Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio, the Sega team responsible for the Yakuza, and Judgment series, has seen a change in leadership.
In a major announcement, Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio revealed that Yakuza series creator and longtime creative lead and studio head, Toshihiro Nagoshi, is leaving the studio. Nagoshi will be succeeded by Masayoshi Yokoyama.
Producer Daisuke Sato is also departing Sega and Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio. Game director Ryosuke Horii, and producer Hiroyuki Sakamoto will now share core leadership of the studio. The pair did not say where they're going to end up, but we might have an idea.
In late August, Bloomberg reported that Nagoshi had been in talks with Chinese publisher NetEase, who wants the veteran designer to head up a new team and work on something with international appeal. It's not clear if Sato will be joining him.
In a farewell message, Nagoshi thanked fans for their continued support of the studio and its games.
"I persisted and am here now thanks to what I learned from many people around me," said Nagoshi. "It’s credit to the colleagues who supported such that I could hone my mindset to continuously push boundaries."
"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," he added.
Sato shared the same sentiment, saying that he has full faith in the studio's ability to continue innovating, hinting that it could move beyond Yakuza.
"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," said Sato.