A little while back, Yakuza creator and major contributor Toshihiro Nagoshi surprised many with the announcement that he would be leaving Sega and Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio behind to head for a new position at NetEase. The official announcement exit came today, but his wasn’t the only one. Longtime Ryu Ga Gotoku lead designer and producer Daisuke Sato also revealed today that he would be exiting the company to head for a new chapter of his career. Despite these exits, a sequel to Yakuza: Like a Dragon is still in development.
Both Daisuke Sato and Toshihiro Nagoshi announced their official exits in statements on the Ryu Ga Gotoku website. We were already aware of Nagoshi’s exit previously. The Yakuza creator was previously reported to be headed over to NetEase where, last we heard, he was in “final negotiations” with the company. Daisuke Sato is another interesting exit. He had been a lead designer on the first Yakuza games and was a lead producer as late as Yakuza: Like a Dragon and Lost Judgment.
Daisuke Sato revealed in his statement that recent Yakuza series lead writer Masayoshi Yokoyama will be taking up Nagoshi’s role as studio lead and executive producer of Ryu Ga Gotoku. Meanwhile, Yakuza: Like a Dragon Ryosuke Horii will act as Yakuza series Chief Director and Sato’s fellow lead producer Hiroyuki Sakamoto will continue on as Ryu Ga Gotoku’s Chief Producer in Sato’s stead. Unlike Nagoshi, is unknown at this time where Sato is headed following his efforts at Sega and Ryu Ga Gotoku, but both shared an optimistic outlook for the RGG’s future.
“I look forward to seeing new titles and will continue to support Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio – this time, as a fan,” Sato wrote.
It is unknown exactly what has caused two of Ryu Ga Gotoku’s most veteran developers to exit the company, but with one headed to NetEase and the Yakuza series still set to move forward, it will also be interesting to see what a new Yakuza game looks like without them. Stay tuned as we continue to follow for further details and announcements of the sequel to Like a Dragon.