Grasshopper Manufacture and Goichi “Suda 51” Suda’s new action game Killer is Dead looks mighty fetching based on early screenshots and the first trailer released of the game. Its beauty is potentially more than skin deep, as well, since Suda says that this game is a successor to his smartest and provocative games, Killer 7 and No More Heroes. Who will bring this game to the masses, though? Its Japanese publisher is Kadokawa Games, a subsidiary of the massive Kadokawa Holdings Group the owns multiple video game imprints including Enterbrain, ASCII Media Works, and Media Factory, all of whom have no significant publishing presence outside Japan. Enter Xseed Games, the US’ premiere publisher of Japanese games.
Industry patent, job listing, and web domain sleuth Superannuation spotted a number of new web domains filed by Xseed that strongly suggest it’s bringing the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 game over to America. These domain names include killerisdead-game.com, killandlove.com, and loveandkill.com.
Xseed is a natural fit for Killer is Dead, both because of its history publishing unusual Japanese games abroad—Corpse Party is just one recent example of the sort of deeply regional gaming cuisine Xseed trades in—but because of the history between Xseed’s parent company and Grasshopper Manufacture. Marvelous AQL is the owner of Xseed. That publisher is responsible for the Japanese distribution of the No More Heroes series, Killer is Dead’s direct predecessor.
While the evidence is strong, Xseed wasn’t willing to fully commit to the game just yet. Speaking with Siliconera, Xseed exeuctive vice-president Ken Berry was coy about his imprint’s relationship with the game. “Xseed Games cannot confirm that they are publishing Killer is Dead in North America.”
Much can happen between the time a game is announced for publication and when it actually comes out. For example: Xseed announced it would publish the Vanillaware PSP RPG Grand Knights History in the United States. Grand Knights History was also published by Marvelous AQL in Japan, but while Xseed announced a localization in September 2011, it cancelled those plans in May 2012.
Killer is Dead is a much easier sell than Grand Knights History, though. A PS3/360 action game will always sell better than a whimsical PSP RPG, no matter what.
For more on Xseed’s future plans, check back on Digital Trends this Saturday for an interview with Ken Berry.