THE [email protected] series producer Youzou Sakagami has announced his resignation from Bandai Namco Entertainment.
Sakagami resigned from his longtime position as producer on the popular franchise at the end of March, 2023. His tenure began with the first game in the series for arcades, 18 years ago.
Since then, THE [email protected] has grown into a big multi-media franchise that now spans arcades, consoles, live concerts, and even anime adaptations.
Sakagami had originally planned to step down for the series’ 15th anniversary back in 2020 but COVID-19 happened and the entire world shut down. He remained producer until the world opened back up again and the series could continue.
Bandai Namco posted a separate statement noting they currently have no plans to announce a new series producer, however they have full confidence in the series moving forward with the entire team.
Here’s the word from Sakagami:
Hello, my name is Sakagami. I would like to make an announcement. I will be stepping down as General Producer at the end of March 2023.
I have been involved in THE [email protected] for 18 years, I would like to thank all the producers for their support. Thank you very much for your support.
You may wonder why I am stepping down suddenly at this time, I had originally planned to celebrate the 15th anniversary in 2020 as a milestone.
However, as you know, the Corona disaster has caused great turmoil throughout the world. The Idolmaster also had to change, delay, or cancel various plans in the midst of this turmoil.
First of all, we had to wait until the situation calmed down before we could continue. This year, as the situation is finally getting back to normal, I have decided to step down.
I have participated in the location testing of the arcade version of “THE [email protected]” since 2005, and have also worked on home and mobile games. I have been involved in the development of various projects, including home and mobile games, live performances, and animations.
At first, I had no idea that the content would be loved for so long. I still remember the producers playing the arcade version of “THE [email protected]” in the location tests.
I can still remember the image of a producer playing the arcade version of “THE [email protected]” during a location test. I’m sorry I couldn’t produce it properly! It’s amazing how much emotion it stirs up!
I was so moved by your enthusiasm that I thought, “I’ll do my best to live up to your expectations! I have been thinking about it for 18 years since then.
Since then, for the past 18 years, I have continued to produce with you all. I apologize for any inconvenience caused by the many twists and turns we have gone through.
However, through the enthusiastic efforts of many project members, We have been able to create a new brand and grow.
Above all, we have been able to come this far sometimes harshly and sometimes warmly, I would like to thank everyone who has supported us, sometimes harshly, sometimes warmly, and in the end as fellow Idolmaster producers.
Thank you very, very much.
And now, THE [email protected] is already running toward a new vision. Although THE [email protected] started as an arcade game, from home use to mobile games, we have caught the trend of the times, we will not stay only in that place, but aim to challenge and evolve for the future.
In reality, though, it’s a trial and error process, going this way and that way. At times, it can be frustrating to hear, “What?” and sometimes you may feel frustrated. We will continue to groping our way through, but our project’s stance of taking one step at a time with you all will not change.
Producers. I would like to ask for your continued encouragement and support.
In order for everyone to enjoy our production activities for the future We will continue to push forward with the entire project.
I, Sakagami, would like to watch over your backs as you head into the future.
Forever. Aim for it! Top idols!
Thank you for your support for THE [email protected]