No Western Yakuza 3. Sega = Clueless


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Sega’s US marketing department said they are not going to bring Yakuza 3 to the west:

The reason as to why they won’t be bringing the game over is simple: it won’t sell, he told me. They have a firm stance to believe that would be the case, too. Yakuza 2 has only sold around 40k copies in America on the PS2. The numbers for the original Yakuza aren’t much better.

Sega is wildly out of touch with western gamers.

WESTERN ENTHUSIASTS DO NOT BUY GAMES ON PS2!

As a publisher, you really couldn’t kill your sales any more by beating customers away with stick. I don’t care how good your game is; if it’s only on PS2, the press will ignore it and the western enthusiast market won’t buy it. This may not be the most rational thing in the world, but that’s how it is and how it has been.

Even Final Fantasy XII, which back at it’s release, was one of the biggest, hottest, most reputable series in all of video games, was mostly ignored because it was on old-gen hardware. And that was released in late 2006, when the PS2 still had a small shred of enthusiast mindshare left. Yakuza 2 came out in late 2008, long after any enthusiast gamers were remotely interested in buying new PS2 games.

Yakuza 2 wasn’t even one of the few PS2 titles that actually rings up new-unit sales by catering to a certain non-enthusiast nichce like Guitar Hero or Iron Man. Yakuza caters to exactly the type of gamer who stopped buying PS2 games the day after the PS3 was released.

Yakuza 2 was a better game than Sega’s other late 2008 game: Valkyria Chronicles. The difference was, Valkyria Chronicles was on a current-gen system, and therefore was able to get strong word of mouth buzz, and half-decent sales.

What else is there to say: Sega is clueless, and it’s unfortunate to see such quality software and entertainment be buried by such bone-headed business decisions.

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Written by: Darrin - Contributing Editor


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  1. #1 by Thepreppymonk on July 29th, 2009 [ 1865 Points ]

    Good Point, but Yakuza 3 wouldn’t make much of an impact anyway unless they had a herd of previews, good review, and moderate advertising. The Yakuza brand isn’t what you call a established franchise in the west.

  2. #2 by Darrin on July 30th, 2009 [ 17143 Points ]

    Of course Yakuza isn’t an established franchise.

    Just because it’s not Metal Gear or Final Fantasy doesn’t mean it won’t have an impact.

    It will never reach Call of Duty style numbers. But it would get better reviews and better sales than dozens of other mediocre western releases.

    Western gamers would love a unique, deep, brawler RPG like this,,, on PS3, not PS2.

  3. #3 by Thepreppymonk on July 30th, 2009 [ 1865 Points ]

    I like how, Capcom, brought over Monster Hunter. The Ads for that game was amazing, and pulled in amazing sales. If Sega followed those footsteps with Yakuza, i’m sure to see some moderate sales. This is, if they do bring it over.

  4. #4 by Fleakitten on July 30th, 2009

    Maybe because there was nothing like Monster Hunter available. Where Yakuza’s concern there’s GTA. I don’t think Yakuza would sell outside of Japan because of that.

  5. #5 by Tosh on July 30th, 2009 [ 1102 Points ]

    That reminds me, I still need to finish Yakuza 2, lol.

  6. #6 by Emrah on July 30th, 2009 [ 7319 Points ]

    Is localisation (subtitles) and printing that expensive, compared to fully developing the entire game? (They’d want to have english dubs, tho I find it unnecessary.)

    I’m sure they have made careful calculations, but I fail to see how an already built software should cause big losses, it shouldn’t be able to. Why not gamble? Maybe you’ll earn big dollars as a bonus..

  7. #7 by Darrin on July 30th, 2009 [ 17143 Points ]

    Yakuza is closer to Final Fantasy than GTA. It’s more RPG than action. From the screenshots and the box art, it seems like GTA, but if you play it it’s not.

  8. #8 by JimmyMagnum on July 30th, 2009 [ 83111 Points ]

    I never played the Yakuza games, but my bro has played the first one and liked it. His favorite part was fighting people and there being a bike to use as a weapon. He’d throw them at the thugs’ faces and I’d lmao

  9. #9 by Fleakitten on July 30th, 2009

    More like FF? Shows how little I know about this game, lol.

  10. #10 by JimmyMagnum on July 31st, 2009 [ 83111 Points ]

    thought you’d be interested:

    “At this time, we can not confirm nor deny that Yakuza 3 will be coming over to the states. The statement that has been quoted in the news was this person’s own opinion and does not reflect the company’s stance on the matter. We will keep you posted on any new developments regarding this title.”

    it was from IGN. Yakuza 3 isn’t necessarily going to be Japan only, so there’s still that chance it could hit state-side


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