Yakuza Series Creator Toshihiro Nagoshi Issues Statement on New NetEase Studio
(Photo by: Nagoshi Studio)

Yakuza Series Creator Toshihiro Nagoshi Issues Statement on New NetEase Studio

Yakuza series creator Toshihiro Nagoshi left Sega in late 2021 to join NetEase Games, and recently announced that he has started up his own development studio within the company. Now, he has released a statement about said studio and the goals he has for it.

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Nagoshi announced the news in a message on the team’s website, saying that he was committed to continuing to deliver what fans and players want. He also touched on how times, tastes, and business models change and could be outdated, he said he still believes that what players want from their entertainment — dreams, hope, and excitement in their day-to-day lives — remains the same.

“People see their dreams in entertainment,” he said. “People look to entertainment to give them hope in life, to soothe them in times of difficulty, and to add excitement in happy times. People look to entertainment to provide the spark for all kinds of events. There are obviously differences between the past and the present in how entertainment is consumed, its volume and velocity, but its essence remains the same. The only way to deliver this essence to the world is if all creators approach the works they create with seriousness and clarity while grinding away to get closer to reaching the ideal.”

But this, according to Nagoshi, isn’t something a bunch of isolated team members can achieve. So in order to create the games with their full potential, he wants to make a “open-ended” studio that can collaborate more efficiently.

“This may sound like an overly simplistic goal,” he said. “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. This means having open-ended discussions that ignore seniority and hierarchy.”

This new journey is likely to have some of its hardships. But Nagoshi had a positive attitude toward mistakes, as he said that he won’t fear them and will treat them as “assets.”

“This means not fearing mistakes while also not being afraid to correct them, and treating failures as assets,” said Nagoshi. “This means not giving up on reaching the ideal, and fighting to get closer to it. This may seem so simple, but the simplest things can unexpectedly be the hardest to do, and at the same time the most important. Nagoshi Studio is committed to creating content for the world to enjoy from this atmosphere.”

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Nagoshi is perhaps best known for his work on the Yakuza series, which he created in 2005 and which quickly went on to become a smash hit in the gaming community, spawning various sequels and spin-off series. In 2021, Nagoshi became creative director of Sega, until leaving the after 30 years to join NetEase later that year.

It’s currently unclear what Nagoshi Studios has planned for its first game, but since the team is comprised of acclaimed industry veterans, we’ll likely be hearing more from him in the future.


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