Yakuza 3 Hits Western Shores!

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The big day is finally here. As Yakuza 3 begins the journey to stores across the west, we take another look at what makes Yakuza 3 something you’ll find only on the PS3.

“If there’s one thing about Yakuza that these last few months have taught people,” I thought as I sat at lunch on Monday, “It’s that the fans are a force to take seriously…usually.” Fans can be the biggest allies and proponents of games that may not be the huge, multi-million sellers like (insert generic FPS here), or (insert additional generic FPS here). They can create amazing successes for games that were never expected to have them – looking at you, Valkyria Chronicles – and they can just as easily do the opposite, in some cases.

But more than anything, most fans just want to be heard. Fans want interaction, and to be responded to. So let’s begin this blog post by jumping right in to one of the biggest things fans have been asking about: the content.

Yakuza 3 Screenshot 2

Yakuza 3 is huge. Besides exploring Tokyo and Okinawa, you can also visit restaurants, pick up ramen at a local convenience store, go golfing, bowling, fishing, karaoke, or bust some heads in a local street fight.

As someone who enjoyed Shenmue, my love for Yakuza grows in knowing that some of the people who developed the original Shenmue games also work on Yakuza now. The similarity in feel between the two is no coincidence – and the epic feel of exploration, and Japanese culture, that the game offers are things you won’t find anywhere else. I’m also a big fan of playing darts while drunk – the extra level of difficulty is quite entertaining, besides being notably safer in Yakuza 3’s virtual world than it is in real life. (Note: I do not condone playing Darts while intoxicated. You’ll probably take someone’s eye out.)

Also, we’d like to make special note that while not everything from the Japanese version made it to the western shores, our community team has been – and will be– reading, compiling, and passing all of that feedback upwards here at SEGA. I can’t say more than that presently, but know that you are being heard, and we’ll make sure of that for you. To clarify additionally, as has been mentioned: Hostesses are in the game, and you can take them out on dates, build relationships, and sing karaoke with them to your heart’s content.

Yakuza 3 Screenshot 1

As Yakuza goes out the door and into the homes of hundreds of thousands of fans, I’d also like to take a moment to give some thanks to the people that really deserve it – and that’s you guys. It goes to the people who pushed from the beginning to show SEGA how much they wanted this game here. To those who post in the comments sections encouraging us, offering bright and helpful viewpoints even when the going got rough. And finally, to those who continue to support this PS3 exclusive by picking up the game, and in doing so give the franchise the legs on which to stand.

Know that we appreciate the support so many of you have already given to this series – and that we are now, and will continue to listen to your feedback.

That said – here’s to Yakuza 3!

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28 Author Replies

  • You said Shenmue! Anyway Thanks for bringing the game Aaron. I have yet to find it in my area but I must have this game. Maybe you remember me from PS0 event, DeVeAn? Now just work on getting us Shenmue 3 or Ryo Hazuki in VF6.

    • I remember you! Hope things are going well. :)

      The game is shipping today, so stores should start getting in by tomorrow or Thursday at the latest, depending on where you live.

  • You guys really need to consider adding the cut stuff as DLC at the very least! A lot of us were looking forward to it, especially since it was in the first two games.

  • The demo for Yakuza 4 is on the Japanese PSN store!

  • I wish this wasn’t so close to GOW3, I was looking forward to it. I’ll get it eventually though!

  • Thanks for bringing this over. I was one of the many that wanted this localized. I even picked up the prequel “Ryu Ga Gotoku Kenzan” when I was in Tokyo last year.

    I will definitely pick this up sometime this month, along with GoW3 and FFXIII. What a great time for gaming.

    • Kenzan is great fun, I picked it up when I was in Japan as well. I’m into anything with swordfighting, so the battles in that one really drew me into the story.

  • Still planning on picking up my copy this week!

  • Yes Yes Yes…..Love u guys for finally putting this up on the blog. I got my copy of Yakuza 3 today and am loving every bit of it!

    Now can we have Yakuza 4 please?

    • Glad to hear it, you’ll have a blast. From the moment you fly back to Tokyo, things get quite epic.

