Toshihiro Nagoshi, the man behind the Yakuza series, confirmed that he will be leaving SEGA after being with them for about 32 years.
Earlier this year Bloomberg published a report that the creator of the Yakuza series, Toshihiro Nagoshi, would be leaving SEGA in order for him to join the NetEase, a Chinese Internet technology company providing online services centered on content, community, communications, and commerce and is a leading provider of self‐developed PC‐client and mobile games to worldwide users.
In a message on Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio’s official website, Nagoshi had this to say, “As I depart from SEGA, I’m also leaving my position as the head of Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio. Thank you to the fans who have supported us and the Yakuza series for many years. You have my sincerest and deepest gratitude.
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!”
Masayoshi Yokoyama, the series producer, now takes over for Nagoshi-san as the new director of Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio and a part of his message to the fans goes as follows, “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.”
All this comes amid the development of the sequel for Yakuza: Like A Dragon which will continue Ichiban Kasuga’s story.
While this may be sad news for those of us who love the Yakuza series, we can only wish Nagoshi-san our best when it comes to his future endeavors with his “new Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio” and hope that his departure has little to no impact on the identity of the Yakuza series.