Originally posted on 20 January 2016
Source: page 135-137

Destiny of a Dragon

RGG3 sees big changes in staff and businesses

In March 2008, the series' first spin-off Ryu ga Gotoku: Kenzan! was released. Though released on the PS3, which had not yet widely disseminated, sales ultimately surpassed 300,000. Due to this success, the official sequel RGG3 was developed exclusively for the PS3.

With its greater graphical capabilities in comparison to the PS2, the amount of development work increased. Even still, Nagoshi didn't want to keep the players waiting, and as in the past development began on RGG3 with an aim at releasing it a year later. What contributed most to shortening the length of time was the staff's growth.

For example, one of the scenes in Yokoyama's developmental script.

"50 Majima Family members bow their heads to Kiryu in greeting."

When he wrote this sentence, Yokoyama was unsure whether or not fifty men would be appropriate. Taking the development schedule into consideration, it was a good idea to keep the number of people as low as possible. But suddenly he felt mischievous, and added another zero.

"500 Majima Family members bow their heads in unison as greeting."

The development team's faces must have been a sight to behold.

But taking the scenario, when they saw "500" they simply nodded. A few days later, as he looked at the demo on the screen that they had prepared, Yokoyama was taken aback. They had completed an amazing cutscene, in which 500 men wearing black suits simultaneously bowed their heads.

The staff who had up until now responded to Nagoshi, Kikuchi and Yokoyama's requests had at some point prepared themselves to take any request, however absurd, from the producers. Ryu ga Gotoku had become Sega's biggest, representative title. They wanted the next game to be of an even higher quality than before. This led the staff to advance their techniques and collaborative system.

Changes were not only taking place within Sega, but on the outside, too.

Uemura, visiting companies to request tie-ups with RGG3, noticed that the reactions of the PR people had changed.

"You mean a tie-up with that game that's a huge hit at the moment, right!"
"Yes, please! I'm actually a huge fan of Ryu ga Gotoku."
"I'm so addicted to the game I've not been getting enough sleep."

Until the previous game, it had been a hard-fought battle to get many people to agree to tie-ups at all. But now that Ryu ga Gotoku had grown into such a hit, more and more people began to understand their intentions. In particular, PR people who had actually played the games accepted with a smile.

RGG3, set in Tokyo and Okinawa, ultimately ended up having tie-ups with 27 companies. The game shows Okinawa, a place where time flows at a relaxed pace in contrast to the vibrant red light district of the past. It depicts shops selling Okinawa's speciality, a powerful liquor, a market full of food from the south, and the charming beach with its calm, surging waves.

The development team's ambition was to make the game more interesting and fun. The numerous businesses who had gladly cheered them on with tie-ups. Due to the support of lots of people Ryu ga Gotoku, which had created a legend, continued on its path to evolution.

"The staff will pretend not to see"
When Kenzan! was released, a lifesize cutout of Kiryu Kazumanosuke was displayed in shops with the following message on a pop-out stuck to it: "The staff will pretend not to see, so if you wish to kiss Kiryu Kazumanosuke, feel free."
"500 men in black appear"
When talking of the scene in which 500 men wearing black clothing appear, Yokoyama says, "The staff were prepared to take even insane requests." However, he also states that, "I could feel a silent rage coming from the CG designer ... Maybe because of this, I passed blood when I wrote the scenario."
"The Majima Family's greeting"
This scene occurs in chapter 7. On the sprawling construction site of Kamurocho Hills stands a small prefab building. Kiryu steps inside, searching for Majima, and when he leaves... This scene splendid scene, summing up Yokoyama's pranking nature and the struggles of the CG staff, must be seen with your own eyes.
"Ryu ga Gotoku awamori/umeshu"
Products released in collaboration with Seifuku Distillery in Ishigaki, Okinawa. "Ryukyu awamori jikabi Seifuku", created using old distillation techniques, and "Seifuku umeshu", made using high-quality southern plums. Delicious.
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