8 December 2005. Ryu ga Gotoku is released. The staff were relieved by the warm reception it received. Only 70,000 copies were initially shipped. If it all went wrong now, they would make a huge loss. But in no time at all after release, Ryu ga Gotoku flew off the shelves of shops. Even the large city retailers that should have had plenty of stock were displaying "sold out" signs. Gradually, voices of praise began to show up on internet communities and message boards.
"This is an amazing game!"
"I thought it would be a Japanese Grand Theft Auto, but it's totally different."
"I've fallen for the protagonist Kazuma Kiryu's manliness!"
"Whether you go to cabaret clubs, make money at the casino or just play around at the play spots, you'll never get bored of it!"
The opinion out of them all that had most of an impact on Nagoshi was: "The balance between the story and game elements is superbly maintained." The story section, featuring a man facing his own destiny, and the game section, consisting of battles and roaming the night spots. It was said that these were perfectly balanced, and set up so well that you would not become tired of it.
It became further topic of discussion through word of mouth and the internet, a game that even those who had never shown any interest in games or adults who had previously outgrown games wanted to buy. Sales gradually rose, until they had almost hit the 300,000-copy mark. All of the development team were excited by the signs that Ryu ga Gotoku was about to become a hit.
However, Kikuchi was the only one who refused to show a single smile. He was well aware that a game's popularity can vanish overnight. People wouldn't be paying such close attention to this new game for very long. Kikuchi made an announcement to Nagoshi.
"Let's release 2 in a year."