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/
Part 1 of this article, in which Nagoshi talks about the studio’s goals, is available here:
Nagoshi is asked about what lead to him starting a new studio with investments from NetEase Games, and he says that they were the ones who were the most sincere in listening to his pitch about the independence of the studio and freedom of creativity. He was himself initially surprised by the idea of starting up a studio with funding from outside of Japan, but he thinks that we are in an age where the value of considering which country provides the capital is changing.
When considering the goal of the studio to take on the entire world, he thinks it is more realistic to team up with an Asian company than a western one, and also that if they succeed in making a globally-acclaimed game, that would result in making a new creative route. They are not abandoning Japan, but rather changing the feeling of “from Japan to the world” to “from Asia to the world”.
Nagoshi says that a bit over a decade ago, he became a huge fan of Korean movies, impressed as a creator himself by how much effort and auteurism is put into them. All that effort did not come to fruition overnight, however: It took over a decade for them to become popular on an international level. He thinks that they, too, should keep in mind that they will have to come up with strategies, stick to their ideals, and perservere on for a long time, and he thinks that in the long run this is the fastest path. He says that not many Japanese game companies have done this, as their methods of doing things bring in enough profits. Nagoshi Studio, however, wants to try something new.
Next, the interviewer asks Nagoshi what the studio’s first game will be like. He says that while he cannot give a straight answer to the question right now, they do already have ideas, and plan on choosing something that fits or even goes ahead of the current age. The ultimate goal is to create a game that, while having a primary goal of being for gamers, also has value in a diverse age and is also attractive to people with different cultures and visions. And of course, since a company with ample resources is supporting them, they plan to ensure it is of high quality.
Nagoshi’s desire to stick to quality and ideals comes from how he used to work with Nintendo, and was both jealous and idealized how they had the stance that they would only release games that are of a certain level of quality. He says that while people who have never made games might think this is a matter of course, people who have worked in the industry probably worry if this stance would work in the current day.
When asked how long development on the game will take, Nagoshi says that it would be extremely difficult to have it done in a year the way the Ryuu ga Gotoku (Yakuza) games were. That being said, they do not plan on taking their time with it, and hope to be able to announce it soon. Additionally Nagoshi considers the flow between the announcement and release to be part of the entertainment factor of games, and he plans to hide a surprise in the announcement of their first game.
While Nagoshi cannot go into detail at the moment, the game is planned to have a large scale. The scale of development has also grown as a result, and with a smaller company they have to work with a clear vision and with as few redoes as possible, and he thinks that this is something that the team’s backgrounds give them the strength to make possible. Additionally, the members have similar thought processes when it comes to progressing development: For example, they all have the same standards to deal with things when a problem occurs and they have to consider whether to solve it immediately or leave it for later, and having similar thought processes like this in large scale development is actually quite important.
Some of the members in the founding staff of the studio are not from Sega, and have different thought processes from the others, and Nagoshi thinks this is a good thing. Though the members from Sega have long careers, these careers were all tied to a single company’s way of doing things, and while this certainly has value, when considering how they are going to take on the world, they need to escape from this and take in new things. Nagoshi says this will lead to the staff growing, and they plan on meeting and hiring more new people, and learning many new ways of doing things.
Nagoshi Studio started hiring at the same time as the studio was announced, and they plan on proactively hiring staff that they need for development. Nagoshi says that they hope to get people who wish to get invested in projects or actively discuss things as they are being made, as Nagoshi Studio wishes to prioritize these.
Finally, Nagoshi is asked to wrap up the interview. He says that one of the motives he had for starting Nagoshi Studio is the desire to try solving problems he previously could not, but from a different field. In other words, this is an attempt by a studio made by Japanese to take on the world. He says that he is very excited and fortunate to be able to make such an attempt at his age, and he plans to keep this feeling in mind as his continues creating things, and he hopes that other Japanese creators will make similar attempts as well.
Part 3 of this article, in which Satou Daisuke, Hosokawa Kazuki, and Shirosaki Masao discuss the new studio, is available here: