Yakuza 5 Devs Have No Plans For Western Release

Roxas1359

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Aug 8, 2009
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Can't say I'm surprised at this, as a Yakuza game hasn't graced the west in a long time.
Good thing I know Japanese though and have studied it for 6 years. :p

Also, those who are crying that we should worry about SEGA Sammy buying Atlus, no we shouldn't because Atlus is still it's own company and is run by it's old CEO from before the acquisition. Only thing changing are the stocks and the name of Index to Sega Dreams Corp. Plus Atlus has nothing to do with the Yakuza games to begin with. Is it disappointing that Sega isn't using Atlus USA for localization, yes but as they said it's a fixed team size really.
...huh so this is what it's like to be Jeffers. XD
 

Sack of Cheese

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Oww man, what the beef? Just because that spin off Dead souls flopped doesn't mean the main series will.

I'd be importing if Japanese games weren't so expensive, still 84.35AUD on play-asia.
 

Sleepy Sol

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Easton Dark said:
The team that makes the game is the same one that localizes it? Let a fan do it for free or something, you know people would line up to do it.
Even if a fan translation happens, Sega would probably be too inept to do anything in the West.

Phantasy Star Online 2 already has a nearly-complete fan translation patch and Sega has been completely silent on the game getting any kind of release in the West.

So basically, they're stupid. Or I at least like to say they are. A lot.
 

Sheo_Dagana

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Sega really chooses to release the oddest things over here. Come on guys, you know you'd make your money back and more if you released it state-side. I'd like for that zombie Yakuza game to not be the last one to make it stateside, especially because I'm such a big fan of this highly underrated series.
 

Xenominim

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It is funny how companies spend all this money developing these games and then limit themselves marketwise with things like this. While I'm sure it's possible to lose money if the game undersells by a huge margin I would think this series at least is well enough known to avoid that. Curious to know if there's more to it than just the costs of voice acting and printing a new series of discs/packaging which is behind this.

That said, while I don't begrudge anyone else liking this series, I got Yakuza 4 used and 'played' it for maybe an hour and a half before I gave up and returned it. Between this, Metal Gear, and Final Fantasy series I'm becoming increasingly convinced that the Japanese have no word in their language for 'editor.'
 

Penguinplayer

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I was waiting for this to get localized but guess I will just import it now and study japanese. I already bought the Genki books and other study material, now if only I wasn't so lazy.
 

Rebel_Raven

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Jul 24, 2011
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Wait, do my eyes decieve me, or is there a woman amongst the playable characters finally?*Checks Wikipedia* Yeah, a female playable character for the first time.
And we aren't getting it in the west?

FFFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU-*Vehement swearing then cleansing breath.*

Man that's dissapointing on so many levels! The one thing I've eagerly anticipated from this series, and I won't even likely get to play it.

I would've done my best to get a copy, and I would've recommended it to my S.O. Especially if we can play as her from start to finish!
 

balladbird

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Rebel_Raven said:
Wait, do my eyes decieve me, or is there a woman amongst the playable characters finally?*Checks Wikipedia* Yeah, a female playable character for the first time.
And we aren't getting it in the west?
Haruka is playable in 5. From what I hear she's not exactly a warrior-type (apparently her role in the game is some kind of "try to be an idol" simulator) but hey, that's still a promotion from "that plot device who gets kidnapped once a game to throw Kiryu back into the underworld" XD


What surprises me about the way they treated 5 is just that the game actually got a small amount of coverage by the western gaming media. Not as much as your standard AAA development, naturally, but a whole hell of a lot more than some of the obscure JRPGS that like to sneak across the pond when no-one's looking. I'm disappointed, since the yakuza games are some of the only sandbox games I like, but if that's the writing on the wall, I guess there's nothing to be done. :(
 

Rebel_Raven

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balladbird said:
Rebel_Raven said:
Wait, do my eyes decieve me, or is there a woman amongst the playable characters finally?*Checks Wikipedia* Yeah, a female playable character for the first time.
And we aren't getting it in the west?
Haruka is playable in 5. From what I hear she's not exactly a warrior-type (apparently her role in the game is some kind of "try to be an idol" simulator) but hey, that's still a promotion from "that plot device who gets kidnapped once a game to throw Kiryu back into the underworld" XD


