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Oct 05

Oct 05

Yakuza: Dead Souls Heading to the US

Aaron Webber's Avatar Posted by Associate Brand Manager, Sega of America

Greetings Sony fans and Yakuza enthusiasts! Today is an exciting day, both for PS3 gamers and for us here at SEGA – the PS3 exclusive, Yakuza: Dead Souls is coming to the west! It seems like only yesterday we were all sitting on the edge of our Sony-branded seats, hoping desperately that Yakuza 3 would see the light of day overseas. In the years since, we’ve seen not only the US release of Yakuza 3, but Yakuza 4, too – and, thanks to the fantastic support of fans and PS3 gamers like you, we’re proud to now announce the latest chapter in the Yakuza franchise. What was once Of The End is now Dead Souls!

So, what is Yakuza: Dead Souls all about? I traveled to the top of the mountains and spent two weeks meditating to bring you the answers. In the end, that failed, so I just played the entire game instead. It was awesome, and in doing so, I found that this game is a mix of:

  • Zombies in Tokyo
  • Yakuza with guns
  • Beautiful Hostesses

And while I’m not able to reveal how much content from the Japanese version is coming over, let me just say that you fans are going to be very, very happy when you hear how much we’ve included.

Yakuza: Dead Souls Coming to the US

The version we’re bringing to the west features the entire storyline, as well as its brand new mini-game: Pachislot. Yakuza: Dead Souls returns you back to the streets of Kamurocho, which is now under attack by hordes of Zombies. Though you won’t be restricted by Zombies as your only threat, as you’ll also face powerful mutants, and, perhaps most dangerous of all, members of the Japanese underworld.

The name Dead Souls has multiple meanings within the game, beyond the obvious “Oh-hey-that’s-totally-a-Zombie” angle. But did I mention the Zombies yet? Well, there are Zombies. Lots of Zombies. So many Zombies I’m going to start using a capital Z when I type Zombies, just to spite all those English professors back in college who said I couldn’t. Zombies, Zombies, Zombies!

Yakuza: Dead Souls Coming to the USYakuza: Dead Souls Coming to the US

Yet even for all the wacky and hilarious Japanese culture laden within the game – and in past Yakuza games, too – there is a strong layer of serious, emotional storytelling taking place here. This game has also convinced me that, without a doubt, Kazuma Kiryu is more manly than both Chuck Norris and Duke Nukem fused together – but that’s for another blog.

If you’re a fan of the series, we’d like to end by saying THANK YOU for going out there and picking up the western releases of Yakuza 3 and 4. Even now, every copy of Yakuza 4 sold, and every pre-order of Yakuza: Dead Souls helps this franchise continue to survive and grow here in the west.

Yakuza: Dead Souls Coming to the USYakuza: Dead Souls Coming to the US

Got a question about Yakuza: Dead Souls? Want to know more about the game or leave a comment below? Please do – I’m aiming to top my previous response numbers with a 100% response ratio this time. All I ask is that you keep the questions Yakuza related, where possible. Thanks guys – and stay tuned for more Zombie goodness from us soon!

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jimmyfoxhound said:

October 5th, 9:33 am

YES YES YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!! THANK YOU SO MUCH SEGA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! XD Yes I’m excited!!

    Aaron Webber's Avatar

    Aaron Webber said:

    October 5th, 10:00 am

    You are very welcome! Thanks for supporting the Yakuza series!

TheTwelve said:

October 5th, 9:34 am

Corny, but I *need* to get it.

12

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    Aaron Webber said:

    October 5th, 10:01 am

    This is not corny, this is simply a fact of life. There’s no shame in that, sir.

Ryumoau said:

October 5th, 9:36 am

I didn’t enjoy Yakuza 4 as much as the first 3 games, mainly because of the stale gameplay. but i really like the characters and story of the Yakuza universe. i may rent this new game when it comes out.

i think i may have even played the demo of the japanese version, Yakuza: of the End.

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    Aaron Webber said:

    October 5th, 10:03 am

    I enjoyed the new characters in Yakuza 4 (the combat of Akiyama was one of my favorite parts), but totally see where you’re coming from. Hopefully Zombies and the new style of gameplay will keep you on your toes the entire way through!

phaydee said:

October 5th, 9:39 am

Soooo rad!!! THANK YOU SEGA!!!!!!

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    Aaron Webber said:

    October 5th, 10:04 am

    Thank you for supporting Yakuza! Fans who pick up the games and pre-order make a huge difference in helping the series succeed here. We love you guys. (Awww….)

