Today is a very special and exciting day for all of us at SEGA. Partnering with our friends at Sony Computer Entertainment America, we just revealed our plan to bring Yakuza 5 to the U.S. and Europe at PlayStation Experience in Las Vegas. We also announced that Yakuza 4 and Yakuza: Dead Souls are available on PlayStation Network starting today.
We’ve received so many requests from our fans to bring Yakuza 5 to the U.S. and Europe. Yakuza 5 also made the top of the list of Sony’s #BuidingTheList campaign led by Gio Corsi at Sony Computer Entertainment and we were moved by all the support given to Yakuza 5 by the PlayStation community.
Yakuza 5 continues the epic story of Kazuma Kiryu alongside four other protagonists, following their struggles and conflicts in the seedy underbelly of Japan’s Yakuza underworld. Featuring a new graphics engine versus its predecessor, Yakuza 5 takes players to five major Japanese cities to venture through a life of crime and power.
Yakuza 5 features more mini-games than previous titles, a modified battle system as well as enhanced customizations and interactions in the signature hostess bars of the series. In addition to these features, Yakuza 5 also introduces “Another Drama” which is a series of side stories that focus on each protagonist in-depth and are separate from the main story of the game.
Allow me to also share messages from Toshihiro Nagoshi, the Executive Director of Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio and the General Producer of the Yakuza series and Masayoshi Yokoyama, the Producer of Yakuza 5.
Toshihiro Nagoshi (Executive Director and General Producer)
“After receiving so many requests from fans of the series, we have decided to bring Yakuza 5 to the US and Europe. This title was enjoyed by over one million gamers in Japan. I’m looking forward to seeing how Yakuza 5 will be received by the gamers in the U.S. and Europe. ”
Masayoshi Yokoyama (Producer)
“Yakuza 5 is the largest and most definitive version of the Yakuza series. The game is filled with depictions of the Japanese way of life, culture, trends, social issues and dreams. You will play as 5 different main characters with a range of different ages, genders and professions and experience their challenges through a variety of character focused, in-depth stories. I hope you can immerse yourself in our rendition of modern time Japan. ”
Yakuza 5 will be available exclusive to PlayStation 3 via PlayStation Network in 2015.
Old tidbits about Yakuza 5
"More hardly surprising Yakuza 5 revelations have surfaced from Weekly Famitsu. In addition to the game's platform (PS3) and location (Sapporo, Tokyo, Nagoya, Osaka and Fukuoka), the magazine reveals that Kazuma Kiryu will be the main character.
Series producer Toshihiro Nagoshi hinted as much in interviews following the game's announcement, so this isn't too surprising.
The big question, of course, is if Kazuma will be alone. The past couple of console Yakuza games have had multiple playable main characters. In an interview with Famitsu this week, Nagoshi would not say if the game will have multiple main characters.
Here are some of the other bits from Famitsu's first look at the sequel:
The game will have massive volume.
Nagoshi says that if likening the series to a house, 5 would be like building a new house rather than adding an extension to an existing house.
The five cities will be of scale at or beyond the previous Osaka (Dotonbori) and Okinawa (Ryukyu) locations.
Rather than seeking out hostesses to appear in the game, Sega will be traveling to the five cities to seek out girls who will serve as a cheering squad for the game. The girls will appear in commercials as well.
The game will have presentation improvements, including shortened load times, improved camerawork and better character expressions. The team is using some of the knowhow they gained from working on Binary Domain.
The game will also have improved technology to allow for seamless conversations and battles. Nagoshi says that you will be surprised with the result.
The story will connect directly with Yakuza 4. It will not carry over from the zombie-themed Yakuza Of the End.
Masayoshi Yokoyama is now a producer. On past Yakuza games, he worked on such areas as script and scenario.
Development is currently in an early phase. Famitsu lists the game as date TBA."
Sounds good, especially the part about the new technology. Playing through Yakuza 4 now and the series has always felt archaic in regards to presentation (stiff/slow menus, slow character actions/interactivity outside of combat, battle load times).
And I hope we don't have to play as multiple characters in the next game. None of these characters are as fun as Kazuma.
I dunno if I'm going to take the plunge on 5 yet or not. I own 1-4 and am going to get Dead Souls next year, but I've never played any of them save for periods of about an hour or so because I haven't had enough time to give to one of them properly.