What surprises me about the way they treated 5 is just that the game actually got a small amount of coverage by the western gaming media. Not as much as your standard AAA development, naturally, but a whole hell of a lot more than some of the obscure JRPGS that like to sneak across the pond when no-one's looking. I'm disappointed, since the yakuza games are some of the only sandbox games I like, but if that's the writing on the wall, I guess there's nothing to be done. :(
Yeah, a definite promotion. Shame she doesn't maul people, though. Unless she does, then that's just epic. :p

Honestly, this would be the first I heard of Yakuza 5. It's good to know that it's getting attention in the west, though. Frankly we need more of Japan's games brought over, IMO. And those games need attention in the media so we know they're here. A game can be made, or broken by how much word of it's existance gets out there, IMO.
Even a bad game might sell well if there's commercials on TV for it.
 

crazygameguy4ever

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this doesn't really affect a US release. the publisher decides where a game is released, not the developers.. if Sega says yes to a US release the it will happen, regardless of what the developers want or don't want.
 

JoshuaMadoc

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Of course there aren't any plans, Sega's hardly a patron saint of generosity, and I doubt that'll change. Have we learned nothing of the whole Shining series Youtube takedown blitz?
 

Keiichi Morisato

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Rebel_Raven said:
Wait, do my eyes decieve me, or is there a woman amongst the playable characters finally?*Checks Wikipedia* Yeah, a female playable character for the first time.
And we aren't getting it in the west?

FFFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU-*Vehement swearing then cleansing breath.*

Man that's dissapointing on so many levels! The one thing I've eagerly anticipated from this series, and I won't even likely get to play it.

I would've done my best to get a copy, and I would've recommended it to my S.O. Especially if we can play as her from start to finish!
but playing her character would be sexist... as the whole point of her segment is to dress her up in skimpy costumes and have her dance off against other pop idols.
 

AzrealMaximillion

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seditary said:
Why would the Yakuza devs be doing the localization?
Because its sold well enough in the West to warrant doing so every time.

Sega's just scared to due so simply because as we saw with all of the games localized in Operation Rainfall failing to sell even though the internet's Nintendo fans pretty much got Robin Williams' daughter to campaign on its behalf.

And considering that Yakuza mechanics wise is a spiritual sequel to Shenmue (the franchise that Sega spent 90 million on and failed to recoup) Sega's being really cautious. Don't know why, it sells a decently enough for a Japanese import PS3 exclusive.


OP: The people that demand it are wanting it because the main character is on the low, one of the most impressively morally complex protagonist in a long time and the story consistently grown out a background in itself and within every character mentioned. Even the side quest characters.

Its one fuck of a franchise and the fact that it has made it to its fifth installment with people still giving a shit about what happening in its world is impressive in this day and age. Franchises today usually add very little to each game in terms of story. They write games in the same manner that the usual Hollywood movies are written. Same story, different scenic background. Yakuza is written like one of the better serious anime franchises. Each game is like a show's season. And always properly references and sometimes uses events from previous installments.
 

seditary

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AzrealMaximillion said:
seditary said:
Why would the Yakuza devs be doing the localization?
Because its sold well enough in the West to warrant doing so every time.
That's not what I mean. Why would the Yakuza devs specifically do the localization? Why wouldn't some actual localization team do it?
 

Salad Is Murder

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Guys, come on. We can't expect SEGA to start making decisions that are smart and/or respect their fanbase NOW, can we?
 

Big_Boss_Mantis

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Rainbow_Dashtruction said:
cursedseishi said:
Rainbow_Dashtruction said:
Wasn't the four previous Yakuza games extremely unprofitable in the west? If they don't make the money back from localization, its surprising they kept localizing the series.
They don't spend a whole lot on localization though, at most its simply just adjusting the text to fit the size constraints of the boxes it goes into after it's translated. Voice Acting tends to be the big cost item when doing these things, which Sega hasn't been doing since Yakuza 1 (or 2, if I'm wrong about 1 being the only game with English voices).