Mattsta001 said:

October 5th, 9:39 am

I heard the controls were terrible and completely unsuitable for Western gamers. Has this been fixed?

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    Aaron Webber said:

    October 5th, 10:07 am

    I’d call that one a heavy exaggeration. Most gamers, especially RPG or 3rd person shooter gamers, should have little trouble – the only thing I had to really get used to at first was the inverted camera. (Which you can switch.)

    There are also a few import reviews out there, both from fans and from sites like Eurogamer, which might offer you good second opinions!

KyodaShiro said:

October 5th, 9:39 am

Since this is the first non-canon Yakuza game coming to the US, will there be any chances for Kenzan to come here or the PSP title?

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    Aaron Webber said:

    October 5th, 10:09 am

    The first question thus far that I can’t give an answer for – sorry! We do know there’s a lot of demand for these titles, and we’re always listening.

thundercat17 said:

October 5th, 9:41 am

i hope sega would release the other 2 yakuza games, the kenzan and the yakuza black panther

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    Aaron Webber said:

    October 5th, 10:10 am

    Kenzan is a lot of fun; I picked up a Japanese copy a couple years ago. God bless PS3 games for being region free!

Frulond said:

October 5th, 9:41 am

I’m getting sick of all the games getting Zombies or Zombie Mode… would appretiate innovation.

Thank you.

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    Aaron Webber said:

    October 5th, 10:16 am

    There are lots of Zombie games out there, but there are no Zombie games out there like this one. ; ) We’ve got a lot of new twists and things that you won’t find in your typical Zombie title…

    … like Yakuza-jazz-hands Karaoke. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ohkYgW3f3jI)

thundercat17 said:

October 5th, 9:43 am

btw, how does zombie and beautiful hostesses actually mix?

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    Aaron Webber said:

    October 5th, 10:19 am

    The Hostess section is in place just like in previous titles – you can meet hostesses, get their card, and request them on future visits.

    However, there’s also a new addition to the way some Hostesses work – which now allows you to take them on a date through the streets of Tokyo – a date filled with shotguns, zombies, and a whole lot of love. : )

Airwalkinman17 said:

October 5th, 9:44 am

wow! thats really cool.
what are the shooting mechanics like? thats my only question :)

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    Aaron Webber said:

    October 5th, 10:21 am

    3rd person, behind the shoulder (typically), but you can also zoom in for headshots. The guns themselves come in all different sizes and flavors – from the single pistol to the shotgun, to the even more epic arm-that-transforms-itself-into-a-gatling-gun.

    I won’t reveal them all here, but we’ve got some pretty sweet hidden weapons packed in, too.

KidCommando said:

October 5th, 9:44 am

2011 – Year of the Zombie

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    Aaron Webber said:

    October 5th, 10:22 am

    Well, 2012 – but close enough!

lolidkwot said:

October 5th, 9:48 am

YEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH BOY! I can’t WAIT to play as Majima! :DDDD (Wonder if all the dead characters from past games come back as zombies… hrm) So, when’s the release date?!

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    Aaron Webber said:

    October 5th, 10:23 am

    Glad you’re excited! The release date is March 2012!

chaoszero14 said:

October 5th, 9:51 am

Heck yes! First day purchase! Also, can we PLEASE get a collectors edition? I just want a steelbook and some more Yakuza avatars.

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    Aaron Webber said:

    October 5th, 10:24 am

    As a fellow fan of the series, I’d love to see one too. I can’t promise anything right now, but stay tuned.

drew327 said:

October 5th, 9:51 am

Thank you very much Sega; imported Of the End but don’t mind buying this again

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    Aaron Webber said:

    October 5th, 10:25 am

    This makes you awesome. Thank you for supporting the series!

DeathGazer said:

October 5th, 9:51 am

Yes! Day 1!!!

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    Aaron Webber said:

    October 5th, 10:26 am

    +1 SEGA love. Thank you!

