While Sega's decision to turn Yakuza 7 into a turn-based RPG has caused the ire of fans the world over, there is good news, as the publisher has announced that the game will head to the west sometime in 2020.
While the Yakuza series took some time to take hold in the west, its popularity has slowly begun to rise. When Judgment, the spiritual successor to Yakuza, was released in December 2018, it received positive reviews from fans and critics alike. It would go on to sell 148, 246 copies in just one week in Japan and far exceed sales expectations when it was released in the west a little less than a year later.
During this time, Sega would begin work on Yakuza 7, completing its story by May 2019. Sega would then announce the Yakuza Remastered Collection, which contained remastered versions of Yakuza 3, 4, and 5 for PlayStation 4. After this, many fans had questions related to the western release of Yakuza 7, and Sega appears to finally be ready to answer them after it released a new trailer, which details a western release sometime in 2020.
The release of the remastered collection isn't all that surprising given the fact that Sega has done the same in the past with franchises like Mega Man before dropping another title. Since localization takes some time to complete, it's one way that publishers can keep consumers interested in the latest title while also generating a bit of extra income. If Yakuza 7 does well in the west, it could motivate other publishers to follow the same pre-release strategy.
According to Anime News Network, the western version of the game will be called Yakuza: Like a Dragon. Players will assume the role of Ichiban Kasuga, a member of the Arakawa Family who, upon the request from boss Masumi Arakawa, takes the fall for crimes committed by Jō Sawashiro. In the trailer, we see Kasuga leaving prison after eighteen years and confronting Arakawa, ultimately getting shot as a result. After, we see Kasuga wake up in a dump in Yokohama and begin his journey of revenge. English subtitles are used and we discover at the end of the trailer that Yakuza 7 will make its way to the west in 2020.
Although Sega didn't provide an exact release date, there's a good chance that it will be available close to February since that is when the final game in the remastered collection is completed. While it would be nice to get the game sooner, it makes a lot of sense for Sega to wait, as it gives fans a chance to enjoy the remastered versions of the Yakuza games first.
Ultimately, it's better for Sega to take its time rather than rushing the game out with tons of mistakes and run the risk upsetting its fans. Hopefully, we will hear more about an official release date soon.
Source: Anime News Network