It sells well enough though, specially if you're claiming all 4 sold badly, to warrant releases up to Yakuza 4 and the Dead Souls spinoff. It just sounds like the devs (or Sega), doesn't feel like bringing in any additional developers to handle translating and localizing the game. And in that case, they should just hand it over to Atlus to handle that. I mean hell, it's not like they have to pay them more now to do so or anything.
Well the poor sales in the west IS the reason SEGA doesn't do it. All four of the games had consistently awful sales. Yes they might make a small profit from translating it, but companies generally look the way of "If we can use those same resources to make more money elsewhere, it's not worth it".

Even then, how expensive is it to translate an entire game? I figure it probably isn't piss cheap if so many companies refuse. It's not like your just doing a direct translation to English then re-sizing text.
See, yes, the games sold poorly.

But they probably sold poorly because SEGA did a terrible job of bringing them.

I played the first and became a fan of the series. The first sold badly, but it probably could have recouped the money spent if its localization hadn?t been so expensive due to using english voice actors.
So they learnt their lesson and only put subtitles on Yakuza 2. Good move. Except for the fact that SEGA took ages (2 years!!) to bring the game to the west. When it finally came, people weren?t playing PS2 anymore.

Then they didn?t bring Kenzan, pissing off fans. Then they bring Yakuza 3 terribly LATE. It was an early PS3 title, brought at full price, more than one year after the Japanese launch, when the system had greatly advanced. So it got reviews saying that it looked dated. And it were incredibly dated compared to Red Dead Redemption, that launched the same year (2010).
To this date I haven?t played Yakuza 3 (even though I own a copy), because SEGA WON?T LET ME PLAY YAKUZA 2 ON PS3, and I am not going to dust my PS2 just so I can follow the series.

Then, only after they announced Yakuza 5, they released 4 on the west. Again, a lot of time after the japanese release.

And they released 2 spin-offs on the PSP that they didn?t bring to the west.

I really enjoy the series, I want to play the games and follow the franchise. But SEGA just makes it too troublesome for me.

They only bring the games they feel like bringing, usually more than one year after they were relevant.

In the rest of the world, Yakuza can?t sell the amount of games that they do in Japan, unfortunately. But it surely could have gathered a cult following and some avid fans outside of Japan, if SEGA didn?t went great lengths to aggravate its fans. There is profit to be made, if they weren?t so blatantly incompetent.
I would gladly import Yakuza 1 & 2 HD if they came with english subtitles. See, THESE GAMES WERE RELEASED IN ENGLISH, GODDAMIT! Why couldn?t they have put english as an optional language? Where is the cost? A group of interns could have localized it based on the originals.

A lot of games nowadays come with several languages (Uncharted, Tomb Raider, GTA V, God Of War, Halo, etc). Even though this are top tier franchises, the thing is that games are being released simultaneously worldwide, and the industry is moving away from the old "release first, then, eventually, localize" model.
SEGA could have released the games with budget price, put them exclusively on PSN. Take less profit now and build the franchise for the future.
Deadly Premonition (old game, cult game) was released on the PSN. And it is an isolated game. Yakuza had the potential to become a cult series, with games still being developed.

So, in this particular case, I don?t think one could just blame the consumer for the poor sales. The sales were meager because SEGA did a terrible job since the series inception, and even I, as a fan, have no interest in investing in a series without knowing if the games are gonna be released at all.
 

havoc33

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Like many others have mentioned before me, I blame the Yakuza series failure in the West solely on SEGA themselves. The main reason for the lackluster sales can be pointed to the horrible delay from Japanese to Western release. Yes it is a niche game, but that doesn't mean the series shouldn't have sold better than it has. Releasing one or two year after over here just doesn't cut it, not only do you risk the game looking slightly dated, but also you loose all sorts of momentum from the initial release in Japan. This latter part is especially critical, since SEGA does not use a dime on marketing over here in the West. I can remember reading all sorts of positive news stories when Yakuza 5 was announced for example, and most gaming sites had several updates on the game up until the release in Japan. And then, like all the titles before it, it drops off the map completely, and now most gamers that are not dedicated towards the series will have all but forgotten about it, and even worse, the fans that invested in the series gets fed up and as a result you're actually diminishing your own fan base with each subsequent release.