Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio

From WE Computers Museum
Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio
Type Division of Sega
Founded September 1998 (Sega AM11)
May 1999 (Sega Software R&D 4)
April 21, 2000 (Amusement Vision)
April 1, 2005 (NE R&D Dept.)
May 1, 2008 (Sega CS1)
August 31, 2011 (Ryu ga Gotoku Studio)
Headquarters Tokyo, Japan
Key people Masayoshi Yokoyama, manager
Industry Video games
Products Like a Dragon series
Number of people
Website http://ryu-ga-gotoku.com/

Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio (龍が如くスタジオ, "Like a Dragon Studio") is a production team within Sega.

It is a continuation of Sega CS1, which itself was a continuation of Sega AM11, Sega Software R&D Dept. 4., Amusement Vision, and New Entertainment R&D Dept.


It got its name due to the fact that the staff consisted of the development team behind Ryū Ga Gotoku, which is Japanese for Like a Dragon.

Early history

Sega Amusement Machine Research and Development Department #11, commonly referred to as Sega AM #11, Sega AM11, or Sega 11, was formed in September 1998. It was managed by Toshihiro Nagoshi, who came from Sega AM2, along with many of the rest of the staff of the new division.

In May 1999, it became Sega Software Research & Development Department 4, commonly referred to as Sega Software R&D Dept. 4.

During this time, Nagoshi was called into Sega AM2 to finish the Shenmue project, which was in a state of perpetual development. For the final months of development, Nagoshi had to serve as producer and director to finish the game. Shenmue was finally released on December 29, 1999, and Nagoshi returned to run Sega Software R&D4 full-time.

Like a Dragon series

After the Sega Software R&D4 development division was spun out into Amusement Vision on April 21, 2000, Nagoshi became its president. While running Amusement Vision, he wanted to develop an open world action-adventure game that would benefit from his experience course-correcting the messy development of Shenmue.

As the game dealt with the yakuza, he brought in Hase Seishū, a Japanese author who is known for writing yakuza crime novels, to supervise the game's storyline. Together, they created the game's protagonist, Kazuma Kiryu. He was originally meant to be in his 20s, however, it was decided that it would be unrealistic for a man to be given his own yakuza family at that age. Thus, Kiryu was aged approximately ten years, and the storyline accounted for this by having him in prison during that time.

Amusement Vision became the New Entertainment R&D Department on April 1, 2005, and Like a Dragon (Ryū Ga Gotoku) was released on the eighth of December of that year. It was released outside of Asia as Yakuza.

New Entertainment R&D became Sega CS2 on May 1, 2008. On August 31, 2011, the studio was renamed Ryu ga Gotoku Studio.

In October 2021, after 32 years at Sega, Nagoshi left his position as the manager of Ryū ga Gotoku Studio to form Nagoya Studio. Masayoshi Yokoyama succeeded him in the position of manager.

Video games by Sega AM11 (1998-1999)

Title System Release Notes
Daytona USA 2: Power Edition Arcade 1998 Daytona USA 2 update emulated in Like a Dragon 8 as Sega Racing Classic 2.
Virtua Striker 2 Version '99 Arcade 1998 Virtua Striker 2 update only released in Japan.
SpikeOut: Digital Battle Online Arcade 1998
SpikeOut: Final Edition Arcade 1999 SpikeOut update emulated in Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth.

Video games by Sega Software R&D Dept. 4 (1999-2000)

Title System Release Notes
Virtua Striker 2 ver. 2000 Arcade 1999 Virtua Striker 2 update only released in Japan.
Virtua Striker 2 ver. 2000.1 Dreamcast 1999 Virtua Striker 2 update. Simply named Virtua Striker 2 in North America.
Virtua NBA Arcade 2000

Video games by Amusement Vision (2000-2005)