  • I can’t believe this is happening. This may be the best day of my life. Even better then when my first child was born. I have never been happier. My inner Japanophile is going to implode and have my fanboyish juices scattered all over. Can we declare this a Sony Holiday?


  • Aaron Webber, I am definitely purchasing Yakuza 3 because its similar to my greatest series ever…Shenmue. Please Aaron, could you please push the Sega exec’s into making Shenmue 3. I will buy 20 copies if it did come out lol Shenmue has a hardcore loyal fanbase, please for us :)

  • This game didnt impress me one bit.If its going to be an open world sort of game..it MUST HAVE VEHICLES! BTW i didnt really play it for that long becuz the graphics sucked IMO, so if there are cars in the game..i guess i wouldnt care anyway..Im all about GOD OF WAR 3..:p just 7 more days!

    • I think you’re looking at Yakuza 3 for all the wrong reasons, then.

      Open-world games don’t need cars to be ‘good’. Nor do they necessarily need guns, or anything else that would make them feel more like GTA.

      Yakuza knows what it wants to be – a unique game, and not a GTA clone. The series is built around that very Japanese feel. If that’s not for you, that’s totally cool – to each his own!

  • Yeah! Thanks for importing it, Aaron.
    Even though it came reeeeal close, I ultimately decided to keep my pre-order for Yakuza 3. I enjoyed the hell out of the first two installments and I realized that the only way the fourth will make it to our shores is if this one does well. I also [really] hope that you guys manage to restore everything eventually through free DLC. I think the fans of this series deserve it.
    Can’t wait to pick it up.

  • Aaron,

    What will you consider as a good response in terms of sales for the fourth installment to hit NA?

    • It’s not a question I can really answer for you, but I would encourage all fans of the series to show their support for Yakuza by picking up a copy. At the end of the day, numbers often speak loudest.

  • I’m thoroughly excited for the game. I wish SEGA hadn’t decided to release it in such a busy gaming month, I don’t want to start this game and have GoW3 get in the way of it a week later. I’ll pick it eventually this week to support the game but not sure if I’ll play it anytime soon.

  • I just picked up the first two games a month ago and played through them back to back, so it’ll be very nice to play 3. I’m not getting it right away, FFXIII has taken priority, but I will absolutely be getting it in a few weeks. I just played the Japanese demo for Yakuza 4 over the weekend, you guys need to start working on getting that over ASAP! :)

  • I can’t spend $240 on new games in one month. And I’ve already picked up/prepaid The Show, FFXIII and GoW.

    However, I’ll definitely get to this within the next six weeks or so. And I’ll buy it new.

  • Was definitely going to pick this up based on the Japanese demo of days yore…. but the American demo was lacking some of my favorite elements….

    Sorry, but I was really looking forward to the whole experience. Those dialogue trees in the hostess club seemed like the best part… well, for me anyhow.

    I’ll likely pick it up once it’s outside the 40+ range.

  • Oh, by the way, to keep from sounding completely negative, I did really love the whole wandering around the city looking for stuff to interact with aspect. The arcade was especially awesome!

  • Why can’t I login using google chrome browser? Had to open Firefox to post…

  • Wow, you guys couldn’t time the release of this game any worst. Releasing it the same week or FFXIII and a week before God of War 3? Someone at SEGA need to learn some marketing. Most people are going to over look this game with those two other games coming out.

    That said, I am picking this game up at the end of the month :) Hopefully, it doesn’t take a year for you guys to port Yakuza 4 to the US.

  • Last time I was this excited for a game was…Dreamcast era! Sonic Adventure.

  • Seeing as I still haven’t quite finished off Yakuza 2 I can wait a little while to get 3. As a fan of the series I am pretty disappointed in the entire product not being preserved for this release, but I do realize any possibility of the series continuing in the West hinges on this release so I’ll definitely lend my support.

    Although, the series really needs a brand new main district, I’m getting tired of Kamurocho.

    • Okinawa offers a really nice juxtaposition to Tokyo – the more laid back feel, the shopping arcades, the fish market, etc, all seemed like a fun way to escape from Kamurocho a bit.

