Grasshopper has its origins in Human Entertainment; after the development of Moonlight Syndrome, a tight but small group of Human staff, headed by Suda, formed Grasshopper to develop games that were even more surreal and mature than they were allowed to create under Human. For their first game, they only had about five in-house team members.
They slowly grew in scale as they became more popular. In 2009, Akira Yamaoka joined the company as an audio director, ending his long-time career at Konami. After having achieved even more mainstream success with the No More Heroes series, Grasshopper went through a period from around 2010-2013 where they had hundreds of employees; however, managing such a large company became an intimidating task, and CEO Suda took a step back from being actively involved in development to focus more on business management. During this time, they made more marketable games than they had before, but generally worked under publishers' demands for their major projects.
In 2013, the company was acquired by GungHo Online Entertainment, who would publish Let It Die in 2016. They also downsized heavily around this time to a company of only around 35 employees. Due to these changes, Suda was able to become more active in development again and the company was freer to pursue lower-budget experimental projects again, such as remakes of their older, previously Japan-only works. In 2021, GungHo sold Grasshopper to Chinese company NetEase Games.
Video games developed:
- The Silver Case
- Flower, Sun and Rain
- Shining Soul
- Shining Soul II
- Michigan: Report From Hell
- The 25th Ward
- Samurai Champloo: Sidetracked
- Blood+: One Night Kiss
- No More Heroes
- Fatal Frame IV (with Tecmo and Nintendo)
- Frog Minutes
- Shadows of the Damned
- Rebuild of Evangelion: 3nd Impact
- Sine Mora (with Digital Reality)
- Diabolical Pitch
- Liberation Maiden (with Level-5)
- Lollipop Chainsaw
- Black Knight Sword (with Digital Reality)
- Killer is Dead
- Short Peace: Ranko Tsukigime's Longest Day
- Let It Die
Tropes associated with Grasshopper Manufacture:
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: Each game differs on how much they acknowledge the player, the game itself, etc. In some cases, it is simply the game Leaning on the Fourth Wall, such as The Silver Case or Killer7. In other cases, there is No Fourth Wall to lean on or break, as with No More Heroes and Killer Is Dead.
- Stealth Sequel: Grasshopper tends to make some games this way, carrying on the story of a given game in another without making the connection clear at first. For example, Flower, Sun and Rain carries on the story of The Silver Case, but both games control radically differently, with Silver being a 3D visual novel and F.S.R. being an exploration and puzzle game with free movement.