Title System Release Notes
Daytona USA 2001 Dreamcast 2000 Daytona USA update. Daytona USA in North America.
Slashout Arcade 2000
Monkey Ball Arcade 2001
Spikers Battle Arcade 2001
Super Monkey Ball GameCube 2001
Virtua Striker 3 Arcade 2001
Planet Harriers Arcade 2002
Super Monkey Ball 2 GameCube 2002
Super Monkey Ball Jr. GBA 2003
Virtua Striker 3 Ver. 2002 Arcade, GameCube 2002 Virtua Striker 3 update. Numbered 2002 in North America.
F-Zero AX Arcade 2003 On Crycraft motion simulator as F-Zero AX Monster Ride.
F-Zero GX GameCube 2003
Super Monkey Ball N-Gage 2003
Super Monkey Ball Jr. GBA 2003
Shining Force: Resurrection of the Dark Dragon GBA 2004 Co-developed with Climax Entertainment.
Super Monkey Ball 2 Pack GameCube 2004 North America-exclusive compilation of 1 and 2.
Spikeout: Battle Street Xbox 2005 Co-developed with Dimps.

Video games by New Entertainment R&D Dept. (2005-2008)

Title System Release Notes
Super Monkey Ball: Touch & Roll DS 2005 Super Monkey Ball DS in Japan. Co-developed with Craftex.
Yakuza PS2 2005 Like a Dragon in Japan.
Yakuza 2 PS2 2006 Like a Dragon 2 in Japan.
Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz Wii 2006 Exciting Party Gathering in Japan. Co-developed with Bauhaus Entertainment.
Initial D: Extreme Stage PS3 2008 Only released in Asia. Co-developed with Cavia.
Like a Dragon: Kenzan! PS3 2008 Only released in Asia.

Video games by Sega CS1 (2008-2011)

Title System Release Notes
Yakuza 3 PS3 2009 Like a Dragon 3 in Japan.
Black Panther: Like a Dragon New Chapter PSP 2010 Only released in Japan.
Yakuza 4 PS3 2010 Like a Dragon 4: Successor of the Legend in Japan.

Video games by Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio (2012-present)

Title System Release Notes
Binary Domain Windows 2012
Black Panther 2 PSP 2012 Only released in Japan.
Like a Dragon 1 & 2 HD Edition PS3, Wii U 2012 Asia-exclusive high-definition compilation of 1 and 2.
Yakuza 5 PS3 2012 Like a Dragon 5: Fulfiller of Dreams in Japan.
Like a Dragon: Ishin! PS4 2014 Only released in Asia.
Yakuza 0 PS4 2015 Like a Dragon 0: The Place of Oath in Japan.
Yakuza Kiwami PS4 2016 High-definition remake of Yakuza.
Yakuza 6: The Song of Life PS4 2016 Like a Dragon 6: The Song of Life in Japan.
Yakuza Kiwami 2 PS4 2017 High-definition remake of Yakuza 2.
Fist of the North Star: Lost Paradise PS4 2018 Like a Plough or Like a Big Dipper in Japan.
Yakuza 3 Remastered PS4 2018 High definition port of Yakuza 3.
Like a Dragon Online Android, iOS, Windows 2018 Only released in Japan.
Judgment PS4 2018 Judge Eyes: The Reaper's Will in Japan.
Yakuza 4 Remastered PS4 2019 High definition port of Yakuza 4.
Yakuza 5 Remastered PS4 2019 High definition port of Yakuza 5.
Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz HD Windows 2019 High definition port of Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz.
Yakuza: Like a Dragon PS4 2020 Like a Dragon 7 in Japan.
Yakuza Remastered Collection PS4 2020 Compilation of remastered versions of Yakuza 3, 4, and 5.
Virtua Fighter 5: Ultimate Showdown PS4 2021 High-definition remake of Virtua Fighter 5.
Lost Judgment PS4 2021 Lost Judgment: Unjudged Memories in Japan.
Super Monkey Ball Banana Mania PS4 2021 High definition compilation of 1, 2, and Deluxe.
Lost Judgment: The Kaito Files PS4 2022 Lost Judgment DLC
Like a Dragon: Ishin! Xbox One 2023 High-definition remake of Like a Dragon: Ishin!.
Like a Dragon Gaiden PS4 2023 Like a Dragon 7 Gaiden in Japan.
Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth PS4 2024 Like a Dragon 8 in Japan.