      At the same time, it is very nice seeing Kamurocho in newfound glory on the PS3, though.

  • I’m really glad to see this game come over to the West. Hopefully sales do well and they release Yakuza 4 and start to discuss a Shenmue 3 title. I would surely pay top dollar for the sequel.


  • You don’t know how much I love you for translating the game and bringing it to the West.
    FANS are grateful to you.
    Just one thing: please, release free DLCs in the future! This will make up everything :)

    love from an italian fan, who has already preordered the game :)

  • Hi! Thanks for posting here, it’s good to see Sega on the blog! You’ve provided some of the best PS3 games yet this generation with Valkyria Chronicles & the Yakuza franchise. I’ve imported all of the Yakuza PS3 games because I couldn’t lie in wait, hoping that you’d bring it out over here at some distant time in the future. I don’t regret it, and to support your localization efforts, I’m going to buy the American version when it’s in at my local GameStop (I pre-ordered it, hopefully it’s available for pick-up either tomorrow or Thursday!).

    Now, please localize Yakuza 4 as well! While I enjoy these games without the English support, I get a LOT more out of them in English. And if you could, you might as well localize Kenzan, too!

    • You are awesome – thank you for supporting the game, first in Japanese, and again in English. :)

  • Yakuza forever =) I purchased and completed both PS2 games, still own them and am awaiting my preorder of Y3 in the mail.

    Thank you for making the extra effort to bring this game out to the true (albeit) small Yakuza following here in NA. My hope is that this game gains a following that makes it stand out in a very crowded and very competitive month for games.

    Your work has not gone unnoticed, thanks again.

    • Thank you for the kind words! The Yakuza fanbase may not be as massive as some games, but I think that even the smallest groups of fans can still accomplish amazing things through sheer dedication and love for a series.

  • Shame some content was cut, but I can’t wait for this to be delivered, hopefully tomorrow.

    I appreciate all the bonus DLC guys, but next time spend the resources just translating the whole game, us Yakuza fans love seeing the Japanese culture, all of it ;)

    Thanks for finally making it happen though Sega! It always plays best with subs anyway, even although voice acting in 1 was good, it felt more authentic in 2. So pllllleeeease if possible bring us Yakuza 4 in the same fashion, and maybe if we all buy enough copies add back the missing content? ;) Or put the money towards funding Yakuza 4 translation!

    • We’re on the same page. :)

      I’m also a fan of the Japanese voice acting too – especially Majima’s actor and the hilarious way he pulls off “kiryu-chan!”

  • All you ever do is take and submit feedback to the higher ups, from PSU updates to Valkyria trophies, to getting PS:Portable on PSN, this and probably much much more. I’m trying to stay positive here but Segac of America makes it difficult at times :p

    In any case don’t you think it would be cool to have Kazuma in Sonic & Sega All Star Racing? Just saying…

    • To be fair, I can understand where you’re coming from. I used to be on the other side of the looking glass, wondering why certain decisions were made when better solutions (to me) seemed so completely obvious.

      When I joined SEGA, I got to see everything behind the curtain, and things ended up making a lot more sense. In time, I’m optimistic that things will continue to get even better – whether with Phantasy Star, Sonic, Yakuza, or even just SEGA in general.

      I have high hopes, but then, I am admittedly a little biased. :)

  • Wow, Now this post was FIRST CLASS!
    Thank You Aaron!

  • Aaron Webber! I remembered your name!
    First, thanks so much for bringing this westward. I do think it was a bad month, considering FF XIII and God of War III, but I’ve chosen to neglect those in favor of buying this and showing my support.

    Anyway, I think it was sometime around September when you mentioned a trophy patch for Valkyria Chronicles (yes, this again). Well last week we got another DLC add-on for the game, showing that there is still someone over at SEGA America acknowledging that the game has fans. So I was wondering if you could tell us about the progress with our request. The community manager for Konami said something similar about MGS4, meaning he acknowledged the demand, and then just as quickly, word of trophy support vanished. While I suspect Konami may be re-releasing MGS4 as they typically have done for the MGS series, I don’t expect that’s in the plans for Valkyria Chronicles. Are your people leaning for or against patching in trophies? Did that request ever get heard by higher powers? What’s the situation?