    If you pre-order, rumor has it Kiryu himself will come to your door with a BOSS Coffee and a karaoke setup. I’m pretty sure that’s just a rumor, though.

killersense said:

October 5th, 9:55 am

@12 I would guess in March 2012 from looking at the video :P. Anyways this is great. Now if only they bring new Valkyria chronicles games to the ps3 next…

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    Aaron Webber said:

    October 5th, 10:27 am

    Correct – thanks for noting that. : )

    Admittedly it’s not really a topic for this blog, but just for the record, I love Valkyria Chronicles, too!

favian said:

October 5th, 9:55 am

Incredible. Yakuza 3 and 4 were total blasts. My top three PS exclusive series. Bring it on

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    Aaron Webber said:

    October 5th, 10:27 am

    Really glad to hear you enjoyed them. Hope you’ll like this one just as much, if not more. : )

Emman_nuel said:

October 5th, 9:56 am

Will it stay a PS3-exclusive permanently? I’ll be real pissed off if it’s ported to Xbox 360 in the near future.
*praying FF Versus 13 stays PS3-only ><

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    Aaron Webber said:

    October 5th, 10:28 am

    The Yakuza franchise has always been Playstation exclusive. We plan to keep it that way!

spoptinator said:

October 5th, 9:58 am

Day 1! Now all we need is Yakuza 1 (original Japanese dub) and Yakuza 2 HD collection…and Kenzan+Black Panther HD! Please?

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    Aaron Webber said:

    October 5th, 10:29 am

    That would be pretty sweet. Perhaps someday…

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    Aaron Webber said:

    October 5th, 10:30 am

    (To clarify – specifically, for the Y1+2 release.) Kenzan and black Panther are both really cool games, but it’s not my place to comment beyond that. Sorry!

NINEblademanNINE said:

October 5th, 10:00 am

Will the dialog be in Japanese or translated over to English? And will gun-play or melee combat be more of the focus here?

Either way I love killing zombies, it never gets old.

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    Aaron Webber said:

    October 5th, 10:31 am

    Dialogue will be in its original, Japanese state, with the authentic Japanese voice actors. (As we did with both Yakuza 3 and 4.)

    I’d say that Guns are more of the focus, though there’s certainly some fun stuff you can do with melee weapons, too!

Elbender93 said:

October 5th, 10:01 am

What about Yakuza Kenzan? It’s way better than Of the End in my opinion…

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    Aaron Webber said:

    October 5th, 10:32 am

    Kenzan! is a lot of fun. (Even in Japanese, which I only understand small bits and pieces of.) No word on it right now, but every new release for the Yakuza franchise here in the west is always good news.

LilWayneSuckz said:

October 5th, 10:05 am

Yess!! Does this have online co-op?

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    Aaron Webber said:

    October 5th, 10:33 am

    No online co-op – just like the Japanese version, and previous Yakuza games. As any fan will tell you, the team spends a lot of time making the game itself really impressive – and it shows in the offline story and gameplay.

fabris77 said:

October 5th, 10:12 am

When’s the release date?

OMGmyFACE said:

October 5th, 10:13 am

Preordering the second I can. This is amazing news!

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    Aaron Webber said:

    October 5th, 10:34 am

    Thank you for supporting the series! : )

jeffsmither said:

October 5th, 10:14 am

WOW allot of games getting Zombies. What next, Sports like NBA or NFL?

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    Aaron Webber said:

    October 5th, 10:41 am

    I’d play it for the comedic value alone.

ViolentGene said:

October 5th, 10:18 am

Come ON guys, we get THIS, but not Black Panther or Kenzan?!

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    Aaron Webber said:

    October 5th, 10:44 am

    Any new Yakuza game is a good sign for the franchise here in the west! I enjoy Kenzan! quite a bit too, and own it, but right now all eyes are on Dead Souls as we move into the new year.

Neil said:

October 5th, 10:19 am

I am thrilled! Seriously, I love this franchise and am so happy that you guys keep bringing these over. Next up is HD remakes of 1 and 2!

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    Aaron Webber said:

    October 5th, 10:45 am

    Cool as that would be (and I’d personally support it quite a bit!), please note that there’s no word of any HD remake on the horizon either. Really glad you like the franchise though – thanks for supporting it!

Elbender93 said:

October 5th, 10:32 am

If there’ll be an hd collection with yakuza 1&2 I’m buying a million copies to help sales lol

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    Aaron Webber said:

    October 5th, 10:49 am

    As noted above, the thought of an HD pack with 1 and 2 is a cool idea to me, but the team is already working hard on localizing Dead Souls and their other projects in Japan. While it’s always too early to say what the future holds, for now at least, we’re full steam ahead with Zombies. : )

    Buy a million copies of any yakuza game, and you’d be my new hero. (Where would you put them all?)

TucoMcFly said:

October 5th, 10:39 am

I guess when it comes to zombies in games its ok to beat that dead horse further since it probably comes back as a zombie. I suppose thats the irony in this played out and uninspiring genre. Def not an angle I thought Id see in yakuza series.

