NetEase Games has announced the establishment of Nagoshi Studio, a new game development studio headquartered in Shibuya, Tokyo and led by Yakuza series creator Toshihiro Nagoshi as its president and CEO. The studio will focus on developing high-quality console titles that will be released worldwide.
Here is a message from Nagoshi on the studio’s establishment:
The sea of change that began in the entertainment industry in the late 20th century has brought even greater change to the industry in the 21st century.
Changes to entertainment content, how it’s made and the business model driven by technology and infrastructure advances have sparked a paradigm shift, and these changes are continuing to unfold with greater and greater speed.
What only yesterday had been considered the height of cool now suddenly becomes outdated before you know it.
For creators, this makes working in the industry today incredibly challenging.
But no matter how the times change, I believe that what people essentially want from entertainment has not changed one bit.
People see their dreams in entertainment.
People look to entertainment to give them hope in life, to soothe them in times of difficulty, and to add excitement in happy times. People look to entertainment to provide the spark for all kinds of events.
The appetite for entertainment is the same today as it was in the past.
There are obviously differences between the past and the present in how entertainment is consumed, its volume and velocity, but its essence remains the same.
The only way to deliver this essence to the world is if all creators approach the works they create with seriousness and clarity while grinding away to get closer to reaching the ideal.
One of my goals at this studio is to create an open atmosphere.
This may sound like an overly simplistic goal.
But even the most talented creators cannot fully unleash their abilities in isolation.
I believe that the first step to creating high-quality titles and delivering the essence of entertainment with strong motivation starts with creating an open atmosphere in the studio.
This means having open-ended discussions that ignore seniority and hierarchy.
This means not fearing mistakes while also not being afraid to correct them, and treating failures as assets. This means not giving up on reaching the ideal, and fighting to get closer to it.
This may seem so simple, but the simplest things can unexpectedly be the hardest to do, and at the same time the most important.
Nagoshi Studio is committed to creating content for the world to enjoy from this atmosphere.
The following eight staff make up the additional founding members of the new studio:
Daisuke Sato (producer)
- Profile: Joined Capcom Co., Ltd. in 1992 after graduating from university. Joined SEGA Enterprises, Inc. (currently SEGA Corporation) in 1994 and worked in the AM#2 department. Also worked in the consumer business, where he was the director and producer of the Yakuza series, and later became head of the development studio business. Appointed Director at Nagoshi Studio Inc. in January 2022.
- Message: “Nagoshi Studio Inc. is a brand-new company. Led by Toshihiro Nagoshi, our team of creators aims to produce high-end console titles that will become famous around the world. We are just beginning to build our culture as a new company, which will focus on delivering products of the highest quality. One thing that I intend to do as Director of the company is to make sure that we reward our creators for their work when we get the results we seek. I want our studio to be a place where we feel great satisfaction from the products we make as well as the work we do. We are currently hiring development staff. Come on board if you’re interested in sharing your passion and succeeding as a creator with us!”
Kazuki Hosokawa (artist)
- Profile: Joined SEGA Enterprises, Inc. (currently SEGA Corporation) in 1995, and was involved as a designer in series such as Panzer Dragoon and Jet Set Radio. He later became art director and director of the Yakuza series and producer of the Judgment series. Joined Nagoshi Studio in January 2022.
- Message: “I want to make games that people can’t resist. It has always been my goal to make beautiful, fun and expansive games that people won’t want to put down. I’ve had my good days and bad days while creating games, but one thing I’ve learned is that you always have to challenge yourself if you want to achieve your goals and make something great. Our new studio is full of people who have great ambition, and it is the perfect place to challenge yourself to make games that people become obsessed with. We don’t set boundaries on our creativity or the possibilities, because we believe there are no limits. We are looking for creators who will join us in our creative challenges. Please reach out if you want to experience the joy, the pain and the great satisfaction of creating at Nagoshi Studio. We look forward to working with passionate people!”
Koji Tokieda (programmer)
- Profile: Joined Amusement Vision, Ltd. (currently SEGA Corporation) as a programmer in 2001. After working in program development for the Super Monkey Ball series and F-ZERO AX/GX, he was involved in the Yakuza series, and was the main programmer for Yakuza: Like a Dragon. Joined Nagoshi Studio, Inc. in January 2022.
- Message: “I have been making games with Toshihiro Nagoshi for the past 20 years. And now I look forward to soon delivering games that people will love from the new Nagoshi Studio! I believe that it is a game programmer’s mission to make games interesting. The main job of programmers at Nagoshi Studio Inc. is to develop games using programming language. However, we are also looking for people who can contribute ideas to new endeavors and elevate the quality of our games, regardless of their role in the organization. If you are a creator who wants to make fun games and new titles for high-end console games, this is your chance to join us at our studio. Let’s create the future together!”
