Microsoft and Nintendo refused his game but “Now They Want It” | Gaming
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As posted on video game forum Resetera, the latest issue of Edge Magazine has a lengthy feature about Japanese game creator Toshihiro Nagoshi. The prolific game designer/producer has worked on some of Sega’s most famous franchises, such as Super Monkey Ball, Yakuza, Daytona USA among many others.
Nagoshi talks openly about the circumstances and difficulties when trying to create games during Sega’s early stages after leaving the hardware business, his experience working together with prior archrival Nintendo on F-Zero GX and most interestingly how the early days for the Yakuza franchise started.
As one might imagine, when Sega dropped out of the console business and migrated into becoming a third-party software developer things weren’t going as smoothly as in the past. We learn how Sega executives weren’t at all interested in greenlighting the first Yakuza game at all, even after multiple pitches by Nagoshi.
It took Sega to inch towards bankruptcy and a merger with Japanese company Sammy into Sega Sammy Holding in 2004, for Nagoshi to take a rather unconventional pitching effort at the new company’s CEO. After giving the CEO directly a visit and trying to convince him, Nagoshi had his wish granted.
My bosses took some convincing. I did a presentation twice, and didn’t get approval. (…)
Sega was struggling for cash and was very close to bankruptcy, so it merged with Sammy. As soon as it happened, I went to see the new owner and presented the game to him, looking for his approval. Professionally, this was highly irregular and quite wrong. But I knew if the owner said “yes”, it would be good for the entire company. (…)
I got his approval, but our CEO was really mad about it (laughs). He said it was unfair. – Toshihiro Nagoshi via Edge
Fascinating to learn how one of Sega’s most prolific and popular series could have easily not become reality in the first place.
Maybe just as fascinating as the inception of the Yakuza series, is how different the game’s platforms could have been. Nagoshi blatantly admits that he approached not only Sony but also Microsoft and Nintendo with Yakuza but was rejected by both. This led to Yakuza games becoming Playstation exclusives for the longest time. Only recently is Yakuza appearing on the PC, with possible outlooks on the Xbox One even.
I’ve never said this before, but while we released this game with Sony, I’d done presentations about it to Microsoft and Nintendo. Back then they said “No we don’t want it.” Now they say, “We want it!” (laughs) They didn’t understand the reason why I created it. – Toshihiro Nagoshi via Edge
If you want to learn more about Toshihiro Nagoshi and his experiences in his long career, grab the newest issue of Edge Magazine.
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