Toshihiro Nagoshi and Daisuke Sato have both confirmed they’re leaving Sega following a shake-up at Yakuza developer Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio.
The news was broken by the studio itself, as it announced it was to “transition to a new structure” to mark its 10th anniversary. New director Masayoshi Yokoyama explained the changes to fans, and thanked them for their support. “The world can change in a blink of an eye. And that requires us to change as well. It affects the way we work, the way we live, our morals and values, and even the way we make games.
Before Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio became truly established, “Ryu Ga Gotoku” was basically synonymous with ‘Toshihiro Nagoshi’. However, I did not want to rely too heavily on that. So although I had little influence at the time, I kept fighting for change. Ten years have passed since then, and that resistance I had felt has changed to a feeling of comradery over time and now, I am inheriting the studio from a great creator.”
Nagoshi himself also added his own words and thanked fans for supporting his almost-thirty-year career at Sega. “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 endeavours.”
Sato, meanwhile, said he was “looking forward” to experiencing future titles from the studio as a fan. “I believe that the studio has the power to not only continue the Yakuza series, but also to carry on that momentum even further beyond. The studio’s talented personnel are very capable of accomplishing this, which is why I can leave it in their care with confidence.”
Speaking of that future, Yokoyama confirmed that a follow-up to last year’s Yakuza: Like A Dragon is in the works, and will continue the story of Ichiban Kasuga. He revealed “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.”
The most recent game from Ryu Ga Gotoku was the latest entry in the Yakuza spin-off series Lost Judgment, which launched just a couple of weeks ago. Nagoshi was rumoured back in August to be joining NetEase, though he’s not confirmed his post-Sega plans at the time of writing.
As 2021 marks RGG Studio's 10th anniversary, we look forward to new beginnings.
— RGG Studio (@RGGStudio) October 8, 2021