Veteran Sega developer and creator of the Yakuza series Toshihiro Nagoshi could be leaving the company for a new role at NetEase, according to reports.
A report from Bloomberg (via Kotaku) claims that Nagoshi-san is yet to sign a final contract, but is in “final negotiations” according to their source. The report claims that, if hired, Nagoshi is likely to “run a semi-autonomous studio” within the company. According to speculation, NetEase are making the play for him in order to compete with rival Tencent.
At the time of writing, neither NetEase nor Sega are commenting on the reports. Specifically, a Sega spokesperson has said the company “doesn’t comment on the employment status of individual employees.”
Nagoshi joined Sega all the way back in 1989, and has worked on many of the company’s most popular series. These include titles such as Daytona USA, Virtua Fighter, Super Monkey Ball and Shenmue to name but a few. In 2005 he created the Yakuza franchise, and is currently the general director of Lost Judgment.
Could that be his last game under the Sega umbrella? Perhaps we’ll get an official announcement whether the Yakuza creator will head to NetEase soon. In the meantime, Lost Judgment is expected to release September 24 on Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PlayStation 5 and PlayStation 4.