‘Jet Set Radio’ artist and original ‘Yakuza’ director has returned to Sega

The developer has been on hiatus from the games industry since at least 2014

Ryuta Ueda, the artist behind the Dreamcast classic Jet Set Radio, has reportedly returned to Sega after a hiatus from the games industry.

His return is somewhat of a muted one though, as the developer had posted the news back in May on his Facebook page (as discovered via ResetEra).

“I have decided to resign from Yahoo Japan and return to my old company, Sega,” he wrote (translated by DeepL translator). “I am very grateful for the many people I met and the many lessons I learned through various projects at Yahoo!”

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“From now on, I will focus on making games again. Not only do I feel the excitement of making things, but I am also smiling a little at the thought of seeing old friends and meeting new people. I would like to fully demonstrate what I have cultivated through experience.”

Jet Set Radio Future
Jet Set Radio Future. Credit: SEGA

Ueda’s career has been predominantly with Sega as an artist, beginning in the mid-90s with work on the Panzer Dragoon series, although he is best known for the distinct cel-shaded art style in the Jet Set Radio series. He was also the game director for the first two Yakuza games on PS2.

After leaving Sega, he also made Rise Of Nightmares, a Kinect game for the Xbox 360, the first mature-rated game for Microsoft’s motion sensor device. From 2014, he left the games industry to work at Yahoo! Japan as a “manager”, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Recently, it was reported that Yakuza creator Toshihiro Nagoshi could be leaving Sega, and is in “final negotiations” to join Chinese developer NetEase.

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While Ueda’s return may not necessarily mean a revival of Jet Set Radio, a spiritual successor is fortunately on its way with Bomb Rush Cyberfunk, which is coming to Nintendo Switch as a console exclusive in 2022.

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