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    Aaron Webber said:

    October 5th, 10:54 am

    Zombies have been seen a lot, so the question we had to consider when initially creating the game is: “What are we doing to make this game different and unique?”

    Beyond the setting in Tokyo and the fun humor the series has always had, I think you’ll enjoy the surprises and twists on the genre that we’ve added here.

invision2212 said:

October 5th, 10:40 am

wow another zombie game and though they are my favorite games Dead Island is perhaps the best zombie game ever made im going to pass on this one, plus i never played or was interested in the yakuza series.

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    Aaron Webber said:

    October 5th, 10:55 am

    To each their own I suppose – but I hope you’ve at least played Yakuza 3 and 4 – both are really awesome PS3 exclusives. RPGs aren’t for everyone though, so totally cool if that’s not your cup of green tea.

Tremulan777 said:

October 5th, 10:42 am

I’m gals to heard that. Can you share more info. About the content of the game? I wouldn’t like to miss any content from the original version (Japanese)

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    Aaron Webber said:

    October 5th, 10:57 am

    I can’t give any specifics right now… but I think you’ll be quite pleased when you hear how much content is staying in. : )

Onvertic said:

October 5th, 10:44 am

So no news about bringing Black Panther or Kenzan here or are they to oldd?

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    Aaron Webber said:

    October 5th, 11:00 am

    I can’t really offer any comments about the other titles in the franchise, though as mentioned above, we do know there’s a lot of desire for them!

Rotsujin said:

October 5th, 10:44 am

I’d pick this up if it supported a Japanese text option in addition to audio but given that this is Sega I’m guessing there’s zero chance of that :P

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    Aaron Webber said:

    October 5th, 11:01 am

    I haven’t heard any word of that being a feature, but I’ll keep eyes peeled.

xKOROSHIYAx said:

October 5th, 10:47 am

I’ve said it in other SEGA PS Blog posts, but I’ll say it again… You guys are pretty much the only reason I still own a PS3. My two favorite series this gen have been SEGA games (Yakuza, Valkyria Chronicles). You guys are showing dedication to your fanbase when so many other big companies are forgetting what made them successful this gen. SEGA has definitely rebounded in recent years. Thanks for listening to your fans! I never thought you guys would bring “Of the End” to the US. As with every other title in the franchise, this is a day one buy for me.

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    Aaron Webber said:

    October 5th, 11:01 am

    Thanks very much for that comment! It means a lot – and thank you for supporting series like Yakuza and Valkyria Chronicles!

Jack_Tamaki said:

October 5th, 10:47 am

I love the franchise, so I can’t wait to get my hands on Dead Souls :)

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    Aaron Webber said:

    October 5th, 11:02 am

    <3 – SEGA and the Yakuza franchise love you too. Thanks for supporting the series!

madecrazy said:

October 5th, 10:48 am

haha march 2012 just like the vita

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    Aaron Webber said:

    October 5th, 11:03 am

    Yep – March 2012. We’ll confirm the specific date as the months get closer. Stay tuned!

Tremulan777 said:

October 5th, 10:49 am

Will yakuza dead souls have English voice or it’ll be the Japanese voice?

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    Aaron Webber said:

    October 5th, 11:03 am

    100% Authentic Japanese voices, with English subtitles.

Rotsujin said:

October 5th, 10:50 am

Not trolling by the way. I own all of the other Yakuza games but I had to import them due to your old fashion SKU policy.

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    Aaron Webber said:

    October 5th, 11:06 am

    No trolling detected. All good!

bmart008 said:

October 5th, 10:51 am

I would love to see Black Panther in NA, I have Yakuza 1 and 2! I need to finish 2 and then start getting to the others ones, but this Dead Souls looks amazing, I’m sure it will be a new high for the series in the West.

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    Aaron Webber said:

    October 5th, 11:08 am

    Thanks for picking up the other games in the series and supporting Yakuza. I’ll sound like a broken record shortly, but I can’t comment on the other games in the series right now. (Sorry!) Just know that we do hear you and we do know there’s a strong demand for further games in the franchise – hence the western release of Dead Souls. : )

xBarritx said:

October 5th, 10:56 am

Great news, definitely a Day 1 buy for me. I tried out the Japanese demo and liked it. Can’t wait! Keep them coming! :)

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    Aaron Webber said:

    October 5th, 11:27 am

    Really glad you enjoyed it! You’ll have a blast with the full game – especially when you can understand it fully. : ) (Unless you know fluent Japanese, in which case – awesome.)

