In a message commemorating the tenth anniversary of Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio, makers of the Yakuza and Judgment series, the company confirmed that its founder and Yakuza creator Toshihiro Nagoshi is leaving SEGA and RGG studios. Longtime Yakuza series Director Daisuke Sato is leaving the studio as well. The official RGG Studio Twitter account and website posted a statement about the matter on October 8th, 2021. The statement includes messages from team members and confirms a sequel to Yakuza: Like A Dragon is in development.
As 2021 marks RGG Studio's 10th anniversary, we look forward to new beginnings.
— RGG Studio (@RGGStudio) October 8, 2021
Accompanying the message was a photo of RGG Studio’s leadership, with new Director and Executive Producer Masayoshi Yokoyama in the center. Yokoyama is credited as Chief Producer on Yakuza 0, Yakuza 6, the Yakuza Kiwami remakes, and directed Yakuza 5. Also included in the photo were Yakuza series Chief Director Ryosuke Horii, the Chief Producer Hiroyuki Sakamoto, Technical Manager and Lost Judgment Director Yutaka Ito, Yakuza series Art Director Nobuaki Mitake, Animation Director Takayuki Sorimachi, and Visual and Cutscene Direct Daisuke Fukagawa.
A message from Yokoyama acknowledged that “the world can change in a blink of an eye,” as well as the need to gradually move away from how the “Ryu Ga Gotoku” name (also the Yakuza series’ name in Japan) was synonymous with the studio’s founder Toshihiro Nagoshi. He also confirmed that the studio is developing a sequel to Yakuza: Like A Dragon (known as Ryu ga Gotoku 7 in Japan), which would “continue Ichiban Kasuga’s story.”
Toshihiro Nagoshi and Daisuke Sato also had messages to accompany the announcement. In Toshihiro Nagoshi’s case, the message formally confirms earlier rumors that he was in negotiations to leave RGG Studio and Sega, where he had worked since 1989. Both expressed confidence in the new leadership at RGG Studio and asked fans and onlookers to continue their support.
Yakuza: Like A Dragon is available on PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X. Check out Siliconera’s review of Lost Judgment, the last RGG Studio work released before Nagoshi and Sato’s departure.