NetEase officially established Nagoshi Studio, with Yakuza series creator Toshihiro Nagoshi as President and CEO. Alongside Nagoshi is Daisuke Sato, who also left Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio last year. Other members include industry veterans and frequent past collaborators from SEGA and other Ryu Ga Gotoku franchises. In an interview, Nagoshi explained why he decided to leave his former studio to go independent. [Thanks, Famitsu!]
At its founding, Nagoshi Studio totals nine members from various backgrounds. Aside from Nagoshi and Sato, Judgment series producer Kazuki Hosokawa is part of the team, as well as Super Monkey Ball Banana Mania producer Masao Shirosaki. With this new endeavor, Nagoshi hopes to make “dramatic games” that will entertain people across the world. Notably, Nagoshi already has a plan for the studio’s first game. He describes it as a “diverse title” that will be valuable to those from various cultural backgrounds and perspectives.
Furthermore, Nagoshi reveals that he decided to go independent due to the difficulties involved in games for large companies.
It’s a pretty obvious thing and not necessarily bad, but large businesses have plans laid out years in advance, and decide their product line up based on that. Even if you make a game, development revolves around those details and budgets. The reason why we went independent is because we wanted to make games without any of those prerequisites. And when we told NetEase that we wanted to ‘go our own way creatively’, they said they were on board.
This doesn’t mean we’ll be making games that won’t sell, of course. As before, proper release timing and a product that fans will enjoy are our major requirements. The content might be bolder than before, but we’ll still be looking at the market realistically.
Nagoshi expressed hope that Nagoshi Studio will be a company where people can talk freely. He adds that NetEase respected his creative freedom the most and that he himself is surprised that a non-Japanese company is funding him.