Toshihiro Nagoshi and Daisuke Sato, both veterans of Sega, are leaving Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio, it’s been confirmed. The studio has completed ten years, during which time it’s been known for the Yakuza series first and foremost, and says it’s now moving into a new chapter with fresh leadership, with Masayoshi Yokoyama coming in as the new head of studio.
Former studio head Nagoshi has been synonymous with Yakuza for as long as the series has been around, having created the property during the PS2 days and led some of the earlier projects as their director, following which he stepped into more of an overseeing role in a more hands-off capacity. Meanwhile, Sato is another crucial member of the Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio leadership, and has been involved in the production of Yakuza and Judgment games for nearly a year.
The new studio head, the aforementioned Yokoyama, has been on the writing team of basically every Yakuza game to date. He writes in the message announcing leadership changes at the studio that the next Yakuza game, continuing the story of new protagonist Ichiban Kasuga, is also in development.
Hiroyuki Sakamoto is serving as producer on the project, while the three directors being Ryosuke Horii (who’s also the entire series’ chief director), Yutaka Ito (the studio’s technical manager and the director of Lost Judgment), and Nobuaki Mitake (the series’ art director). Yokoyama himself is working on the game’s story, along with Tsuyoshi Furuta and Kazunobu Takeuchi.
Yokoyama wrote: “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.”
Less than two months ago, reports emerged that Nagoshi was on the verge of leaving Sega and would be joining NetEase. It hasn’t been officially confirmed where Nagoshi or Sato are headed yet though.