Masayoshi Yokoyama was impatient.
"I can't go on like this. I have to do something, to graduate from under Mr. Kikuchi."
In 2004, Yokoyama belonged to Sega subsidiary Smilebit. He was a young staffer being mentored by producer Kikuchi. Smilebit was merged with Sega, and Yokoyama was given two choices. He could either go to a post specialising in sports games, or he could go to Nagoshi's team with Kikuchi...
Since joining the company, Yokoyama had received stern guidance from Kikuchi. Although he respected Kikuchi, he also felt as though he had to stand on his own two feet rather than following after Kikuchi forever. Taking his chance whilst Kikuchi was away on a business trip, Yokoyama submitted his request to be transferred to a sports game-centric position to the human resources manager. However, the moment Kikuchi, who had left for his trip, learned of Yokoyama's estrangement he got on an aeroplane and returned as quickly as possible to headquarters. Catching Yokoyama just as his request was about to be approved, he spent a long time persuading him to join his team.
"I know that a time will come when we will need your ability. So come to my team."
Moved by Kikuchi's enthusiasm, Yokoyama decided to join Nagoshi's team. If Kikuchi hadn't returned at top speed to headquarters, Ryu ga Gotoku's scenario may have been entirely different.
At the time, Nagoshi was at a loss as to who would be capable of writing the scenario, and had several members of his team write the plot. Amidst these, though still unrefined, was a plot that was properly developed and detailed carefully right up until the end, which caught his eye. It was the one written by Yokoyama, newly joined after being persuaded by Kikuchi. He seemed to have a good grasp on the ideal of an excellent human drama that Nagoshi wanted to portray.
"I could leave it to a professional novelist, or an external game writer. But this project is a brand new, never before seen proposal. As I can make this due to Kikuchi's cooperation, it's better for people from the team to continue it. I wonder what will happen if I entrust it to this young staff member."
Believing that the best way to learn about another person is what they reveal when they drink, Nagoshi invited Yokoyama out to drink with him. As he consumed more alcohol, Yokoyama slowly began to talk about himself. He told him that he was an athletic type who had been on the track and field team at school jumping hurdles. He told him that he hadn't originally joined the company because he was passionate about creating games, but simply because he aspired to have a creative job. And he told him that he had actually joined the team reluctantly, having tried to distance himself from Kikuchi and move into sports games... In response to the question, "How did you manage to write out an entire plot from beginning to end in such a short space of time if you aren't passionate about games?" Yokoyama answered the following.
"I'm not the kind of guy who says, "I really want to do this!" But I put all of my effort into what I'm told to do. If I put everything I have into it, there will come a time when it seems fun."
Nagoshi felt as though he understood the reason why Kikuchi had been so passionate in his convincing of Yokoyama to join the team. Yokoyama possessed the conviction to work hard at his job in the field he had been assigned, as well as tenacity. He had never before written a single scenario, but Nagoshi decided to give him the job.
And thus the three-man team of Nagoshi, Kikuchi and Yokoyama began to create the scenario.