Yakuza, known as Ryū ga Gotoku in Japan has been around since 2005 and was identified to most as a PlayStation Exclusive. The series made its debut on PlayStation 2 and continued with sequels and countless spin-offs on PSP, PS3 and PS4. Although we had the HD re-releases of the first 2 games on the Wii U and the more recently released Yakuza 0 on PC, the series mainly kept its ties on PlayStation platforms.
The original title was pitched to all platform holders and circumstances could’ve been different had Microsoft and Nintendo showed support. While Sony showed interest, the series didn’t leave the realm of PlayStation for a while. Now! It seems like Nintendo and Microsoft want that Yakuza Greatness on their platforms according to series creator Toshihiro Nagoshi. In a recent interview with Edge Magazine Nagoshi San had this to say
“I’ve never said this before, but while we released this game with Sony, I’d done presentations about it to Microsoft and Nintendo. Back then they said “No we don’t want it.” Now they say, “We want it!” (laughs) They didn’t understand the reason why I created it.”
Nagoshi-san also explains how the series was aimed towards a very specific Japanese male audienece.
“But I thought it wasn’t right to follow that direction. So, first, I abandoned the idea of selling worldwide. Next, I decided I wouldn’t mind if female players didn’t like the game; then that no children were allowed. When I decided all that, the only target left was the japanese male.
“My bosses took some convincing. I did a presentation twice, and didn’t get approval.
Sega was struggling for cash and was very close to bankruptcy, so it merged with Sammy. As soon as it happened, I went to see the new owner and presented the game to him, looking for his approval. Professionally, this was highly irregular and quite wrong. But I knew if the owner said “yes”, it would be good for the entire company. I got his approval, but our CEO was really mad about it (laughs). He said it was unfair.”
Nagoshi-San briefly talked about his latest project code named Shin Yakuza, which we’re hoping to hear more about during this years Tokyo Game Show.
“It will still be quite hardcore at the beginning, but I want the player to think “Oh this game seems really interesting” – that’s what I’m aiming for this time. That goes for the technology too, though I don’t want to say more as it will spoil the fun. By introducing new and more current systems, I’d like to increase the number of players. And if I do that, I can re-introduce Kiryu-san to some new fans. That would be ideal.”
If you’re new to the series then you can check out our recent review for Yakuza 0 on PC here.