SEGA almost made a Yakuza game set outside of Japan

AmericaKiryuOne of the reasons we here at SEGAbits love the Yakuza series is due to its wacky look at Japanese culture, that is totally unique to what game developers have been doing in the last 15 years. But according to Toshihiro Nagoshi, the team did think about making a Yakuza game set outside of Japan:

“We have considered it, because there was a feeling that we’d like the Yakuza series to be better known overseas. But the idea disappeared right away. The series was originally intended to target Japanese players, and so setting it overseas would conflict with that original concept, and the popularity of the series within Japan might decline as a result. Also, in terms of marketing, there was concern about the global appeal of a Japanese main character anyway. So it seemed to be tricky.” – Toshihiro Nagoshi, Producer Yakuza series 

During the IGN Japan interview with Toshihiro Nagoshi, he did mention that that the team gets more comments from players overseas as the franchise grows and that they do pay attention. He admitted that the player base in the West is rather small, at around 100,000 consumers which is bigger than I assumed. Even tho Nagoshi teases about a Yakuza game set outside of Japan, it seems that if that were to happen, it would be centered around China since that market seems to have grown rapidly in the last few years. According to Nagoshi, the Asian market increased its sales from a few percentages of total sold games to about 20% of sales for the franchise’s last game (Yakuza 0). That is quite the rise, especially for a more Japanese focused game.

Personally, I’m not interested in a Yakuza game set outside of Japan, but what are your thoughts on the matter? What country would you like to see Kazuma Kiryu travel to? Let us know in the comments below!

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3 responses to “SEGA almost made a Yakuza game set outside of Japan

  1. James Barton says:

    I wouldn’t mind a major character taking a trip to some part of China or Korea for business. I think it would be interesting.

  2. cube_b3 says:

    I think the seeds for Yakuza America were planted when Saima the female lead of Yakuza 2 moved to US in the starting of Yakuza 3. I think they could’ve easily retained the focus on Japanese culture in US.

  3. The Vidit says:

    Yakuza aka Ryu Ga Gotatku should not be set outside of Japan. Period.
    Want China, there is Shenmue.
    Would ruin the unique charm the series has and would cease being Yakuza if set outside of Japan.
    A plot like the film, BROTHER wouldn’t work given the unique elements of Japanese night life that don’t directly translate to Western culture. Just no no no no no no no no no.

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