Legendary industry personality and Yakuza series Creator Toshihiro Nagoshi could be leaving Sega for NetEase if reports prove to be true.
A write-up from Bloomberg says that the Chinese company is in “final negotiations” for Nagoshi’s transfer from Sega and is set to be “the biggest coup in a contest between NetEase and close rival Tencent Holdings Ltd. to scoop up video game talent and assets in Japan.”
If and when the transfer pushes through, sources familiar with the matter state that Toshihiro Nagoshi will set up his own team to create new games. As mentioned, it is still in the negotiations phase so no final contract has been signed and duties have not yet been finalized.
This move is said to be an attempt by NetEase to compete with Tencent, which has been spending a lot of money recently to further expand in the industry. As of writing, Nagoshi, Sega, and NetEase have yet to release any statements.
Toshihiro Nagoshi joined Sega back in 1989 and later on took part in working on some of the most well-known properties in games such as Virtua Fighter, Daytona USA, Super Monkey Ball, and more recent titles like Valkyria Chronicles and Bayonetta. His resume is second to none and is most well known for his work on the Yakuza series all the way up to Yakuza: Like a Dragon, where he served as the executive director.
Nagoshi stepped down as the Chief Creative Officer of Sega earlier this year to take on a Creative Director role and is currently the general director of Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio.