The lights are on
Grasshopper Manufacture’s Goichi “Suda51” Suda (No More Heroes, Lollipop Chainsaw) is known for his highly stylized single-player games, but he has a unique vision for next generation multiplayer. The Japanese developer has been quiet about details on his upcoming PS4 title, Lily Bergamo, but was willing to talk about his thoughts on more emotionally engaging multiplayer and the future of open-world games during a chat at the Tokyo Game Show 2013.
We asked Suda about what next-gen possibilities have him the most excited. He explains his abstract idea of creating stronger emotional bonds between players through multiplayer.
“If I were to use a term it would probably be ‘beyond multiplayer’,” Suda says. “Right now multiplayer is set to that we’re connecting together one person with another person, and I think with next-gen the opportunity is there to create something in addition to that. So you’re putting two people together and these people are just playing together, but what is the relationship between these people? There’s another layer to that you can add. To go beyond putting one person with another person. Not just the connection but having an actual… I want to say ecosystem. Placing two people together in a room is simple, but the type of relationship these people are going to have is completely different. I think having that relationship is an additional layer that next-gen is going to be able to provide.”
When pressed further, Suda envisions a globally-connected game world where pockets of people band together and their gameplay is affected by the relationships formed between them.
“Right now we are all connected, but with next-gen I think you are able to connect with pretty much anybody in the world, and maybe between just a handful of people there’s this group with a really emotional relationship, and you’re able create something so deep that it affects your gameplay as well,” Suda says. “That’s something I think will happen with next-gen, and that could probably change the gameplay experience depending on who you play with.”
On the topic of the next generation of consoles, Suda is confident we’ll see a rise in open-world games thanks to the improved hardware.
“Definitely open world is going to be a key part, because potentially everything could become open world,” Suda says. “Next-gen will take us beyond the current open world experience. Now that GTA V has been released I think that will be the indicator of what is capable and all kinds of things we can think of. I’m really looking forward to that. “
Our Take:Suda’s eccentric, forward-thinking mind seems fixed on the concept of a massively multiplayer game that focuses on the strong bonds that form when a smaller group of individuals come to rely on one another. Grasshopper Manufacture is owned by GungHo Online Entertainment America, a company that specializes in MMOs like Ragnarok Online. Given Suda’s interest in crafting more emotional multiplayer experiences and GungHo’s technological capabilities, I think we may see a game like he’s describing next generation.