In recent years, Sega has been putting out major releases of its many franchises. These include the ever-popular Yakuza series, which have seen critical and commercial success. One other property that the company has, but still continues to use in a smaller capacity is the funky Jet Set Radio. This can be seen with Beat's inclusion in Super Monkey Ball: Banana Mania, another title developed by Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio and published by Sega. While the Jet Set Radio series has remained dormant and the Yakuza franchise is flourishing, a key figure who were a major part of these titles will be returning to Sega soon.
The former employee, Ryuta Ueda, was the director of both the original Yakuza 1 and 2 on the PlayStation 2. His other notable credits for him were during the late 90s, doing designs for the monsters seen in Panzer Dragoon Saga for the Sega Saturn, as well as the chief graphic designer for Jet Set Radio. He left Sega in 2011 after the release of Rise of Nightmares on the Xbox Kinect, and went to work for Yahoo Japan in mobile game development. He announced that after nine years working at the company, he will be returning to Sega.
This announcement was posted on his public Facebook page, where Ueda has resigned from his position at Yahoo Japan, and will be looking to develop some new video games at Sega. He thanked the people that he had met during his time at the company, looking to take the things he learned to his new job at Sega. "From now on, I will focus on making games again. Not only do I feel the excitement of making things, but I am also smiling a little at the thought of seeing old friends and meeting new people. I would like to fully demonstrate what I have cultivated through experience." Ueda says in his announcement.
This news is a bit of a coincidence, as his return could possibly fall in line with the supposed departure of another key figure from Sega. The current director of the Yakuza series, Toshihiro Nagoshi, will be reportedly leaving Sega, and is in final negotiations to start working at Chinese tech company NetEase, ending his 32 year career at Sega.
Some fans speculated if Nagoshi does end up leaving Sega, Ueda could be the perfect person to fill his role as the director and continue the Yakuza series, based on his past experience. Others hoped that with his return, Jet Set Radio could get a revival, as the funky aesthetic and legacy can still be felt in games like Bomb Rush Cyberfunk. Regardless, many fans are very happy to see a key figure returning to Sega.