The passing of the Yakuza torch has occurred, with the heads of video game studio Ryu Ga Gotoku stepping down from their roles at the studio and SEGA as a whole. Both Toshihiro Nagoshi, who was a Creative Director at SEGA and the general director of Ryu Ga Gotoku and the Yakuza/Judgment series, and Daisuke Sato, who was a producer on the Yakuza/Judgment franchise, as well as an original designer and director on the series, left the studio in a message posted on the Ryu Ga Gotoku website for the studio’s 10th anniversary.
Nagoshi said that he “persisted and am here now thanks to what I learned from many people around me. It’s credit to the colleagues who supported such that I could hone my mindset to continuously push boundaries.” While Sato wrote that he is “sad to leave the place and colleagues who I shared many ups and downs with, but Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio has grown to a strong organization after 10 years since its birth.”
Both Nagoshi and Sato said that they will continue to support Ryu Ga Gotoku as fans of the studio and the franchises it has built, and are excited to see the next installment in the series.
Due to the departures, the management of Ryu Ga Gotoku has been reconstructed, with Yakuza: Like a Dragon head writer Masayoshi Yokoyama becoming the Director of Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio and an executive producer, while Ryosuke Horii, the director of Yakuza: Like a Dragon will stay on as the Chief Director of the franchise.
Yokoyama wrote that “Ryu Ga Gotoku’s predecessors have passed down their beliefs and know-how to each and every staff member. You can witness it in the recently released Lost Judgment and will see it in the upcoming sequel to Yakuza: Like a Dragon which will continue Ichiban Kasuga’s story,” reconfirming the sequel to the 2020 smash hit.
The latest game from the studio, Lost Judgment, which follows detective Yagami as he uncovers a murder in Yokohama and goes back to school as a mentor, was released on September 24 and will be the last game written by Toshihiro Nagoshi.
Source: Ryu Ga Gotoku official website
Daryl Harding is a Japan Correspondent for Crunchyroll News. He also runs a YouTube channel about Japan stuff called TheDoctorDazza, tweets at @DoctorDazza, and posts photos of his travels on Instagram.