By joseph Leray

XSEED -- a publisher that specializes in localizing and distributing Japanese games in the States -- made news late last week when they announced a North American publishing line-up for 2013 that includes Goichi Suda’s slick, stylish action game, “Killer is Dead.” That’s well and good, as is the news that the game will be released in the States this summer.

The first inkling of XSEED’s plans came last month when the company registered a few “Killer is Dead”-related web domains, including “” Here’s the twist: in the time between XSEED’s domain registries and official announcement, Grasshopper Manufacture, the studio developing the game, was acquired by GungHo Entertainment Online.

GungHo is primarily focused on publishing MMORPGs, particularly the uberpopular “Ragnarok Online,” though they’ve made a habit over the years of buying small, innovative companies -- their subsidiaries include Acquire Corp., known for the “Tenchu” series, and Game Arts, who made the “Grandia” and “Lunar” RPG franchises. GungHo also opened a North American division last year, which originally piqued my interest as a potential way for “Killer is Dead” to make it stateside.

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