plan.
At the European launch event for Sine Mora, which GhM co-produced, acclaimed composer/GhM COO Akira Yamaoka revealed that he wants to do a sequel to Shadows of the Damned. Released last year under the EA Partners program, Shadows of the Damned received a nice amount of buzz amongst gamers but seemingly no one else bothered to buy the game and it tanked at retail. The resounding thud Shadows of the Damned received at retail was mostly due to how EA opted not to market the game that heavily and merely kicked it out the door hoping for the best.
Despite the outcome SOTD received at retail, Akira said this in an interview with Eurogamer, "I’m thinking of a sequel, actually. I can’t tell you here, but clearly I’d like to." Wanting to do a sequel to a game and actually beginning development on a project may be two vastly different things, but based on how many projects GhM has managed to do in the past year and how we received a sequel to No More Heroes, I think anything is possible at this point.
What I do find interesting is what Akira said of working with EA again as he told Eurogamer “Probably ... Well, yes,” when asked if EA would likely be involved with the publishing of the would-be sequel. It’s nice to see Akira be optimistic about things, but would EA really publish the sequel to a game which didn’t really make them a huge profit in the end? Despite publishing SOTD EA likely doesn’t own the rights to the franchise as GhM probably has complete ownership with EA potentially having a first look opportunity if a sequel is indeed being worked on. But still, based on what happened with SOTD previously and how EA didn’t seem too hot on the game I doubt we’ll see another EA released GhM game anytime soon.
Despite having a perfect ending, it would be nice to see SOTD return and expanded upon with the issues being rectified and new elements being added. The lack of Shinji Mikami, who served as a Consultant on SOTD, may make some folks wary about the project but in the end I think it would be nice to see the game return with a different focus or perhaps a darker scenario more in line with what GhM originally wanted to do.
With Grasshopper’s next three projects coming out in the next 4-5 months (Diabolical Pitch, Lollipop Chainsaw, Black Knight Sword), I assume the studio has other projects in the works which if we’re lucky will be announced shortly. So will we see a new IP, a No More Heroes sequel, or the return of Garcia Hotspur in Shadows of the Damned surface from Grasshopper Manufacture in the coming year?