Yakuza Producer Discusses How Sega Approaches the Series’ Western Fanbase
Yakuza 3, 4, and 5 PS4 remasters are coming westward, so Series Producer Daisuke Sato explains how western audiences are becoming more important.
One of the most welcome announements of Gamescom 2019 was Sega confirming that their remasters of Yakuza 3, 4, and 5 were coming westward, with Yakuza 3 being available now. This time around, the western localization of the games has been vastly improved as the series is a lot more popular in North America and other western territories thanks to games like Yakuza 0. As such, Series Producer Daisuke Sato explained to MCV how the development team thinks of and addresses this emerging western audience during the development of Yakuza games, including these remasters.
“Personally, I don’t think that the western territories will completely grasp the concept of the Yakuza clans in Japanese culture. But then I also like the Godfather movies for example, although I don’t entirely grasp the concept of the mafia. But there are human interactions, there are two rival groups, there’s a very nice storyline around it, and I think the same applies for the Yakuza series,” he said.
While Sato does not know if western players will fully grasp the series’ concept, he made it clear that Sega is putting a lot more effort into western localization now. “We’re not putting content in to satisfy western customers, but over time we’ve put more effort into the localisation. To ensure that the localisation is more smooth, more understandable, the games have been re-localised by the teams that worked on Yakuza 0 and Yakuza 6. So western audiences can grasp it better, to make it more enjoyable.”
When it comes to Yakuza 3’s remaster, the game can now be played in 1080p and 60fps and the translation is much better, though some content had to be cut. “There are technical issues, but also content issues that we need to change because they don’t fit the modern mindset anymore… back in the day the perception of the LGBTQ community was different to how it is nowadays. It’s a different topic, with different ways of looking at it and talking about it, and so there are some substories that didn’t fit this modern spirit and so they had to be cut.”
Even if all of the original content isn’t there, the Yakuza remasters seem like they will be much more appealing to western audiences because the localization is of a much higher quality. Yakuza 3 for PS4 is already available, Yakuza 4 comes out on October 29, and Yakuza 5 will be the final Yakuza game to be re-localized on February 11, 2020.