Suda51 blasts publisher 'wall' for poor game sales

Lollipop Chainsaw developer Grasshopper Manufacture found difficulties in relationship with small studio and big publisher.

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Lollipop Chainsaw developer Grasshopper Manufacture has pointed the finger at publishers for poor sales of the studio's games.

In an interview with GamesIndustry International, studio boss Goichi "Suda51" Suda complained of a "wall" between creativity and sales, and that the differences in size posed challenges.

"Grasshopper does have a very strong base; it's just that because we were so indie, publishers were always [treating us] differently," Suda said.

Grasshopper has worked with Warner Bros., Capcom, Ubisoft, and EA, amongst others.

"Each publisher operates a different way, has different strategic ideas, so in terms of sales, what they did, was they kept creating what they thought was good. But in terms of publishing, it was a different company's strategic choice.

"So we believe that back then, when we were completely indie without a group company to be together with, we weren't able to translate our creative directly into sales because that was the part where there was always a wall between creative and sales transition wise," argued Suda.

Grasshopper says it will have more impact on the publishing of its unannounced next game, due after the upcoming release of Killer Is Dead, now that it's been bought by Japanese publisher GungHo. Suda believes that being part of a bigger group will allow for a more consistent strategy between creativity and publishing.

"Now that we're one big group together and we'll be publishing our own titles as Grasshopper, we believe that the creative side and the sales side will have a better connection," he added. "We definitely believe that it will transfer to good sales because we will be able to choose our own strategy," concluded Suda.

Grasshopper Manufacture's next game, Killer is Dead, is scheduled to be released this summer and will be published by Xseed Games in North America, Deep Silver in Europe, and Kadokawa Games in Japan.

This story was amended on May 3 to correctly reflect that Killer is Dead is not being published by GungHo.

Discussion

246 comments
Sin_of_Chaos
Sin_of_Chaos

Ok, I for one, loved Lollipop Chainsaw and I wasn't very impressed with a lot of the games that came out in 2012 so I will say that LC was my favorite game made in 2012.

Now, with that being said, the game did ship 700,000 copies, that is the highest record that any Suda51 game has shipped. Not to mention, it was heavily promoted with all the trailers, not to mention, Jessica Nigri helped it too along with the Japanese cosplayer(forgot her name, sorry). It also had Warner Bros publishing it and it had high profile VAs like Tara Strong and Michael Rosenbaum, writers like James Gunn too.

Now, then you start having the reception and main character. Yes, it is a hack n slash/ beat em up game, so it is suppose to have some repetitive moments. It has many elements of old school 90s brawlers that were short games and linear gameplay with a boss at the end of almost every level but with modern videogame graphics and gameplay thrown into it such as quick time events and third person shooting.

Yes, it has a lot of adult humor. I think why some didn't like the protagonist was although she is sexy, she also has that personality similar to let's say, Sailormoon. No, I'm not saying Sailormoon is bad, I like the show(and character) too. I would think of Juliet as a "mature and sexy" version of Sailormoon because I find that they have very similar personalities, not to mention, they almost look similar in ways, can't you tell by their hair styles? And no, I've seen other people comparing Juliet to Sailormoon before on other sites.

Maybe that's why they hate the character, because she is maybe too similar to Sailormoon,. Maybe that's why they hate the game, because they found it short and repetitive, but then again, a lot of hack n slash/beat em up games are repetitive but that just happens to be the nature of that genre, it isn't for everyone.

I hope to see Lollipop Chainsaw 2 if they do one, maybe making it longer and find ways to spice up the gameplay would be better and not always have to be hacking and slashing your way through. Why not have making each enemy fight differently and have a different strategy?

smtgfx
smtgfx

If it wasnt for UTube I would have never known this game existed.

jsmoke03
jsmoke03

i just think suda makes niche games for the most part. sales reflect it. i played about 10 minutes of killer 7 and im all "wtf"

Lost_Omega
Lost_Omega

I didn't care about Lollipop Chainsaw because it looked stupid and immature.  I didn't care about it.  That's not the publisher's fault, that's your fault.

DEATH775
DEATH775

Well Shadow of the Damned was absolutely awesome. Played the game 4 times, but Lollipop Chainsaw was just too repetitive and get bored really quick.

theblackfrog
theblackfrog

if games are only mediocore or 4 hours long no wonder ppl dont wanna buy it...dont blame your faults to the publisher

johnnyauau
johnnyauau

It would be cool to have the Suda51 insane version of Super Smash Bros featuring Travis Touchdown and Juliet Starling. Double lightsabers and wrestling against chainsaw and pompoms would be very cool.

madsnakehhh
madsnakehhh

He might have a point...then again Suda's games are really niche.

giz1300
giz1300

wanna know a trick? DO PC PORTS!!

Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

Actually Lollipop Chainsaw just wasn't a very good game, that's why it sold poorly.

Mvdforever
Mvdforever

Hmm I like Suda 51 but at the same time the game itself wasn't the greatest, word travels fast in the video game world and most people probably heard bout how repetitive the game is. Now it is a good game in it's own right but at the same time a game with that kind of premise should have been able  to do more i mean come on Hot chick and zombies should have been epic.

Jacanuk
Jacanuk

For some reason this game moved over 700k , meaning that over 700.000 people actually liked this enough to go buy it.

So perhaps this studio should stop complaning and just praise their lucky star that people didn´t notice how bad this and the other games are and left them on the shelf.


ali_manslayer
ali_manslayer

whenever I hear about a new game by suda51 I automatically want to play it

FreedomPrime
FreedomPrime

suda has never made a great game, every game he has made always had some aspect that needed improvement. killer 7, no more heroes, shadows of the damned and lolipop chainsaw were all flawed games.

