Yakuza Creator Toshihiro Nagoshi Confirms Sega Departure Alongside Yakuza: Like a Dragon Sequel Announcement
Yakuza series creator Toshihiro Nagoshi has confirmed that he will be leaving both Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio and SEGA. As part of the restructuring announcement, RGG Studio also confirmed it is currently working on a sequel to Yakuza: Like a Dragon.
This news from Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio and Nagoshi follows a report that said Chinese developer and publisher NetEase was in “final negotiations” with Nagoshi to hire him away from SEGA, the company he has been with since 1989.
Nagoshi, in a statement, didn’t reveal what his next move was, but he did confirm that he was leaving SEGA and RGG Studio.
“As I depart from SEGA, I’m also leaving my position as the head of Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio,” Nagoshi wrote. “Thank you to the fans who have supported us and the Yakuza series for many years. You have my sincerest and deepest gratitude.
“I persisted and am here now thanks to what I learned from many people around me. It’s credit to the colleagues who supported such that I could hone my mindset to continuously push boundaries.
“As of today, a new Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio is born where the series will live on. Though I don’t know for sure what they will create, I believe the new generation will further enhance the foundation we built over the years and deliver great games to the world. To achieve that, they too need to continue to learn, challenge themselves, and grow. I ask that you continue your support of the studio’s endeavors.
“Once again, I would like to express my deepest appreciation to all of you. Thank you so much for your support. Stay tuned for the many new beginnings!”
Nagoshi will be walking out the doors of RGG Studio alongside Yakuza series producer Daisuke Sato, who was the head of the studio for nine years.
Going forward, the new director of Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio will be series producer Masayoshi Yokoyama, and he discussed how the team will keep pushing forward with what made the studio a success while also forging a new path. One of the first steps on that road, according to Yokoyama, is a sequel to Yakuza: Like a Dragon and Ichiban Kasuga’s story.
“Ryu Ga Gotoku’s predecessors have passed down their beliefs and know-how to each and every staff member,” Yokoyama wrote. “You can witness it in the recently released Lost Judgment and will see it in the upcoming sequel to Yakuza: Like a Dragon which will continue Ichiban Kasuga’s story.
“This game is currently being developed by producer Sakamoto and directors Horii, Ito and Mitake. I myself along with Takeuchi and Furuta are working on the story.
“Whether it’s six months or one year from now, I hope to show you a new Ryu Ga Gotoku title by a new Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio that is different but still the same, and something that will spark a feeling of ‘this is what we are waiting for’ within you. I’d like to continue on my life as a video game creator with earnestness.”
Nagoshi joined SEGA in its early arcade days and worked on such series as Virtua Racing, Monkey Ball, and more before founding Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio and the Yakuza franchise.
For more, check out our review of Lost Judgment, how the studio has said they are charting a new future with Lost Judgement and Yakuza: Like a Dragon, and our review of Yakuza: Like a Dragon.
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