Spoiler: He likes to drink
With The Silver Case finally being released outside of Japan, I figured it was never to early to look ahead and see what Goichi Suda’s thoughts on the future were in a short one-on-one interview with the gaming icon at Tokyo Game Show. Can I say one-on-one if an interpreter was present? I’ll say yes.
Japanese people can be more hesitant to make concrete promises than westerners, considering it would tarnish their image to not fulfill what would be seen as promises. So while there aren’t any major reveals here, we can get some good hints at what Grasshopper Manufacture does and does not have in mind going forward.
Before asking about future plans, I was curious about the The Silver Case. As previously mentioned, if this project goes well, he is interested in remastering other games including The 25th Ward (sequel to The Silver Case), Killer7, No More Heroes, and Flower, Sun, and Rain.
The last of which is set in the same universe as The Silver Case, yet taking place after it. Since Flower, Sun and Rain came out in the west before The Silver Case, I asked if playing Flower, Sun and Rain would create any spoilers for The Silver Case. The answer was simply that although they are in the same universe, they are unconnected so nothing will be spoiled.
Considering this talk of remasters, the fact that Grasshopper was bought out by GungHo Online Entertainment, and that the upcoming Let it Die will be a free-to-play game, I was curious about what kind of future projects the studio would be aiming at. We can all breathe a sigh of relief. “As far as mobile games go, I am more of a console person…my art is aimed for consoles. It’s not true that GungHo will decide what games we make.”
A game not mentioned for remaster consideration is Michigan: Report from Hell, a niche survival-horror title where you take on the role of a journalist as monsters take over the town. This was the only horror game ever developed by Grasshopper, sharing some elements with the journalist section of The Silver Case, although not directly inspired by it.
Mr. Suda himself also worked as a designer and writer for Fatal Frame 4: Mask of the Lunar Eclipse, which never released outside Japan. (I’ve played it: it’s decent but FF3 is still the best in the series, in my opinion.) Despite working on those and the fact that he was an undertaker (you read that right) before entering the video game industry, Mr. Suda said, “I don’t like horror games…There’s a very small chance I’ll make horror games in the future.”
He almost didn’t work on Fatal Frame 4 at all, rejecting Tecmo’s initial invitation before finally accepting. The reason he was hesitant was because “the director, Makoto Shibata, can see real ghosts. When he makes Fatal Frame, he simulates a real ghost experience like in the game.” Sounds like fun to me, but Mr. Suda reaffirms, “I don’t want to make that kind of game.”
Although I think it’s great to let developers, especially visionaries like Suda, Swery, or Schafer, make new experiences rather than forcing them to milk existing blockbusters (looking at you, Konami), I knew I would be grilled if I didn’t ask him about No More Heroes 3. He previously said it would be 15-20 years, but this time he told me “It’s not going to be 20 years, I’m hoping it’ll be 10 years or maybe earlier than that.”
Before you get too excited, he admits that if it did get made, “It might be like an indie game.” He cites the younger audience, reasoning that “No More Heroes fans’ voices are still strong, but young gamers have never heard of it, so I want to create something for them as well.” 2018 will be the 20th anniversary of Grasshopper, so Mr. Suda wants to make some news related to No More Heroes, but reiterated “I’m not sure.”
If he could work with any company to collaborate on a project with, Mr. Suda said he would choose Devolver Digital because “they drink a lot. It seems like they’re drinking martinis from the afternoon. I have the same sense.” Count me in; I’ll bring the rum!
Devolver Digital is a publisher, but maybe that wouldn’t stop something like a Lollipop Chainsaw and Hotline Miami crossover from happening, or perhaps Serious Sam vs. Killer7?