Art director

Jet Set Radio’s art director is back to work on games at Sega

A return to Sega

Ryuta Ueda, the artistic director of Jet Set Radio and the director of the original Yakuza games, is back at Sega. I’m glad he’s back and excited to make games after a decade away from the industry.

It looks like Sega is losing one and gaining another big industry vet. Ueda has spent the past seven years working at Yahoo! Japan, but he decided to get back into video games.

Ueda had this to say about leaving Yahoo! Japan and return to Sega:

From now on, I will focus on making games again. Not only do I feel the excitement of doing things, but I also smile a little at the thought of seeing old friends again and meeting new people. I would like to fully demonstrate what I have cultivated through experience.

Ueda has a long history in game development. He started designing creatures on Panzer Dragoon before being the artistic director of Jet Set Radio, then having the chance to direct the Yakuza series. He ended up leaving Sega in 2006 and ended up working on Rise of Nightmares on Kinect. It wasn’t great and received mixed reception, and he later left the gaming industry to join Yahoo! Japan as a business leader.

Screenshot of the Yakuza Kiwami 3 mini-game

I like to think that the only nightmare in Rise of Nightmares was designing a game like this around the Kinect.

Sega has mentioned that it finally wants to return to some of its classic franchises that aren’t just Sonic. Bringing back a developer who helped on some of these titles is a good sign that they are serious about bringing these games back. It’s not guaranteed that we’ll see Jet Set Radio again, but I’d love to.

Are you excited for Ryuta Ueda’s return to Sega? What games do you want Sega to bring back? Let us know in the comments, or contact us on Twitter or facebook.