Yakuza Kiwami 1 and 2 were essentially remakes of the first two games which were originally released on the PS2. Earlier this year, Yakuza 6 had the franchise’s most successful international launch. Thanks to those games, Sega decided there was more than enough demand for remasters of Yakuza 3, Yakuza 4 and Yakuza 5. However, the creator of the Yakuza franchise confirms that these will not be Kiwami-style remakes.
In an interview with Siliconera, series creator Toshihiro Nagoshi said that Sega initially considered developing Kiwami-style remakes for Yakuza 3, 4 and 5. He explains further that the Kiwami remakes were successful as they were remakes of PS2-era games, which meant a more significant boost in visuals and everything else. Since Yakuza 3, 4 and 5 originated from the PS3, the difference in hardware was less apparent and remasters would suffice.
Nagoshi added that they could have made Kiwami-style remakes but it would have taken more resources and time to develop content for those. Additionally, that would have caused delays for Yakuza 6. The reason why Sega is developing these remasters in the first place is due to the fact that they now have great sales internationally.
He estimates that Yakuza 6 has sold a total of around 800,000 to 900,000 copies worldwide. Nagoshi added: “Yakuza used to sell by the loads in Japan and trickled in sales overseas before, but now overseas sales have reached about as much as they do in Japan.”
The Yakuza 3 remaster has already received a release date, where it is slated to be released in Japan on August 9th, 2018. The Yakuza 4 and 5 remasters will arrive in Fall 2018 and Spring 2019, respectively. Sega has not confirmed whether these remasters will receive official western localizations. From the words of series creator Toshihiro Nagoshi, it certainly looks like it’s only a question of when they will arrive in the west, especially with the franchise’s increasing popularity in international regions.