This past Friday, Sega Sammy Holdings Inc., parent company of game publishers Sega Corporation and Sammy Corporation announced that Toshihiro Nagoshi will be stepping down from his current role as Chief Creative Officer for Sega, effective April 1st. Best known for his creation of and continued guiding hand behind the popular Ryu Ga Gotoku (a.k.a. Yakuza) franchise of games (where he has served as General Director, Executive Director and Producer), Nagoshi will still retain his current position as Creative Director of Sega (and assumedly, his position as General Director for Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio also).
Nagoshi’s upcoming retirement as CCO was disclosed as part of a larger restructuring announcement by Sega Sammy Corporation in which the company will execute “an absorption-type corporate split” of Sammy Corporation and Sega Group Corporation, as well as a merger of Sega Corporation to Sega Group Corporation. To clarify: Sega Corporation is the subsidiary of Sega Group Corporation, which in turn is owned by Sega Sammy Holdings along with its sister company, Sammy Corporation. While both Sega and Sammy are companies focused in the amusement sector, Sega specializes in arcade machines and videogames, while Sammy specializes in Pachinko machines. The overall corporate entity that exists today came into being when Sega Corporation and Sammy Corporation merged their operations in 2004.
The explanation provided for the holding group’s conscious decoupling and recoupling of its subsidiaries is about as clear as mud to those not versed in corporate-speak, but the general gist appears to be that Sega’s operations will be consolidated and refocused towards content while more corporate and administrative functions are integrated into the larger corporate body that is Sega Sammy Holdings, enabling the parent corporation as a whole to be more nimble and effective in its decision-making moving forward. Getting back to Nagoshi then, on paper at least it appears as though there will be less red tape to get in the way of making games that the fans want, which means franchises like Yakuza and Persona, Sonic the Hedgehog and other much-beloved Sega IPs won’t be going away anytime soon (fingers crossed).