In 2022 yakuza is a very big series in the west, As we saw yesterday Eight games It arrived on PlayStation Plus. But it wasn’t always like that! Between releases Yakuza 2 And 3 Things were looking up Unbelievably It was daunting for English speakers, and there were real fears that if Yakuza 3 It didn’t sell well, this will be the last game in the franchise we’ll see here.
I know this sounds absurd given its number and prominence yakuza Games these days, but this is true! People were very worried about it, in fact, Every little change that Sega made to it Yakuza 3 English edition was scrutinized, and fans were terrified that any little thing that could potentially hurt sales would mean the end of the series in the West.
Of course, all that fear was useless-Yakuza 3 It was good and the rest is history— but all this fear of underselling helps lay the groundwork for why, at about the same time, it’s different. yakuza The game was released in Japan (later followed by a sequel) which we still haven’t been able to play in English to date. And it’s time to change.
Released in 2008 by Sega Ryu Ga Gotoko Kenzan! For the PS3, I guess you could describe it best yakuza A special holiday in Kyoto in 1605 was this yakuza The game is sent back in time, with players still controlling Kazuma Kiryu, only now he is called Kazumanosuke Kiryu and instead of being a gangster, he is a retired swordsman who now works as a bodyguard.
Then in 2014 Sega released Ryo ga Gotoko Isshin! for PS4, which did the same thing – now set during the late Shogunate period in the mid-19th century – and introduced more cameos from the original series, with appearances by favorites like Majima and Daigo.
While in different time periods and with a heavy sword and historical tilt, these were still yakuza Games through and through. Watch the Japanese trailer here And you’ll see what I mean:
here Even if you’re a fan of the karaoke sequences in the original games, it has its own historical take:
Sega and developers Ryu Ga Gotoku have long had several reasons for keeping these games in Japan. The first was the understandable fear that if no one would buy the original yakuza Games, why do they bother with these spinoffs? As the series grew in popularity in the West, this was slowly overturned, but there was still concern that much of the games’ vibe would be lost on Western audiences who were unfamiliar with the nuances of the time period. (Here it says that another yakuza Spin-off, Heavy Rifle dead souls, Was (according to an English-language version, which says a lot about Sega’s take on the Western market).
These are now joined (or replaced) by technical issues. As we covered last year when director Daisuke Sato said:
Personally, I would love for these titles to be localized and loved by our western fans. We had priority to gain our place with the series in the West Yakuza 0so time passed without an ideal time to release these games.
In my opinion, the action is one of the best in the series, so if we get a chance, I’d love to localize them. However, the game is almost 7 years old, so we might have to do more work to remake it instead of a simple port, so the decision is a bit more complicated.
Despite the potential in those statements and the fact that the developers said They are working on games beyond this yakuza And arbitration dynasty, we haven’t heard squat about this possibility since. But even if it takes a little work – and about Ryu Ga Gotoko Kenzan!Some seriously Work—There’s never been a better time to squeeze the cost to accelerate games on modern hardware for modern expectations.
particle for direct object Yakuza Kiwami The games – remakes of the first two entries in the series – are well done, and that was for two games already available in the West! These spin-offs start from scratch, rather than expanding beyond what’s already there yakuza fan base for a wider potential audience in the environment, e.g. Ghost of Tsushima
Anyway, I’m not here demand These are the games we’ve all been able to survive without for the past 15 years, and maybe we can survive another 15 years, the outside world’s permission. I’m here to give Sega a thumbs up, a reminder that, hey, we love yakuza Games, but maybe one day we can love them Other yakuza Games, those with swords, as well.