Yakuza Franchise Succeeds in the West Thanks to Not Changing Original Content, Says Sega

Yakuza 6 The Song of Life is the most successful game in the franchise, thanks to its massive sales boost gained from regions outside of Japan. The Yakuza franchise previously enjoyed success mainly in Japan, but now it seems that the west has become enamored with the Japanese-centric series of games. This is what Sega has discovered, in which there has been a growing interest in Japanese titles amongst western gamers. Sega’s western-centric games have also been garnering increased attention in the Asian market.

In an interview with GamesIndustry.biz, Sega Europe executive vice president John Clark said: “What’s happening here is that the Yakuza franchise is being brought to the west and it’s not being changed for the western market, in terms of the gameplay.” Japanese-centric games like the Yakuza franchise and most JRPGs have always been reaching a niche albeit growing group of gamers in the west. Now it looks like that has changed for the better.

Clark added: “We’ve seen the growth of Japanese IP on Steam on PC; that never existed before. And it surfaces across other formats as well because gaming is now a social entity.” We reported last month that Yakuza 6 had sold a total of around 800,000 to 900,000 copies worldwide, according to Yakuza franchise creator Toshihiro Nagoshi. That’s impressive for a game that was previously only well-known in Japan.

Regarding its western-developed games, Clark said that the Chinese market has become one of its top five best-selling regions. Two franchises have been doing especially well in that region, namely Sports Interactive’s Football Manager and Creative Assembly’s Total War franchises. Sega is looking forward to seeing the upcoming Total War Three Kingdoms, which is set in an era of Chinese history, to be a particularly huge hit in China. He even refers to it as a “key title” for the publisher in that region.