Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio
|Founded||August 31, 2011|
|Products||Yakuza series (2012-present)|
Super Monkey Ball series (2019-present)
Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio (龍が如くスタジオ) is a studio within Sega CS1 R&D responsible for Yakuza games since Yakuza 5. It was spun off from Sega CS1 R&D after the development of Yakuza: Dead Souls was completed. The very first game to use the studio's logo was Binary Domain in Japan, released in February 2012.
According to Masayoshi Yokoyama, one of the leads of the studio, the studio is not a company organization but rather a "concept" or a "production team". Nevertheless, the studio's logo and name have become more recognizable internationally, and the logo has been used consistently.
Though the RGG Studio logo was only officially established in late August 2011, and first used to promote Binary Domain in Japan back in February 2012, the studio's origins can very much be traced back to the first 2 Super Monkey Ball titles on the GameCube.
In 2000, Toshihiro Nagoshi was the president of AV (Amusement Vision), whose their first title on home consoles was actually a remake of Nagoshi's Daytona USA, as Daytona USA 2001 on the Dreamcast. Nagoshi, who had previously worked under Sega AM2's Yu Suzuki and been credited as the creator of the arcade titles Daytona USA and Virtua Striker, devised the concept of rolling spheres through mazes based on his desire to create a game that was instantly possible to understand and play, as a contrast to increasingly complex games at Japanese arcades at the time. AV developed it initially as an arcade title, Monkey Ball. Monkey Ball was first released in Japanese arcades in June 2001, and then received an upgraded version — Super Monkey Ball — as a GameCube launch title in all regions.
After the success of the first Super Monkey Ball, it spawned a direct sequel on the GameCube. Following that, a collaboration with Nintendo happened. AV would develop F-Zero GX, while Nintendo would be responsible for the supervision of their IP. In the end, Nintendo was impressed with the product, considering it a step forward for the F-Zero franchise.
After the release of F-Zero GX, the non-sports staff of Smilebit (developers of games like Jet Set Radio Future and Panzer Dragoon Orta on Xbox) would be merged with Amusement Vision. It is worth mentioning that Smilebit merged into AV, as the latter still got to keep their name. The only two projects (which still kept the AV moniker) were the arcade title, Ollie King in March 2004, and Shining Force: Resurrection of the Dark Dragon in June 2004 on the Game Boy Advance.
By July 2004, Amusement Vision was dissolved as part of the New Entertainment R&D Dept., and the development of Yakuza started. Since Yakuza 3, they were referred to as Sega's CS1 team, all the way up to Yakuza: Dead Souls. Afterward, they founded the RGG Studio, which was mainly used to promote Binary Domain in Japan, and their games still continued to be listed under CS1 R&D.
Eventually, the RGG Studio's logo became used consistently and the way they brand themselves and give themselves an identity of their own.
|2012||Binary Domain||PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows|
|Yakuza 5||PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4|
|2014||Ryū ga Gotoku Ishin!||PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4|
|2015||Yakuza 0||PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Microsoft Windows, Xbox One|
|2016||Yakuza Kiwami||PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Microsoft Windows, Xbox One|
|Yakuza 6: The Song of Life||PlayStation 4|
|2017||Yakuza Kiwami 2||PlayStation 4, Microsoft Windows, Xbox One|
|2018||Fist of the North Star: Lost Paradise||PlayStation 4|
|2019||Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz HD||PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows, Nintendo Switch|
|2020||Yakuza: Like a Dragon||PlayStation 4|
- "【ファミキャリ！会社探訪(27)】極上のエンターテインメント作品『龍が如く』シリーズを手がけるセガゲームス コンシューマ・オンラインカンパニーを訪問". ファミ通.com.
- "Toshihiro Nagoshi Interview Summer 2006". Kikizo. June 22, 2006. Retrieved November 9, 2019.
- "Sega Corporation Annual Report 2002" (PDF). Sega Corporation. July 2002. p. 18. Retrieved November 9, 2019.
- "IGN: The F-Zero Press Conference". web.archive.org. January 15, 2008.
- "Kikizo | News: Sega Studio Mergers: Full Details". archive.videogamesdaily.com.