Image: Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio

Toshihiro Nagoshi, the creator behind the hit Yakuza series of action-adventure games, has announced that he will be leaving Sega and Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio this year on its 10th anniversary. Joining him in his departure will be Daisuke Sato, the Yakuza franchise’s long-time series director and producer.

Both Nagoshi and Sato have published farewell messages on the Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio site, thanking fans for their support over the years and reassuring them that the developer will continue making great Yakuza games. Neither have confirmed where they’re headed next, however.

Message from Toshihiro Nagoshi:

As I depart from SEGA, I’m also leaving my position as the head of Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio. Thank you to the fans who have supported us and the Yakuza series for many years. You have my sincerest and deepest gratitude.

I 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.

As of today, a new Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio is born where the series will live on. 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.

Once again, I would like to express my deepest appreciation to all of you. Thank you so much for your support. Stay tuned for the many new beginnings!

Message from Daisuke Sato:

Thank you very much for your continued support of Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio.

On a personal note, I would like to take this opportunity to inform you that I am leaving SEGA to take a different path. Going forward, Series Producer Yokoyama will succeed the Studio Lead position, and Producer Sakamoto and Director Horii will become core leaders within Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio.

I have been involved in Yakuza’s development from the beginning and served as head of Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio for 9 years, so I feel a strong attachment towards it. It 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.

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.

I am very grateful for being involved in the series that has lasted for 15 years, and I would like to extend my gratitude to all the fans who have supported us, the staff who have worked together to grow the Yakuza series, as well as everyone in the industry that touched the Yakuza series in some way.

I look forward to seeing new titles and will continue to support Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio – this time, as a fan.

I hope the fans will continue to support the new Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio. Once again, thank you so much for your support over the years.

Ryu Ga Gotoku’s new director is Masayoshi Yokoyama, a veteran of the studio who served as chief producer for Yakuza: Kiwami, Yakuza 0, and other Yakuza titles. He was also a planner for Sega’s cult-classic Jet Set Radio games.

Source: Ryu Ga Gotoku

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