In case you’re unfamiliar with the two, Toshihiro Nagoshi is the previous head of Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio, while Daisuke Sato is the previous Yakuza Series producer. Both Nagoshi and Sato are key figures in Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio and for the Yakuza series.
Replacing Nagoshi as the new Director of the studio is Masayoshi Yokoyama, a long-time writer and producer for the Yakuza series.
Regarding the new structure for Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio, Yokayama released the following statement:
What is “Ryu Ga Gotoku”?
Two years ago when we announced Yakuza: Like a Dragon, there was a lively discussion among fans, and we were able to learn a lot from it.
Things that change; things that should be protected; things that should be connected.
Some of these were ideas that I’d never considered when we founded Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio.
Back then, we were desperately living day to day just trying to secure our future happiness. We had to sacrifice a lot to achieve that.
Perhaps, because we devoted ourselves to keep facing these challenges head-on, we were able to keep going for this long and achieved this milestone of 10 years as a studio.
The world can change in a blink of an eye. And that requires us to change as well.
It affects the way we work, the way we live, our morals and values, and even the way we make games.
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.
In announcing the new structure of the studio, I contemplated what I should convey to everyone. Then, I remembered the words I said on August 31st ten years ago, onstage at the Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio launch announcement:
“I’m proud to be standing here as a member of the studio today.”
At the time, I had an immense sense of pride in “Ryu Ga Gotoku,” and that feeling hasn’t changed today. To me, it is something I must protect.
For fans who have supported the series and for actors and development staff, the games Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio creates must be something that all can be proud of.
This is what is necessary for “Ryu Ga Gotoku” to continue to be “Ryu Ga Gotoku.”
This time, I boldly stand in front of you with the key members of the studio to express my determination just as we did ten years ago.
Though, now that you see me acting all cool in this photo, it’s going be extra uncool if the games don’t live up to our standards, so I’m going to give it my all and stay true to my words.
I’m not going to say, “please believe in us!” We’ll continue to do our best and let our games do the talking.
And I hope that you would support and watch over the future endeavors of Nagoshi and Sato, who are embarking on a new journey just as we are.
Ryu Ga Gotoku’s predecessors have passed down their beliefs and know-how to each and every staff member. You can witness it in the recently released Lost Judgment and will see it in the upcoming sequel to Yakuza: Like a Dragon which will continue Ichiban Kasuga’s story.
This game is currently being developed by producer Sakamoto and directors Horii, Ito and Mitake. I myself along with Takeuchi and Furuta are working on the story.
Whether it’s six months or one year from now, I hope to show you a new Ryu Ga Gotoku title by a new Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio that is different but still the same, and something that will spark a feeling of “this is what we are waiting for” within you. I’d like to continue on my life as a video game creator with earnestness.
Thank you very much for your continued support.
Joining Yokoyama in the core team are other long-time Yakuza series developers, including Ryosuke Horii, Hiroyuki Sakamoto, Yutaka Ito, Nobuaki Mitake, Takayuki Sorimachi, and Daisuke Fukagawa.
Along with the announcement of a new structure for the studio, Yokoyama confirmed in his statement that the next Yakuza games is currently in development.