Originally posted on 20 January 2016
Source: page 110-113

Destiny of a Dragon

No experience with promotion!? Uemura joins

There is a man who has participated in the project since Ryu ga Gotoku 2, who helped make the game into a hit through promotion.

He is Koji Uemura, who later became project manager. He is a man who usually hardly plays video games, preferring to spend his time fishing and breeding tropical fish. Nagoshi and Uemura's meeting could be called a miracle.

"I want you to get the OK from Hidekazu Akai!"

All Uemura could do, standing before Nagoshi speaking passionately, was nod, not entirely understanding.

Ryu ga Gotoku 2 was to have Osaka added as a new setting. In order to make the story shown in Osaka charming, he wanted to hire Kansai-born Hidekazu Akai as a voice actor. Aside from making the game world seem more realistic, hiring actors also had big benefits on the promotional side. It would draw the interest of people who had never cared for games before. The media would also be drawn by the idea of a popular actor appearing in the game. Many people in the press had picked up on the story when they heard that the actor Tetsuya Watari would be appearing in RGG1.

But there was not much precedent for this kind of thing. Approaching talent agencies escalated the difficulty. Most managers, even after hearing that the job was for a game, would hardly understand. Oftentimes they were turned down, being told that the actor only appeared in TV shows and films.

At the time, Uemura had only just taken the reins from Kiyomizu, who had been in charge of promotional work for the previous game. Even after being told to get hold of Hidekazu Akai, he had no idea how to go about doing this. Visiting the talent agency, Uemura was the one asking the questions.

"...What exactly are we meant to talk about?"

Uemura, who had in a way been sent out without a choice, was a former sales team member who had no promotional experience whatsoever. Even Nagoshi couldn't help but be anxious over how Uemura would handle the job.

When they decided to begin work on Ryu ga Gotoku 2, each part of the marketing team had got together and shared their worries. Kiyomizu, who had handled promotions for RGG1, had been moved to the sales department in the reshuffle. They needed someone to put in charge of RGG2's promotion in his place.

After RGG1 having shown such a promising start, participating in RGG2's promotion meant, while being employed by Sega, working directly under Nagoshi, who was head of development. They would also have to take over the job of Kiyomizu, the marketing team's ace.

"Working under Mr. Nagoshi must come with a lot of pressure..."
"It's so much work, and not being able to fail must be tough..."

As they were deciding who to put in charge, the staff's eyes collectively fell on a single desk. It was the seat of Uemura, a member of staff who had recently been transferred from sales to marketing in the reshuffle. Uemura had originally worked in wholesale, selling Sega games. The company had been absorbed by Sega as a subsidiary, and had avoided the danger of being consolidated into Sega. The staff began to put their expectations on him.

"...Maybe he might be able to do it."

That day, Uemura was summoned by the senior executive manager.

"You said you like Ryu ga Gotoku, right?"

"Oh, yes, I'm addicted to it again after all this time! I don't normally play games much, but I can't put it down."

"Alright. Well, good luck with promoting Ryu ga Gotoku 2."

This is how Uemura came to participate in RGG2.

"Hidekazu Akai"
An Osaka-born actor and talent. He is well-known in the Kansai region for appearing on such variety shows as "Gokigen! Brand New". As a former professional boxer, he once went by the alias of "Naniwa's Rocky". RGG2 marked his debut as a voice actor. He gave an enthusiastic performance as Osakan detective Bessho.
Strategic shuffling of personnel. It is performed with the goal of giving staff experience in a wide variety of positions in order to increase their skill pool. Sometimes they are even assigned to departments that do completely different jobs to their current one. Sega performs periodic reshuffles.
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