Yakuza creator Toshihiro Nagoshi has announced his own development studio called Nagoshi Studio under NetEase, confirming reports made last year about his plans after leaving Sega. News about Nagoshi’s plans to open his own studio was first revealed in August 2021, where a report announced that Nagoshi planned to leave Sega and was “expected to set up his own team and create new games” with Chinese company NetEase. Following the report, Nagoshi officially departed from Sega and left his position as the head of Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio, Sega’s in-house development studio named after the Japanese title of the Yakuza series, in October 2021.
Today, NetEase has officially announced the establishment of Nagoshi Studio, named after Toshihiro Nagoshi, who is the studio’s Representative Director and CEO. The Chinese company expressed its excitement to support Nagoshi Studio’s future endeavors in the following statement, as NetEase feels that Nagoshi Studio shares similar commitments with their company:
“Aiming to create quality titles and deliver the essence of entertainment with strong motivation to reach the whole world, Nagoshi Studio Inc. shares the same commitment with NetEase Games to “Unleash the Potential of Creators” in an open and inclusive environment, hoping to reach and touch passionate gamers around the globe with high-quality and engaging content.”
Toshihiro Nagoshi also made an announcement, where he shared one of the goals that he would like to achieve at his new studio. “One of my goals at this studio is to create an open atmosphere. This may sound like an overly simplistic goal. But even the most talented creators cannot fully unleash their abilities in isolation. I believe that the first step to creating high-quality titles and delivering the essence of entertainment with strong motivation starts with creating an open atmosphere in the studio.”
With Nagoshi leading the studio, his team currently consists of several former Sega employees that he has closely worked with before on various projects, which includes producer Daisuke Sato, artist Kazuki Hosokawa, programmer Koji Tokieda, game designer Masao Shirosaki, engineer Mitsunori Fujimoto, artist Naoki Someya, director Taichi Ushioda, and artist Toshihiro Ando.
With the creation of Nagoshi Studio, many fans are inclined to believe that the studio will live up to its name, given Nagoshi’s expertise and experience. Nagoshi first joined Sega in 1989 and continued to work there for over 30 years. During his time at Sega, Nagoshi produced his first video game title, Daytona USA, in 1994 and became the president of Amusement Vision, an in-house development studio under Sega, in 2000. He developed the Monkey Ball series that same year, resulting in a Nintendo partnership. He created the first Yakuza game in 2005, the video game series he is mainly known for, and he became the general director at Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio. He later became Director and COO of Sega Corporation in 2011 and held that position until January 2021.