Masao Shirosaki (game designer)
- Profile: Joined SEGA Corporation as a planner in 2007. He was involved in the development for the Yakuza series, Kurohyo series, and Sakatsuku series, and was a producer for the Super Monkey Ball series. Has a wealth of experience in game development for various platforms, including development and operations for online mobile games. Joined Nagoshi Studio Inc. in January 2022.
- Message: “Hello everyone! I’m Shirosaki. Thank you for checking out our website. It had always been my dream to become a game creator. I want to create the excitement that so many great titles have given to me, so that I can share this with others and in some small way make people feel good. I look forward to working alongside Toshihiro Nagoshi to create games like this at Nagoshi Studio. We are going to make great games you’ll have fun playing, so stay tuned! We’re also looking for people to help us make games that light up the world. If you have this passion, aspiration and ambition, reach out and contact us!”
Mitsunori Fujimoto (engineer)
- Profile: Joined SEGA Enterprises, Inc. (currently SEGA Corporation) in 1991 after working at an overseas computer manufacturer. Primarily worked in IT roles (development environments and online games), and was engaged in a companywide development support business. Joined Nagoshi Studio Inc. in January 2022.
- Message: “You probably have high expectations for games that come with the Nagoshi Studio name. We created this company to make games that live up to these expectations for scale and quality. We make games that are deep, epic and filled with a commitment to please our fans. My role isn’t in game development per se, but is to provide whatever is necessary so that game developers can focus on their work. We’ve basically started from scratch without the infrastructure, pipeline or systems needed to develop deep, epic games. There is a lot of freedom, but it is also a major undertaking. We hope to hear from you if you think this adventure is right for you.”
Naoki Someya (artist)
- Profile: Joined Amusement Vision, Ltd. (currently SEGA Corporation) in 2002 as a designer, and was involved in developing arcade games and console games. Served as the background designer for the Yakuza series and art director for the Judgment series. Joined Nagoshi Studio Inc. in January 2022.
- Message: “There is no greater pleasure as a game designer than to know that people get immersed in the visuals of a game and have fun in the world they create. There are a few things I would like to accomplish at the new Nagoshi Studio Inc. They include creating the greatest art the industry has ever seen, and creating titles that are loved by users. Our biggest goal, however, is to create as many titles as we can that wow the world. We’re intent on making these goals a reality, so stay tuned! We’re also looking for creators that want to take this journey with us. If you want to test your abilities and set goals to achieve, then Nagoshi Studio is the place for you. Let’s work together and create great things!”
Taichi Ushioda (director)
- Profile: Has worked at NHN Japan Corp., Square Enix Co., Ltd., LEVEL-5 Inc. and SEGA Corporation. Has served as director, producer and development general manager for a wide range of projects including major MMORPG titles and mobile games before joining Nagoshi Studio Inc.
- Message: “As someone who grew up in the era of games, I want to give back to the gaming industry and fans. I think this is best done by delivering games that people truly enjoy. But for people working in the game industry, do you find that other factors come into play that get in the way of achieving this simple goal? At Nagoshi Studio, we not only have staff with great passion and experience, but we also have the foundation that allows us to make games of the highest quality that hold up over time and across world markets. We have everything we need to focus single-mindedly on doing our best work to put smiles on the faces of game fans. We hope that game fans are excited for what’s to come from Nagoshi Studio. We intend to live up to your expectations with games that make you smile. To the game creators out there seeking a new challenge—why not come and fuel your passions with us?”
Toshihiro Ando (artist)
- Profile: Joined SEGA Enterprises, Inc. (currently SEGA Corporation) in 1996 and mainly worked on character designs at AC/CS. After working on development for Power Smash and Sakatsuku, he worked as lead character designer on the Judgment series. Joined Nagoshi Studio in January 2022.
- Message: “My childhood dream was to become a manga artist or a rakugo storyteller. In high school, I wanted to be an artist or graphic designer. But I fell in love with “Virtua Racing” while at university, and before I knew it I was working at a game company. Working in this field may have been a natural progression for me, as I have always had a love for the arts and entertainment. The passion I feel burns just as bright today, and I hope to make great games that people love to play at this new company. Creating a worker-friendly environment where we can all enjoy creating is a key piece of this. Now that I am a designer at a brand-new company that is full of potential, I aim to create visual expression that is mind-blowing, beautiful and maximizes the excitement of the games we create. I want my designs to help give everyone who plays our games highly satisfying, memorable game experiences.”
Visit the studio’s official website here.