Toshihiro Nagoshi on Yakuza: Like a Dragon, Project Sakura Wars Sales
Toshihiro Nagoshi announces Yakuza: Like a Dragon sold over 300,000 copies, comments on the game and Project Sakura Wars sales, lack of full voice acting.
On this month’s SegaNama stream, Toshihiro Nagoshi announced that as of now, Yakuza: Like a Dragon, sold more than 300,000 copies, digital and physical included. The game is known as Ryu Ga Gotoku 7 Hikari to Yami no Yukue in Japan and launched there on PlayStation 4 on January 17. He also chatted about PS4 exclusive Project Sakura Wars and the game’s sales.
Toshihiro Nagoshi first mentioned that many players who bought Yakuza: Like a Dragon were buying a game of the series for the first time. He also mentioned that digital sales are higher than usual for the Yakuza series, showing some of the buyers are part of a different player base than usual. The fact that the protagonist changed also made it easier for newcomers to grab the game. Yakuza: Like a Dragon topped weekly charts at release, and I believe 300,000 copies sold isn’t bad at all considering the RPG and protagonists change.
As for Project Sakura Wars, it’s been over a month since it launched on December 12, 2019, and Toshihiro Nagoshi mentioned he wishes the game sells a bit more. According to Kadokawa’s sales estimates published by Dengeki Online, Project Sakura Wars sold 178,426 copies as of January 19, 2020. Note that these estimates don’t include digital sales. I believe this is pretty high considering the series didn’t have a new game for 15 years, meaning most young people in Japan have no idea what Sakura Taisen is. Moreover, certain older fans weren’t necessarily on board as Project Sakura Wars works both as a sequel and a reboot with new characters.
Toshihiro Nagoshi mentioned one of the biggest complaints regarding Project Sakura Wars is how the game isn’t fully voiced. I’ve personally played until the beginning of chapter 3 for now, and while most of the game is voiced, the fact that some scenes feature the characters being very well animated and expressive, but voiceless, is a real shame. Nagoshi added that fully voicing a game is difficult for a number of reasons, such as the game’s volume, but they do realize that maybe they should have steeled themselves and went with full voice acting. Nagoshi mentioned Sega will definitely consider developing more fully-voiced games in the future.
Fully voicing a game isn’t a simple matter especially with dialogue-heavy games such as Shin Sakura Taisen. And while the game isn’t fully voiced, most of protagonist Seijuro’s lines are voiced. Meanwhile, previous protagonist Ogami was almost never voiced in the past games. Having a game fully voiced can also mean fewer dialogues. For example, I’m perfectly fine with Super Robot Wars games not being fully voiced. If not, the games would definitely have fewer crossover interactions. Then you have examples such as Persona 5 Royal, and how I find disappointing it doesn’t add more voiced events outside of the new content of the game. And then you have games such as Fire Emblem Three Houses who are fully voiced despite its gargantuan dialogues. In my opinion, that might have been prioritized over other aspects such as the graphics, which is fine by me as I don’t care much about that aspect compared to story and gameplay.
At the end of the stream, Toshihiro Nagoshi mentioned he’s happy they made the switch to RPG. How it made him and the team grow and learn many things. He again mentioned that he doesn’t know yet if the next Yakuza game will be an RPG or not. But in any case, he’s particularly happy many players enjoyed Yakuza LAD, a stark contrast compared to the initial negative reactions when the RPG change was revealed. In multiple interviews after the Japanese release of the game, Toshihiro Nagoshi shared similar comments regarding the future of the series and on the game’s development.
PS4 exclusive Yakuza: Like a Dragon will be coming west later on in 2020. Project Sakura Wars, known as Shin Sakura Taisen in Japan, will be launching in Spring 2020 in the west. You can check out our translated let’s play if you’re too hyped to wait. Soon after the game’s release, Sega announced the cumulative game sales of the Sakura Taisen series in Japan since its debut in 1996 reached over 4 million.
Shin Sakura Taisen The Animation will also start airing in April 2020. A Sakura Taisen live stream will be held on January 29, with new details on the anime. We’ll cover it as always.
SegaNama are streams held monthly with Sega’s Toshihiro Nagoshi and MC Ayana Tsubaki. We covered the past SegaNama streams on DualShockers, and this month’s stream is included below. Toshihiro Nagoshi spoke about Yakuza: Like a Dragon‘s sales at the beginning, and about Project Sakura Wars during the game’s corner at 32:00. Kazuhiro Nakaya, who voices Ichiban, also joined the stream during the Yakuza: Like a Dragon corner at 46:00. He chatted about the game’s recording, in particular, so you should check it out if you’re a fan. I sadly don’t have the time to summarize this part.