Yakuza series producer Daisuke Sato has revealed some details about what the future may hold in an interview with German site JPGames. In the conversation he covers details on how the series took off in the West, the possibility of localising spin-offs only released in Japan, and plans for multiplatform releases for future games.
Sato stated that Sega buying Atlus was a major factor in helping the series find success in the West, after struggling to find an audience for many years. Atlus USA provided expertise in marketing Japanese games for a Western audience. This was combined with the release of Yakuza 0 providing a good entry point to the series for newcomers, being a prequel.
When talking about the process of translating the games, Sato expressed a desire to see future releases include dubs, as did Judgment and Yakuza: Like a Dragon, to make it easier for players to understand. He also said he would like to expand to languages other than English, but mentioned that doing so would be costly from a business perspective. Sato also said that while the English translation is based on the original Japanese, other languages are based on the English version.
The interviewer also questioned Sato on the possibility of seeing a localisation of the samurai era spin-offs, Kenzan and Ishin, which so far have only been released in Japan. Sato said he would like to if given the chance, and that their action was “one of the best in the series”. But since they were passed over when they were originally released as Yakuza 0 was given priority, these games would need to be remade if they were to be localised now.
Lastly, the topic of multiplatform releases was covered. Until recently, the franchise was mostly exclusive to Playstation consoles. But the latest entry, Yakuza: Like a Dragon, was the first to also be released on Xbox and PC at the same time. Sato said this was to give more Western players the opportunity to play the game, and that they would aim for simultaneous global launches going forward.
What do you think about the future of Yakuza? Are you happy to see it get dubbed into more languages? Do you want to see the samurai spin-offs finally get a Western release? Let us know in the comments.