Ex-Ryu ga Gotoku Studio general director and now head of Nagoshi Studio, Nagoshi Toshihiro, and other founding members of Nagoshi Studio: Satou Daisuke, Hosokawa Kazuki, and Shirosaki Masao, talked about their new studio in an interview in the 10 February 2022 issue of Weekly Famitsu.
Official website: https://nagoshistudio.com/
This is part 3 of a 3-part article; Nagoshi discusses the studio’s first game in part 2:
Satou is asked how he feels about the new studio, and he says that one thing Nagoshi is looking forward to from him is the management of the studio, and he think that his experience doing similar work as a development division head at Sega will come in handy here. Aside from development projects, he will also be looking after general affairs, accounting, and human resources, which will be new for him. He also expresses a desire to work even more as a creator than before.
For the past few years, Satou had been in a position where he was looking over multiple development lines, and he had not had the time to participate in the creative process himself. Looking back, the most fun he had working was as a director, and with this new environment he hopes he can work on games while enjoying himself as well. To that end, he hopes that they can find staff to handle the corporate work so that he can enjoy his own work.
The interviewer asks Satou what sort of studio he wants Nagoshi Studio to be, and he says that all the staff want to work towards it being one that pays particular attention to details. He believes that his own biggest role is to make Nagoshi shine as a creator, which he thinks will lead to the studio itself growing as a result. For now, he is working towards making a hierarchy that will be able to make Nagoshi’s visions come true.
As for the sort of staff they are looking for, Satou says that they are a studio that aims to make original IPs to take on the world, and so they want to work with people who seriously want to make good things, and he hopes that anyone who can resonate with that will come talk to them.
Finally, Satou says that they will unfortunately have to make fans of games they previously worked on wait a bit. In a few years, however, he is sure that they will be able to give fans something even better than ever before, and he hopes that they remember and wait for it.
When asked about how things have changed for him, Hosokawa says that the real change is probably yet to come, and he will probably learn what sort of turning point joining the new studio is for his life later on. The decision to join Nagoshi Studio was a decision that reset many things he had built up over time.
Hosokawa worked on games as a designer for some time after joining Sega, and each time he was faced with goals he doubted he could reach, and ended up reaching them through grueling effort. As he continued working, he went to becoming an art leader, then a director, then a producer, but each new position came with new responsibilities and a wider field of view, and things started to feel like challenges and more like completing missions. He started wondering how long he had left as a creator on the front lines, testing his limits, and considering his age figured not much time was left. Upon realizing that he did not have much time left as a creator, he was upset, but also mostly gave up.
Hosokawa felt that he would have to change himself and also get involved with creative work again in order to become the sort of creator he wants to be, and that was when he heard about the new studio, which he considered a chance to forcefully reset himself. He felt that it would be a great chance to get back to creative work, and he made the decision to leave Sega. He intends to stick exclusively to creative work in Nagoshi Studio, and though he is anxious about some things, this is outweighed by how excited he is for things to come.
The interviewer asks Hosokawa what sort of studio he wants Nagoshi Studio to be, and he says that he wants it to be one filled with members that can be counted on. Ryuu ga Gotoku Studio was an outstanding team filled with members who could work towards the same goal, and while Nagoshi Studio currently only has nine members, he hopes that they can gather more staff and form a team that can match Ryuu ga Gotoku Studio’s.
In response to what comes next, Hosokawa says that he wants to make games that are only possible because of this new, different environment. It will be certainly different from the games they have previously made, but he is confident that people who enjoyed their previous games will enjoy it as well. He says that they will make things that exceed expectations, and hopes that fans look forward to them.
Shirosaki says that joining Nagoshi Studio is the biggest turning point in his life. He says that he may only know the results much later, but that he intends on making it so that in 10 or 20 years he will be able to look back and say that it was the right decision. Aside from that, putting his all into developing games is what he has always been doing, so he intends to continue working as he always has.
Shirosaki says that working at Nagoshi Studio will probably put him in a position with more pressure, and make him worry about things he did not have to worry about before, but he thinks that dealing with such things will make him grow, and that such growth will lead to better games.
The interviewer asks Shirosaki what sort of studio he wants Nagoshi Studio to be, and he says that what is important is making games that many people will enjoy, and so he hopes the studio will be one specializing in that. He hopes they can make an environment and rules to facilitate this: Game development is handled by humans, and he thinks it is important for there to be systems that make it so that they can perform at their best. An example gives is making it so that every staff member can make their opinion known and get a response, regardless of the hierarchy. Shirosaki says that while he was previously someone who voiced opinions more, he thinks he will have more chances to listen from now on, and he says that he wants to become someone that people will openly share things with, and that he will be able to have appropriate replies for them.
Satou is asked to wrap up the interview, and he says that he thinks Nagoshi Studio will become a studio that prioritizes creativity. He hopes that people who want to try out creative work, or are interested in that sort of environment will come talk to them. As for fans, he says Nagoshi Studio was made with the intention to make good games that they will be able to enjoy, and he hopes that they look forward to it greatly, but also with patience, as they might have to wait for some time.
Did you miss the first part of the interview? Nagoshi discusses the founding of the studio and its goals here: