Veteran game producer Yoshimi Yasuma has announced that he and a host of former Kadokawa Games employees have created a new studio that is beginning work on a remake of the 2012 cult hit Lollipop Chainsaw. The zombie hack-and-slash title featured game design by No More Heroes director Suda 51, and a script written by writer/director James Gunn, years before he would work on Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy films.
Gunn would later cite Lollipop Chainsaw as an aesthetic influence on certain sequences in his recent film The Suicide Squad.
Neither Suda 51 or Gunn are returning to this project, which is under development at Dragami Games. Dragami Games was founded in May by Yasuma and company director Satoshi Fuyuno, both former employees of Kadokawa Games.
Kadokawa Games formally commenced operations on July 1, 2022, and announced that it would take over sales of 15 Kadokawa Games titles. It also purchased the intellectual property rights for Lollipop Chainsaw in order to develop this remake.
In his announcement, Yasuma said that Warner Bros. Games (which published Lollipop Chainsaw outside of Japan back in 2012, and introduced Gunn to the project) is “supporting” Kadokawa Games in developing the game.
Though Yasuma is promising updated visuals with more “realistic” graphics, this project will have to grapple with the fact that the original Lollipop Chainsaw had licensed 15 music tracks for the game. Yasuma explained that while the game will have “a few” licensed tracks, Dragami Games will be composing original music for this version of the game.
The expired music licenses are likely why the game was de-listed from online stores sometime around 2018.
It’s interesting to see the business logistics that Yasuma and his colleagues went through in order to get a Lollipop Chainsaw remake off the ground. Remakes of wide-selling games have become more and more popular with large publishers in the last few years, but since Lollipop Chainsaw wasn’t owned by an industry heavy hitter, its creators seem to have found a more unconventional route to get it back on digital store shelves.