SEGA Interview Finds Chief Creative Officer Discussing Yakuza and His Thirty Years at the Company
Toshihiro Nagoshi sits down to reflect on the past 30 years at SEGA.
Over on SEGA Europe’s YouTube channel, an interview with Toshihiro Nagoshi, the Chief Creative Officer over at SEGA has gone live. The video can be found below and shows off classic SEGA titles while Toshihiro Nagoshi talks about his 30 years at SEGA and how RGG Studio has evolved since 2005. The interview is in Japanese but features English subtitles.
Toshihiro Nagoshi starts off the interview by reflecting on when he started at the company as a game designer. working on titles such as Virtua Racing, Daytona USA, Scud Race, and more. He had managed to go through the ranks of a director, producer, and management positions throughout his twenties. By the end of his thirties, he had done executive work but feels like he’s had a dense career when comparing to what others do in thirty years.
He believes that he’s been a director or producer on roughly twenty or more titles. While he says he is happy to have worked on so many titles, it is the market’s reaction that decides if a game is good or not and that it’s “probably better to receive opinions from as many people as possible” as they could help adjust the phase of a game.
He does admit though that it is the creator who understands the product they’re making and that the core of the game shouldn’t involve anyone else. He mentions that knowing where to draw the line between where to ask for opinions and where not to ask is important. He reflects by saying that games, where he had listened to other people, didn’t work too well. He says that if he creates something that fails from following himself at least he has the chance to reflect on the production.
Toshihiro Nagoshi has led the Yakuza franchise to success with over 10 million units sold. The series was created by Toshihiro Nagoshi’s own will. While the franchise has been a success he does admit the first Yakuza title on PS2 in 2005 was a challenge to make and while it sold well it didn’t sell enough to cover development costs. This led to the second game being created using what resources they had with the intention to generate profit.
The second game was created with Toshihiro Nagoshi focusing on content, but someone working with him stated that the content wasn’t important, instead focusing on getting the game done for release. They assumed that the momentum of Yakuza could fade and that interest in the title would have gone if they were to wait two years before launching the next installment.
Toshihiro Nagoshi admits that the staff member that suggested this had a point, but being an artisan type of creator, Nagoshi thought “time was required in order to bring quality.” He says that they set a priority to launch Yakuza 2 a year later in 2006 and then focus on quality, as a result, the game did twice as many sales as Yakuza. He believes that if the staff member who brought up the opinion on launching Yakuza 2 so quickly hadn’t said anything, then the Yakuza series probably wouldn’t have lasted more than ten years.
Essentially Toshihiro Nagoshi states that while he takes part in business activities, he’s a creator at heart and that his perspective isn’t perfect, so recieving advice is important to him.
You can watch the interview below.
Recently, PC players have learned that they can expect to play Yakuza Kiwami this February after the release date was sneakily revealed in a GIF. Additionally, Yakuza 4 and Yakuza 5 are set to be relaunched this year as remastered versions in Japan. We saw a new trailer and screenshots for the former last year which is now available in Japan.