Yakuza and Judgment series creator Toshihiro Nagoshi may soon be exiting Sega, as a new report from Bloomberg claims that the developer is in “final negotiations” to join China’s massive gaming company NetEase.
The report added that while Nagoshi “hasn’t signed a final contract and his duties have yet to be finalized,” it’s expected that he’ll set up a new team within NetEase that’ll be tasked with creating games. If the deal works out, this would be another big acquisition for NetEase and its homeland rival Tencent, as the two companies have been on a spending spree lately to grab talent from Japan.
Nagoshi’s tenure at Sega has been a lengthy one, as he joined the company in 1989 and had a hand in multiple games such as F-Zero GX and Daytona. The Yakuza series, which currently includes multiple sequels and spin-offs made Nagoshi–and the Ryu Ga Gotoku studio that he leads–a household name across the world.
Back in April, Nagoshi stepped down from his role as Sega’s chief creative officer, but he stayed with the company in the creative director role.
Yakuza’s last big entry was last year’s Like A Dragon that took the series in a Dragon Quest RPG-inspired direction, while this year will see the release of Lost Judgment, a sequel to 2019’s Judgment game. As for Yakuza’s most iconic character, Kiryu Kazama, he’ll be making an appearance in another game that Nagoshi created, Super Monkey Ball: Banana Mania.
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