As Ryu Ga Gotoku celebrates its 10th anniversary, the company is undergoing a restructuring in which two key players have left the studio: Yakuza series creator and studio director Toshihiro Nagoshi and Yakuza producer Daisuke Sato. The two have been involved with the studio since its founding in 2011. Previously, they were key members of Ryu Ga Gotoku predecessors Amusement Vision and New Entertainment R&D Dept.
In the same announcement, Ryu Ga Gotoku announced work on a sequel to 2020’s Yakuza: Like a Dragon. No further information on the title was shared at this time.
Why is the company restructuring?
Ryu Ga Gotoku was founded in 2011 after New Entertainment R&D dissolved. Nagoshi and Sato were both instrumental in the studio’s work, having worked for the company since its inception. The two expressed their support for the others at Ryu Ga Gotoku who will follow in their footsteps.
Nagoshi delivered a message to the fans as part of the studio’s announcement:
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 a credit to the colleagues who supported such that I could hone my mindset to continuously push boundaries.Toshihiro Nagoshi, Yakuza series creator and former Director at Ryu Ga Gotoku
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.Daisuke Sato, former Producer at Ryu Ga Gotoku
What’s next for Ryu Ga Gotoku?
As part of the restructuring, Yakuza writer Masayoshi Yokoyama will take Nagoshi’s place as the head of Ryu Ga Gotoku. Yokoyama said in a reflective message:
Before Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio became truly established, “Ryu Ga Gotoku” was basically synonymous with Toshihiro Nagoshi. However, I did not want to rely too heavily on that. So although I had little influence at the time, I kept fighting for change. Ten years have passed since then, and that resistance I had felt has changed to a feeling of comradery over time, and now, I am inheriting the studio from a great creator.Masayoshi Yokoyama, Director of Ryu Ga Gotoku
While this is the end of an era for Ryu Ga Gotoku, we’re still excited to see what lies in store after its restructuring. We’re also eagerly anticipating what Nagoshi and Sato will go on to do as they leave the studio they helped create.