We’ve all been there. You’re just going about your day, trying to do your job as best you know how, and people keep trying to put you in charge of things. “Josh!” they might say, “You wrote that article about Mount and Blade 2 leaving Early Access so well we want to make you Eternal Supreme Leader of PC Gamer!” Abashed, cheeks reddening, you cast your gaze back down at your laptop and try to get on with your day. You’re a humble man doing humble work, even if you do look incredible doing it.
Such was the experience, apparently, of Yakuza creator Toshihiro Nagoshi, who has revealed why he left Sega after 32 years at the company in an interview with Germany-based games site 4Players. It turns out he just really didn’t want to be CEO.
In his last few years at Sega, Nagoshi had reached “the top management level” at the company and gotten increasingly distant from the day-to-day work of actually developing games. Nagoshi told 4Players that he eventually had a frank chat with Sega’s current owner, saying straight-out that he didn’t “want to be the CEO of Sega” after so long in the development trenches.
It seems Nagoshi’s request didn’t quite take, though, because he ended up leaving Sega and founding his own studio under NetEase. It all seems to have worked out for the best, though, it sounds like Nagoshi has been able to get back to hands-on development work while Sega has a free hand to groom a different commander-in-chief, hopefully one who actually wants the job this time. “This leads to a very friendly relationship with Sega” even after Nagoshi left the company, he told 4Players.
As for the game Nagoshi is actually developing, we still don’t know much about it. In the interview, he lets slip that he wants to develop something along the lines of “a Quentin Tarantino film” that features both “some silliness and some seriousness”. Sounds a bit like a Yakuza game, to me.