PirateHarlock said:

October 5th, 10:56 am

Zombies are becoming an overhyped theme in games these days but this still does look good. Not bad at bringing 3 & 4 over here as well. There are a number of good japanese games that never saw light of day here in NA and its frustrating. Glad to see someone is bucking that trend a bit.

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    Aaron Webber said:

    October 5th, 11:28 am

    Aha, now it showed up! (Following my comment below.) Thanks for the comments. Hopefully there will be enough support for Dead Souls to continue fighting that trend in the future!

Tremulan777 said:

October 5th, 10:57 am

Will dead souls have dlcs included with the game like yakuza 3 and 4. What’ll be the possible price for the dead souls.

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    Aaron Webber said:

    October 5th, 11:09 am

    Stay tuned for more on both of these questions in the future!

PirateHarlock said:

October 5th, 10:58 am

“your comment is awaiting moderation”. That is just plain stupidity. I was insulting NOBODY, quite the opposite is true I was giving Sega the thumbs up for this one. The moderation on the blog, unlike Sega’s positive move here, has utterly failed.

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    Aaron Webber said:

    October 5th, 11:13 am

    All good – thanks for the comment, even if I didn’t get to read the first one!

Rotsujin said:

October 5th, 11:02 am

Thanks for the response, Aaron.

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    Aaron Webber said:

    October 5th, 11:13 am

    You’re very welcome! I wasn’t kidding when I said I was going for a 100% response rate. ; )

hustleman24 said:

October 5th, 11:07 am

Oh hell yeah baby!

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    Aaron Webber said:

    October 5th, 11:14 am

    Your excitement is noted, and 100% approved.

Tremulan777 said:

October 5th, 11:09 am

Thanks for the info. I can tell you care about yakuza and you know about it too. It is a must buy!!!

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    Aaron Webber said:

    October 5th, 11:15 am

    I love the series, and have been working with it for a few years now. I still need to finish my 100% playthrough on Yakuza 4, but that’ll happen soon. : )

RE_Player said:

October 5th, 11:10 am

Very cool. As someone who has never played a Yakuza game could I jump in and learn everything fairly quickly? Also are Yakuza 3 and 4 going to be added to the PSN store? I wouldn’t mind buying them digitally.

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    Aaron Webber said:

    October 5th, 11:19 am

    Good news – you can do that in any of the Yakuza games here in the west right now. : )

    Yakuza 3 and Yakuza 4 both offer a full cinematic extra where you can watch all the key story cutscenes from the previous games, which help you catch up quickly on anything from the past.

    Dead Souls is also fairly self-explanatory in its opening, so you won’t miss much at all if you’ve never played Yakuza 4. But if you have played it, you’ll get some extra references and tidbits of humor that only fans of the series will catch.

Onvertic said:

October 5th, 11:10 am

Well, how about digital version of Black Panther 1 and 2 (and Valkyria Chronicles 3)? That way you save a ton on producing cases, UMD, etc.

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    Aaron Webber said:

    October 5th, 11:21 am

    The cases aren’t ever really the big cost – it’s more about the localization. Translating everything into English, changing the code to do so, finding bugs that have appeared, etc, is where most of the time goes.

    Yakuza is a great example of how text-heavy the localization is – Yakuza 4 alone had almost as many words in it as War and Peace.

tylerh1701 said:

October 5th, 11:11 am

Wow a reply on each of the first 38 comments! Impressive! Will you start working for Sony, nobody there seems to reply much…

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    Aaron Webber said:

    October 5th, 11:22 am

    Make that first 49! The goal was to offer a 100% response rate, and so far, so good – I’ll have to stop eventually and get back to work on other projects, though. : )

tacotaskforce said:

October 5th, 11:14 am

>And while I’m not able to reveal how much content from the Japanese version is coming over, let me just say that you fans are going to be very, very happy when you hear how much we’ve included.

Come on man, don’t scare me like this. If you’re just cutting the theme song like in 4 that’s one thing (honestly the song wasn’t that great anyways), but actual content is something else. Are you dropping the comedians? Any bigger cuts than that make me think this series is still stuck in the early 90s.

Hey, now that PS2 exclusive games are coming to the PSN, any word on bringing Yakuza 1&2 to the service? Possibly adding in the japanese vocal track for Yakuza 1? No offense to Darryl Kurylo, but he is no Takaya Kuroda.

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    Aaron Webber said:

    October 5th, 5:05 pm

    Worry not. Wish I could go into all the specifics right now to belay your fears – but the western offering is quite solid and faithful to the Japanese version.

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