Sega’s Toshihiro Nagoshi Talks About the Origins and Evolution of the Yakuza Series

Toshihiro Nagoshi Yakuza Sega Archipel

Sega’s CCO Toshihiro Nagoshi was featured in the latest Archipel video interview video to talk about the Yakuza series’s origins and evolution.

Check out the interview video “Toshihiro Nagoshi, the Yakuza years” below:

The Yakuza series celebrates its 15th anniversary this year, with over 12 million copies sold worldwide. In the latest of Archipel’s “Caravan” series, the head of Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio, Toshihiro Nagoshi, recollected on the origins of Yakuza. Nagoshi starts by talking about the Japanese game industry’s state at the time.

At first, Nagoshi wanted something aimed towards a worldwide audience. He wanted a game that would please both men and women. Moreover, he wanted something that could reach a target audience of kids to adults, if possible. While he felt that Nintendo could have handled the task, he wanted to pursue something that felt closer to their identity.

To do so meant having to give up on a few of their earlier goals. The first was to give up focusing on the worldwide audience part and instead focus on the Japanese audience. The next part dropped was the need for a younger audience. The third major point was when the team decided it was okay if women didn’t like the games. This led the team to focus on making games for adult Japanese men.  After narrowing down the themes, Sega went with one that involved “outlaws in Japan,” and the rest was history.

The first Yakuza game was Ryu ga Gotoku for the PlayStation 2, released in Japan on December 8, 2005. The latest entry, Yakuza: Like a Dragon, is available on the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, and PC. The PlayStation 5 version will arrive on March 2, 2021.

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