Nagoshi suggested that his new NetEase-backed studio won’t be straying too far from what made the Yazuka and Judgment games so successful.
“We are influenced by movies and are interested in creating games that offer a high level of human drama,” Nagoshi explained (as translated by IGN). “That’s what we find fun. Just as before, I hope to create games in that vein that can reach a global audience.
“So you won’t find us making, like, smartphone puzzle games or whatever. Those games are fun, but what we’re good at and what the world expects from us is games with dramatic and moving stories, and that’s what we want to make. So that’s where our focus is.”
Nagoshi also noted that the studio’s first game is now in its early stages of development.
“As a game creator I have always had a number of things I’d like to do one day, and there is one idea in particular from my personal locker that I’d like to try to expand on now,” he said. “Now the idea is slowly taking shape, with the input of the team.”
Nagoshi’s games are highly regarded for their detailed Japanese settings, but the designer stressed that the quality of the game and its story was more important to the team than its setting.
“Looking at the sales of the Yakuza series, I think having an Oriental setting probably helped to make it feel more unique, but I don’t think that on its own would be enough to make it a million-seller,” he said.
“There must be something stronger, such as an emotional story, or the balance between gameplay and storytelling, and the overall quality being high. So for our next game to be a worldwide success, I don’t think the setting is that important.
“If the drama is good, then people in France will be moved by a Takeshi Kitano movie, and we in Japan can enjoy a movie from India. If the quality is good then anyone anywhere should be able to enjoy it. I want to return to that pure element of entertainment.”
Nagoshi officially announced the creation of Nagoshi Studio in January. The studio is a “wholly owned subsidiary” of Chinese company NetEase Games, and will focus on developing “high-end titles for worldwide release”, primarily on consoles.
In an interview with Famitsu last month, Nagoshi confirmed that the studio has already started work on its first game, and that it will still have a Japanese focus much like the Yakuza and Judgment games.
“We’re Japanese, and we’re a Japanese studio, so naturally the market that we understand the most is Japan,” he explained.
“We’ve been desperately trying to find a methodology that would allow us to create something that would be accepted around the world while keeping our focus on Japan. However, I don’t think I have been able to give a complete answer to this question until now.
“In order to find the answer, to pursue the ideal, I created Nagoshi Studio. However, the focus will remain on Japan in the future.”
Nagoshi also noted in the Famitsu interview that his studio will focus on only releasing games when they are ready, instead of rushing them.
“I used to work with Nintendo, and I envied and admired their stance of ‘we won’t release a game until we can say it’s done’,” he said.
“I was envious of and admired that stance, and I want to keep that same policy of not abandoning ideals, but persevering until those ideals come true.
“If you’ve never made a game before, you might think that this is an obvious thing to say. But if someone who makes games hears it, they might think, ‘Are you sure you can say something like that in this day and age?’” he laughed.