‘Yakuza’ series creator sets up own development studio – Nagoshi Studio

Work is already underway on its first game

Yakuza creator Toshihiro Nagoshi has announced the creation of his new development studio, Nagoshi Studio.

Earlier this month, there were suggestions it was coming as the studio appeared on the EU IP office (thanks, VGC). Nagoshi left Sega in October 2021, sparking rumours he would set up a new studio.

The news has since been made official with the launch of a website showing Nagoshi and other members of the team.


The studio is a “wholly owned subsidiary” of Chinese company, NetEase Games. It will focus on developing “high-end titles for worldwide release”, primarily on consoles.

The team is made up of Nagoshi and eight other staff members. These include a mixture of talent from the Yakuza series, the Judgment games, and Super Monkey Ball series. Daisuke Sato, director and producer on the Yakuza series is producer here, along with designer, Kazuki Hosokawa who worked on Panzer Dragoon and Jet Set Radio. He was also art director and designer of the Yakuza and Judgment games.

Yakuza & Judgment Characters Ichiban Kasuga and Takayuki Yagami
Credit: Sega / Ryu ga Gotoku Studios

Elsewhere, Koji Tokieda, a programmer who worked on Super Monkey Ball and F-Zero AX/GX is on the team. He was also main programmer for Yakuza: Like A Dragon. Masao Shirosaki was a producer for games in the Super Monkey Ball and Yakuza series, and is now a designer at Nagoshi Studio. There’s also Mitsunori Fujimoto who offered development support on Sega games since 1999, plus Taichi Ushioda who previously worked for Square Enix, Level-5 and Sega. Finally, there’s designer Naoki Someya and artist, Toshihiro Ando, who both worked on the Judgment games.

An interview with Famitsu, first spotted by VGC, confirmed that the studio is working on its first game. Nagoshi said that it will still have a Japanese focus. “We’re Japanese, and we’re a Japanese studio, so naturally the market that we understand the most is Japan,” he explained.

Nagoshi added, “we’ve been desperately trying to find a methodology that would allow us to create something that would be accepted around the world while keeping our focus on Japan”. Concluding, “however, I don’t think I have been able to give a complete answer to this question until now”.


The aim is to focus on only releasing games when they are ready, rather than rushing them. “I used to work with Nintendo, and I envied and admired their stance of ‘we won’t release a game until we can say it’s done’,” explained Nagoshi. He plans to “keep that same policy”.

In other gaming news, someone has built a Wordle bot that spoils the next day’s word.

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