Toshihiro Nagoshi, creator of the Yakuza series, has officially announced Nagoshi Studio - his new Tokyo-based development house that's part of Chinese technology company NetEase.
Nagoshi announced his departure from Yakuza publisher Sega in October last year, when it was first revealed he would be joining NetEase.
A new staff page for Nagoshi Studio shows half a dozen other members of his former Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio have also quit Sega to join him, including Yakuza director and producer Daisuke Sato.
In a press release today, NetEase said the team would enjoy "full authority to manage and create the kinds of games that they are passionate about, with NetEase Games' support".
As you might expect, these will be "high-quality console titles that will be released globally".
Speaking to Japanese magazine Famitsu, Nagoshi said he wanted to form a new studio to "do something different".
"I decided to leave Sega, where I had been working for a long time, because I wanted to do something different than before," Nagoshi said. "If you do the same thing, you can stay in Sega. To be honest, I still don't know if independence was early or too late at this time. However, it feels as fresh as when I stepped into the game industry nearly 30 years ago, saying, 'I'm going to make a new start'."
There's no word yet on what Nagoshi Studio's first game will be.
NetEase is perhaps best known for facilitating Chinese versions of games such as World of Warcraft and Overwatch. In 2018, it invested $100m into Destiny maker Bungie, while in 2019 it bought a minority stake in Heavy Rain studio Quantic Dream, which is now making Star Wars: Eclipse.
In October last year, NetEase snapped up Grasshopper Manufacture, home to No More Heroes creator Suda51.