EasyComeEasyGo
EasyComeEasyGo

Lollipop Chainsaw was fun only because Juliet was wearing Shiro's costume which is the reason why I got that game in the first place. Shiro from Deadman Wonderland.

HomieHesAKlown
HomieHesAKlown

I wanted to play Lollipop Chainsaw but my Xbox RRoD a long time ago.
Bring it over to the Vita.

megakick
megakick

Lollipop Chainsaw was not a great game....

k2theswiss
k2theswiss

there is only soo much blame you can place on publisher for type of game only small percent would be in the first place. 

AlwaysRunning
AlwaysRunning

At least they're no longer attached to EA. The less people are involved with EA, the better it will be for everyone. Xseed seems like a good fit for Grasshopper.

snaketus
snaketus

Too bad Lollipop Chainsaw isn't for PC. I would buy it.

RiverCityRandom
RiverCityRandom

I love Suda51, but Lollipop Chainsaw got annoying quickly.  

ELEMENTZERO707
ELEMENTZERO707

by the by has anyone talking about this even put a thought into the 2 latest games he put out? The castlevania style "black knight sword" is awesome and fun an strange as hell in terms of presentation and story on ps360's stores, and "Liberation maiden" which is reminiscent of starfox with a crazy anime story/setting for the 3ds Eshop.  not to mention last years "sine' mora" that improved upon/did something original with the tried and true SHUMP formula?

wongph
wongph

perhaps we should blame activision for raising the bar so high...


philmarlowe
philmarlowe

Whats up with hate for Lollitpop Chainsaw in these comments?

Sure, it wasn't a masterpiece but it was really enjoyable, especially when people took it for what it was - score attack style old school beat-em-up.  
Game was really fun, when you replayed the levels for high scores.

For me it was one of the best games of 2012.

Suda 51's games can be juvenile, sure. But Lollipop Chainsaw was juvenile in a good way. Smart script and witty dialogue with memorable characters and creative boss battles. It knew what it was and did it well.

Both Shadwos of The Damned and Lollipop Chainsaw are underrated games I wish more developers would make and more people would buy Why? Because they are games with great old school sensibilities. Their gameplay and ridiculousness have the feel of a great NES/SNES era games. 

They feel like GAMES, not like interactive Hollywood movies. This is what I have been missing from mainstream releases a while now.

tightwad34
tightwad34

Maybe if you didn't make a repetitive game that's fun for one playthrough(not that long) then you would have sold more. I  knew it was going to get an average reception at best well before it was released.

Sin_of_Chaos
Sin_of_Chaos

I forgot to add on this.

The chainsaw dash and chainsaw blaster were some fun abilities for Juliet, why not give her a lot more abilities? The arcade level had some minigames for a break away from all the button mashing and the hack n slashing. Why not have it to where if you get an ability and go back to another level, you still have it and not have to re-learn it again.

Simplythebest12
Simplythebest12

@theblackfrog Not only the game is short but it is very immature with stupid characters and with generic gameplay

HandBananaFTW
HandBananaFTW

@Jacanuk I thought Lollipop Chainsaw was pretty good, just picked it up recently for $20 after avoiding it for about a year and I would've gladly paid $30 for it, no more than that though lol. It wasn't as good as No More Heroes 1 & 2 or Shadows of the Damned, and it sure as hell didn't even come close to being as awesome as Killer 7, but it was damn good fun. That's more then I can say about most AAA games that come out nowadays.

Cartr1dgeBased
Cartr1dgeBased

@FreedomPrime i kinda agree, i liked all of those games but they all had serious flaws. he's great at making b-movie quality games. they are all pretty fun, but no polish at all.

ELEMENTZERO707
ELEMENTZERO707

Him and his team have been exploring  diverse group of genres while trying to add something fresh and put a crazy fun & clever story on it.  not to mention they are more niches genres, but its a void that must be filled by atleast one developer who cares.

arkainjalex12
arkainjalex12

@philmarlowe I'm with you man. Shadows of the Damned and Lollipop Chainsaw were both games I saw and thought looked pretty stupid until I got my hands on them and I ended up loving them. They aren't perfect (SotD has some poor chase sequences for example, and LC's gameplay is a tad stiff) but I ended up loving the overall stories and characters and humor. The games were refreshingly unique, which I think we need to see more of in this industry.

LC has actually become one of my favorite games this gen. I can't say enough good things about the game's soundtrack (it's amazing) and how much I enjoyed Rosenbaum's performance as Nick. I also liked how Garcia would read the story of each boss but have trouble pronouncing words and giggle immaturely at certain phrases. That is how you put character into a game. It doesn't mean it's the best game ever, but it means that if it clicks with you it'll stay in your mind (and heart?) forever.

Simplythebest12
Simplythebest12

@philmarlowe. That is your opinion lolipop chainsaw was very mediocre at best for me

Lost_Omega
Lost_Omega

@DarthLod My comment is based solely around my opinion.  I admit that a game can be immature and fun.  Personally, I don't like the immature content, but that's just my taste.  That's clear in my comment.  If you found Lollipop Chainsaw fun, then all the more power to you.  It didn't look good to me at all when I saw it, so I skipped over it.  Again, that's the dev's fault, not the publishers.

psuedospike
psuedospike

@Serpentes420 I would call him the Sam Raimi of Video Games cause he's not trying to make art, he's trying to make a game he would want to play and a product that appeals to his audience.  In that way they are both underrated media directors!