Yakuza creator Nagoshi Shares Early Information About the New Studio’s First Game

Yakuza veterans say the story is more important than the location. One of the creators of Yakuza, Toshihiro Nagoshi, shared his thoughts on the first game being developed by his new team, Nagoshi Studio.


In an interview with IGN Japan, the designer made several references to the studio’s first project after Nagoshi and other Yakuza veterans left Sega. Nagoshi suggested that his new NetEase-backed studio would not stray too far from what made the Yazuka and Judgment games so successful.

“We’re influenced by the movies, and we want to make games that offer high quality, human drama,” Nagoshi explained (as translated by IGN). “That’s what we find fun. Just like before, we hope to create games in this spirit that can reach a global audience.”

“So you won’t get smartphone puzzle games or anything like that from us. Those games are fun, but what we’re good at, and what the world expects from us, are games with dramatic and moving stories, and that’s what we want to do. So that’s what we focus on.”

Nagoshi also noted that the studio’s first game is currently in the early stages of development.

“As a game maker, I’ve always had a set of things I’d like to do one day, and I have a specific idea of my own that I want to expand on now,” he said. “Now the idea is slowly taking shape, with the help of the team.”



To this suggestive storyline will be added many other stories that will run in parallel, thus reinforcing the sensational global script that will be embodied in this attractive video game.

The Japanese environment is important, but there are more important things


Nagoshi’s games are highly regarded for their detailed Japanese environments, but the designer stressed that the quality and story of the game has always been more important to the team than the setting.

“If you look at the sales of the Yakuza series, I think the eastern setting probably helped to make the game feel more unique, but I don’t think that alone is enough to make it sell millions,” the developer claims.

“There has to be something stronger, like an emotional story or a balance between gameplay and storytelling, and the overall quality has to be high. So for our next game to be a global hit, I don’t think location is that important.”

“If the drama is good, then people in France can be moved by a Takeshi Kitano film, and we in Japan can enjoy an Indian film. If the quality of the play is good, then anyone anywhere can enjoy it. I want to return to this pure element of entertainment.”

Nagoshi’s last game for Sega was Lost Judgment. The developer officially announced the creation of Nagoshi Studio in January. The studio will be a “wholly owned subsidiary” of China’s NetEase Games and will focus on developing “high-end titles for worldwide release” – primarily for consoles.

In an interview with Famitsu last month, Nagoshi confirmed that the studio has already started work on its first game, and that it will continue to be Japanese-focused, as with Yakuza and Judgment.

“We’re Japanese and we’re a Japanese studio, so of course the market we understand best is Japan,” he explained.

“We’ve worked hard to find a methodology that allows us to create something that is accepted around the world while still keeping our focus on Japan. However, I don’t think I’ve been able to give a complete answer to that question yet.

“I created Nagoshi Studio to find the answer, to pursue the ideal. But the focus will remain on Japan in the future.”




“It is only ready when it is ready!”


Toshihiro Nagoshi’s studio will be financed by NetEase. Nagoshi also noted in an interview with Famitsu that his studio will focus on releasing games only when they are ready, rather than rushing them.

“I used to work at Nintendo, and I envied and admired their ‘we won’t release a game until we can say it’s ready’ attitude,” he said.

“I envied and admired that attitude, and I want to continue that policy of not abandoning ideals, but persevering until those ideals become reality.

If you’ve never made a game before, you might think that’s natural. But if someone who makes toys hears this, they might think, “Are you sure you can say that in this day and age?” – laughed the Japanese developer.

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