The last one I played for decent amount of time was Of the End JPN demo at my nephews. I mean I know what the series is like I just haven't explored enough knowledge to have a good feeling of what a complete Yakuza experience is like. I know I hang my head in shame for not playing any of them yet.
The CAG motto: "Maybe you'll luck out and get the game during a sale before it sells out, maybe not, that's the life of a CAG. Luck of the draw. And timing is everything."
The 5 main characters will be Kiryu, Saejima, Akiyama, Haruka, and newcomer Tatsuo Shinada. Currently the game is 70% complete and planned for release this December in Japan. No word yet on localization to US/EU.
Kiryu Taxi Driver Missions
Something happens between now and December 2012, leaving Yakuza series tough guy a taxi driver down in Fukuoka. We still don't know what puts Kazuma behind the wheel, but today Sega did provide screens and details showing how the taxi component figures into the game.
As we detailed a few weeks back, you'll be able to take on "missions" where you transport customers to their destination. Passengers will give you instructions, like drive safely, or drive as fast as possible, or follow that car!, and you'll have to do as told.
You'll also have to converse with passengers, counseling them in their problems. It also looks like Kazuma will encounter some tough clients, including drunks and criminals who try to rob him.
Kazuma will also get into race battles with a street gang called Devil Killer -- sometimes even during a transport mission! Your goal here is to outpace your rival, making use of drifts for fast cornering. As one would expect of a Yakuza game, you'll be able to make use of Heat Action moves to pull ahead of your rival.
The game also has a car customization component. You can set your car's body color stickers, tires, and even the music that plays during races.
I love this series. It really is my favorite franchise on the Playastation. What I am really hoping for is a beefed up coliseum and a more in depth fighter trainer mode like we got in Yaluza 4. I love all that tournament stuff.
For those that want to import like me, Yakuza 5 releases in Japan on December 6 for 8,800 yen. Until they announce a localization date, here are two new trailers that features the new engine, characters, modes/activities, and storyline (2nd video).
Sega CCO: No current plans for Yakuza 5 in the West
Sega Sammy CCO Toshihiro Nagoshi recently told Edge that the Yakuza development team is focusing on their Japan-exclusive PS3 and PS4 launch title, Yakuza Ishin, rather than localizing 2012's Yakuza 5 for Western audiences. Ishin is a spin-off set in the late Edo period in Japan and will feature some form of Vita Cross-Play.
Nagoshi explained that due to the Yakuza team's size, they decided to pass up working on a port of Y5 to focus solely on Ishin. Nagoshi feels that he and his team "owe it to PlayStation fans" for Ishin to be a PS4 launch title, "even if it means a bit of pressure."
Nagoshi expressed interest in localizing Ishin for other territories, provided the Yakuza team finds the manpower and money to do so. Yazuka: Dead Souls was the last game in the series to be launched outside of Japan.
This is disappointing, but I can wait for a port of Yakuza 5. I would prefer it be on PS3 as I don't have any plans, on getting a Wii U (Japan got a port of Yakuza 1 and 2 HD) or a PS4 right at this moment. My backlog will compensate for the wait.
That's one of my hopes, that Atlus will convince or ask to take over some Sega titles for importing. But everyone is saying that Atlus USA is redundant to Sega of America, so Sega would likely shut down Atlus USA. It's all speculation but as far as officially known, only Atlus JPN is safe with the "Nothing will change here" comments.
Oh, and to pile on some bad news: Sega of America layoffs confirmed just today
"Back in April, Gio Corsi at PlayStation visited the SEGA office in Tokyo to interview two of the developers behind the legendary Yakuza series, General Director Toshihiro Nagoshi and Producer Masayoshi Yokoyama.
In this first of three interview videos, Gio goes deep into the details of Yakuza 5 and also gets answers to some of the questions fans sent to #Yakuza5PS.
Since the game announcement at PlayStation Experience, we’ve been working very hard to ensure that this massive game — including all the DLC packs — is localized for the western market. We are grateful for all the support we’ve received from our fans so far and can’t wait to share more details with you."
The western version of Yakuza 5 will ship with all of the downloadable content released in Japan pre-packaged into the game, Sega announced.
This includes “Another Drama,” a series of extensive sub-plots that focus on each of Yakuza 5‘s five protagonists.
Yakuza 5 will be put up for digital pre-order on the PlayStation Store today. All pre-orders will include a static PlayStation 3 theme. The game will see a digital-only release for PlayStation 3 this fall.
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