I’m really interested in seeing how Ryu Ga Gotoku fares long term
Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio, better known to some as the “Yakuza developer,” has been around in some form for several decades. They’ve become a fixture at Sega, and whenever they announce a game, time stops for a moment. The Yakuza studio’s future is uncertain, especially with a change in leadership recently, but they’re still planning on sailing full speed ahead.
As a reminder, producers Toshihiro Nagoshi (the face of the Yakuza franchise) and Daisuke Sato left the company, leaving producer/writer Masayoshi Yokoyama in charge. It was a shock for Yakuza fans given how much Nagoshi had put his heart and soul into the franchise, and the studio took the opportunity to course-correct with the announcement of Yakuza: Like a Dragon 2 in that same breath. This announcement was preceded by rumors pointing toward Nagoshi’s departure.
So what’s happening now, three months later? Speaking to 4Gamer, Yakuza director Hiroyuki Sakamoto says that the studio will continue to live on, and there will be some surprises in store (as translated by Gematsu):
“Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio has taken on a new structure, but we’ll continue to create games that everyone can enjoy from here on. Please look forward to some truly surprising announcements in the future!”
Those “surprises” likely include the already confirmed non-Yakuza games. So at this point, it’s safe to say that if anything is in active development, Nagoshi likely had a hand in it before he left. With that in mind, I’m really keen to see how the studio gets on in five, or six years from now.