After leaving Konami in December, Silent Hill's composer Akira Yamaoka has joined forces with Suda 51 and his company Grasshopper Manufacture.
Yamaoka, whose departure was something of a surprise, was quickly drawn to Grasshopper due to Suda 51's plans for gaming. "It was a case of really good timing. I knew about Suda long before I met him," Yamaoka said. "I saw Grasshopper as one of those few Japanese outfits whose games can appeal to an overseas audience. I had a chance to meet him in Los Angeles and we talked about this and that, and once we started discussing how we wanted to do something creative for a world audience, I was hooked on the company," Yamaoka said.
Working with Suda 51, Yamaoka has already produced a number of songs for No More Heroes 2, which was released in January. He is also working with Suda 51 and Shinji Mikami (creator of Resident Evil, Resident Evil 4, and God Hand) on a new project described by Suda 51 as "mysterious, very unique, horror-packed action game."
For his part, Suda 51 is equally excited about the partnership. "I really love Yamaoka. Ever since I saw a video of Silent Hill 2 at the Tokyo Game Show nine years ago, I've always dreamed of working alongside him. That's why I thought I'd invite him over when I started hearing rumors that he left [Konami]," he said.
So what's next for Yamaoka? Aside from composing for Grasshopper, he may reach beyond the realm of music with Suda 51 and Mikami's newest project. Beyond that, all we can say is Yamaoka's interests aren't tethered solely to game composing, and working with Grasshopper may be just the thing he needs to move to other venues.