What we heard: Goichi Suda has a lot on his plate these days. The managing director of No More Heroes developer Grasshopper Manufacture is already working on the Wii-exclusive No More Heroes: Desperate Struggle, as well as an untitled collaboration with Resident Evil creator Shinji Mikami and Q Entertainment for EA Partners.
Now speculation is rising that Suda is juggling a third project, given that Siliconera noticed something odd on the official Grasshopper Manufacture Web site. The developer's list of "principal business partners" includes Square Enix, which prompted the site to ask, "Is this an early sign that Grasshopper Manufacture is developing a game for Square Enix?"
That's one possibility. However, the same page on the Grasshopper site mentions having worked with Square Enix in 2002 (technically still Enix at the time), handling sound design of the PlayStation 2 giant-robot game Robot Alchemic Drive (aka R.A.D.). Although that might explain Square Enix's presence on the business-partners list, other companies for whom Grasshopper did similar work--such as D3 Publisher--do not appear on the list.
In fact, a number of discrepancies on the page suggest that it might not be the most strenuously fact-checked repository of information on the Internet. For example, the list of principal business partners doesn't include Xseed, North American publisher of Desperate Struggle, or Atlus, North American publisher of Contact.
The partners list also includes platform holders Microsoft and Sony, even though Grasshopper has not announced any games to be published by those companies. On the other hand, the frequent DS and Wii developer's list of partners does not include Nintendo, publisher (or not, as the case was in Europe and North America) of Grasshopper's Fatal Frame game for the Wii.
Jumping well into the realm of speculation, let's suppose that Nintendo was left off of the list out of spite over Fatal Frame not being published. That still doesn't explain why the Japanese-language list of Grasshopper-developed games is 10 games long and includes international releases such as Contact on the DS, whereas the English-language list is a mere six games long. Or why Grasshopper's work on Clover's God Hand is acknowledged in Japanese, but not in English.
The official story: Neither Grasshopper nor Square Enix returned requests for comment as of press time.
Bogus or not bogus?: Looking bogus. With no official word, it's impossible to rule out a Square Enix-published Grasshopper game right now. However, gamers shouldn't read too much into the publisher's presence on the developer's business partners list for two reasons. There's an established tie between the publisher and the developer in the form of Grasshopper's work on Robot Alchemic Drive, and the page on which the information appears contains so many puzzling incongruities that an accidental or ill-thought-out addition to the partners list is well within the realm of possibility.