Grasshopper Manufacture partners with DeNa

Suda 51's Grasshopper Manufacture studio is to form a dedicated social games company with DeNa, owner of hugely popular Japanese mobile social network Mobage.

The company, provisionally named Grasshopper Social Network Service, will develop mobile games exclusively for Gree, with Grasshopper to transfer its existing mobile operations to the new company and DeNa to provide funding.

"Our new venture with DeNA will allow us to explore creative ways to bring Grasshopper Manufacture's universe to a new world of players," Suda said in a press release. "Mobage's world-class entertainment network and the power of social mobile games will unlock new types of experience for our fans."

This is a ringing endorsement of the potential DeNa sees in Suda's games on social platforms. Mobage has over 30 million registered users in Japan alone, with a catalogue of over 1500 games. Suda signed up for Mobage's Super Creators programme in July, which will also see the likes of Keiji Inafune and Yuji Naka release games for the service. Soon afterwards Suda said Grasshopper was "aiming to make the social game with the most blood."