Goichi Suda, who goes by Suda51, and his studio Grasshopper Manufacture have made their names creating stylish action games like Killer7 and Lollipop Chainsaw. But now Suda51 is returning to one of his most popular franchises, No More Heroes, with Travis Strikes Again for the Switch.
The first two No More Heroes games debuted on the Wii, but the series has been on a break since 2010. The new title, which is coming out sometime in 2018, is a collaboration with indie studios and their famous games — like Hotline Miami and Shovel Knight.
So, why bring back Travis now? And why this focus on indie games? We had a chance to talk with Suda51 and get some answers.
GamesBeat: You’ve made many games for Nintendo systems. Why is your relationship with that company so strong?
Suda51: I’ve been working with Nintendo since the first two No More Heroes games, and they have always offered an immense amount of support and have always been willing to allow me to try new things and make the games I want to make. Just as the Wii was revolutionary in its time, with its motion controls and the various features it had, the Switch is once again a revolutionary piece of hardware that made me think, “Yeah, this is the platform I want to bring Travis back to” the moment I first saw it.
On top of that, as always, Nintendo has been extremely supportive and helpful throughout development of Travis Strikes Again, and they gave me an amazing opportunity to announce the game at Nindies Night and have also shown unparalleled support and passion for the indie games community, which I really respect.
GamesBeat: What do you think of the Switch?
Suda51: The Switch is awesome. Again, it’s a revolutionary piece of hardware and I feel it is really going to show that Nintendo platforms and games are for everyone, not just kids and families. I’ve stated before that Nintendo really is the most “punk” publisher and hardware creator out there, and the Switch only reinforces that image for me. I really can’t wait to be able to have everyone play TSA on the Switch and see not only what the Switch can do for the game, but what it can do for gamers and games in general.
GamesBeat: Why have you decided to work with indie developers?
Suda51: I’ve always considered both myself and Grasshopper Manufacture to be indie creators. Over the past few years we’ve been working with larger publishers and making bigger games with slightly bigger teams, but we started out as a small company with just a few people back when we debuted with The Silver Case, and so I really feel for them and respect what they do.
To me, these indie creators out there making the games they want to make and doing their own thing, these guys are the real rock stars as far as I’m concerned, and I wanted to show my support for them in a new way and do what I can to try to help them out.
GamesBeat: How has your approach to making games changed since No More Heroes 2 launched in 2010?
Suda51: While I’ve worked on some larger titles and with some larger companies, and have taken on a handful of different positions on the games I’ve worked on over the past decade, I feel that my fundamental approach to making games has always stayed relatively the same, in that I want to make the sort of games that I would want to play and that my fans would be able to relate to and would find fun as well.
Instead of making a certain game because it would sell well, or because of certain market trends, etc., I’d rather make a game that sold less copies but that really resonated with its players and really provides fun and enjoyment for the people who take the time to play it, and this is basically how I’ve always felt about making games.