"The birthrate is declining and there are fewer children around, but kids are still the main target market for games - there's no way something they can't play will sell."
Harsh opinions like this one were heaped upon Nagoshi's proposal.
To Sega, who had for many years created games aimed at the youth, the genre of games aimed at adults was completely unknown territory. There was no proof that they would sell. Unfortunately, the proposal was rejected. However, Nagoshi was sure of one thing.
"Things that everyone knows about but that no one will touch are the most interesting."
In Japan, which is full of cabaret clubs and show pubs, there is unlikely to be anyone who knows absolutely nothing of red light districts. There are also countless yakuza films. Most people have probably seen at least one. And yet, there had still been hardly any games released that were set in a red light district or the world of the yakuza. Even people who didn't feel all that interested in such entertainment districts or yakuza films, when asked, would surely be interested in a game that allowed one to simulate the experience of one.
Not giving in, Nagoshi submitted his proposal over and over at company presentations. But no one understood. None of the staff could picture precisely what a game set in a red light district would be like. Even still, Nagoshi's conviction remained firm.
No one understanding meant that his proposal was a novel one. In the gaming industry, which pumped out game after game of nothing but the same until players became tired of them, its impact would be strong.
Nagoshi desperately tried to show people how interesting his idea was. Gradually, whispers began to circulate throughout the Sega offices.
"Nagoshi's team is working on this crazy project."
"Should they really be doing that?"
Time passed and still the proposal failed to progress, until even members of the new team began to cast anxious looks at Nagoshi. During this predicament a man who was later to become a powerful ally of Nagoshi appeared.
That man was producer Masayoshi Kikuchi.
"Most people won't understand when you do something new. At first neither my superiors nor myself, who had worked on a pretty successful team, seemed to be understood by anyone. I think that experience was a hard one for the staff. But if we succeeded, we would be rewarded. The development period would last for about a year, so I asked them to work hard."