In early October, noted game developer Toshihiro Nagoshi announced that he was leaving Sega. Due to a recent public gaffe, this move wasn’t a complete shock, and rumors had already been swirling for months that Nagoshi was headed out the door for Chinese company NetEase. Even when news of his departure became official, Nagoshi kept quiet on his future plans.

It’s certainly a blow for Sega to lose Nagoshi, who has been one of the company’s most productive and versatile game creators. After joining the company in 1989, he cut his teeth on arcade games Virtua Racing and Daytona USA. He not only made the cute platformer Super Monkey Ball, the first game Sega published on a Nintendo console, but was also the force behind the tough-as-nails, cult favorite Ryu Ga Gotoku (aka Yakuza) franchise.

In an industry where developers struggle to get games out on time, Nagoshi has released a Yakuza game almost annually since 2005. He not only came up with intricate stories, but also helmed the popular games, which were wonderfully overwrought looks at organized crime. The Yakuza series eventually grew to the point that Sega established a dedicated arm, Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio, to make them. After working his way up through the company ranks, Nagoshi became Sega's chief creative officer in 2012 and sat on the company's board of directors.