Former Yakuza Director Announces Creation of New Studio

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Yakuza: After announcing his departure from Sega and leaving Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio, Toshihiro Nagoshi announced the creation of his new studio. In partnership with NetEase, a Chinese company focused on games and internet, he is opening Nagoshi Studio.

Until October of last year, the Japanese executive served as Creative Director at Sega, in addition to being the General Director of Ryu Ga Gotoku, where he led the development of the hit series Yakuza. After he left, Masayoshi Yokoyama of Yakuza: Like a Dragon took over.

According to The Verge, Nagoshi’s new studio will be based in Tokyo, having hired “a number of former Sega and [series] Yakuza employees”. Among the developer’s new collaborators are Daisuke Sato, Kazuki Hosokawa, Koji Tokieda, Masao Shirosaki, Mitsunori Fujimoto, Naoki Someya, Taichi Ushioda and Toshihiro Ando.

In an interview with the Japanese magazine Famitsu, Toshihiro Nagoshi talked a little about his departure from Sega and the subsequent partnership with NetEase. Among his reasons for leaving the traditional Japanese producer was a desire to create games that would have more appeal outside of Japan.

The executive points out, however, that for now the focus of his new studio remains the Japanese audience. The main difference, he says, is that being an independent developer will allow your team to create games without having to worry about Sega’s business plans and budgets.

He believes that NetEase will prioritize the creative freedom of its new studio. Nagoshi wants to do something different from what he has been doing so far, and hopes that his new partner and sponsor will make it possible.