Yakuza Creator Is Leaving Sega to Join Chinese Company NetEase

A Legendary Creator Is Moving On

Toshihiro Nagoshi is a legend in the gaming industry as he is the creator of classic games such as Sega Rally, Monkey Ball, and Yakuza. He has been with Sega since 1989, so it is a little sad to learn he is in the final stages of negotiating a contract to join the Chinese gaming company NetEase.

His current series, Yakuza, has been an absolute hit for Sega, and I’m curious who will be in charge of it going forward. Nagoshi was even had his own studio with Sega that developed the Yakuza games called Ryu Ga Gotoku.

yakuza 6

Bloomberg reports that he “hasn’t signed a final contract and his duties have yet to be finalized,” but Nagoshi “is expected to set up his own team and create new games.” At least we will continue to see new games from this talented creator.

It is speculated that this move by NetEase is to help it compete against the giant that is Tencent. Tencent has put funding into major studios such as Riot and PlatinumGames. Tencent has been notorious in the gaming industry over in the West here for putting throwing money and buying stake in a variety of studios.

Super Monkey Ball

It will be a bit of a blow to fans to learn of Nagoshi’s departure. He has been a part of Sega since 1989 and has created some huge franchises. However, those franchises, especially Yakuza, are unlikely to be directly impacted. These games are owned by Sega and are created by huge teams. It is just going to feel strange knowing Nagoshi isn’t behind them anymore.

While his departure is a bit sad, it isn’t a total surprise. He stepped down from Sega’s board of directors and his role as Chief Creative Officer of the company due to comments he made about esports players.