    Thanks so much, Aaron. Seeing how you introduced this blog post, I figured it might be a good time to ask.

    • Hey there,

      Thanks for supporting Yakuza!

      With regard to Valkyria – there hasn’t been any official word on a Trophy patch, but I have made sure the request is heard, both for you and for all the fans out there who would love to see them.

  • Thanks for showing support for the people who bought the first
    two games by cutting content. I will show my support buy not buying the game. I will buy that other Sega release Sakura
    Wars oh wait thats right.

  • I just got back from going to pick up my pre-ordered copy but it wasn’t in yet, tomorrow it is then!!! 8)

  • THANK YOU for bringing this game to the US. I know you’re getting heat for cutting some content but eh, it is what it is. I’ve had my pre-order paid off for a few weeks now and can’t wait to pick this up. I booted up Valkyria Chronicles today for the first time in a few months and I almost got a tear in my eye. I love that game so much! Thank you for not forgetting about us here in the states, SEGA!!

  • Just got a notice that my preorder status has been updated. Can’t wait to get my hands on the game. The demo just felt nice and fresh in this constant flood of shooters. It also had this smoothness that I have seen in many of Segas games.

    Hopefully the game also sells better than the previous Yakuza game so there would be better chance to get Yakuza4 sometime in the future. It feels bad to see great games like Valkyria chronicles to not get the sales they deserve.

  • @Aaron Webber
    I think most of us understand. We’re not upset with you, its good Sega has somebody relaying information both ways. Even if we don’t accomplish all we demand things do feel much less one-sided then they did in the past. :D It’s those higher ups that need a good old fashioned Komaki-style beatdown.

  • Missing content from Japanese version = no buy

  • Thank you very much as well for bringing this game to the US. I already pre paid my pre ordered and cant wait to pick it up tomorrow. Sad that some content was cut but hopefully it will come as dlc and i will buy it. I just hope Yakuza 4 comes out fast.

  • Any word on the Japanese only voices in the latest Edy DLC?? I don’t think I’ll get it if that’s the case, I can hold off til the PSP title.

  • If I can’t have Shenmue III, this is the next best thing. I’m new to the Yakuza series, but I enjoyed the demo and the game’s atmosphere.

    • You’ll feel the similarity from the moment you begin exploring – when you arrive inside Club SEGA, and try out Boxcelios, you’ll probably have even more flashbacks.

  • played this demo in 2009 through the japanese network, played it again this year – i can’t wait! already pre-ordered my copy!

  • lostinplainsight

    cheers to sega and the fans for getting yakuza stateside. I wasn’t interested in the franchise at first but my cousin and the demo made me take notice might just pick this up later down the road money’s kinda tight right now.

  • My order from the UK is being processed, I won’t have time to play the game until I’m done with FF XIII and GOW 3, but I felt it was worth supporting Yakuza 3 at launch since I would have bought it anyway soon.

    Do you happen to know if Yakuza 4 supports English subtitles on one of the Asian relases? That would save us all some drama. ;-)

  • The Yakuza 3 demo was pretty good and I’ll think about buying it, but what was frustrating was having to read through text without any voices brought me back to those old days when there weren’t any voices in games

  • IGN’s review is in.
    8.5 looking good. :D

  • Yakuza IP and Shenmue IP are amazing. Brilliant pieces of art. Unlike the other games releasing this month.

    I cant get my Yakuza tomorrow because companies suck at shipping products.

  • Aaron, I hope you’re still reading these comments, as I would like to say a huge thank you to Sega for bringing over Yakuza 3! Around the time the announcement was made it was indeed coming West, I had given up hope on it happening and I accepted that but I was very happy to hear the news none the less. I truly feel there are not many series like the Yakuza games and a series like this comes around only once in a blue moon so I wanted to thank you for helping get this over to the US and Europe :) I would like you to see something I’ve posted in a few places over the last few weeks that really drives home how important it is for this game to sell and do well. I’ll add another post for that in a second but again a huge thank you for Yakuza 3 Aaron!

    • I am definitely still reading them, and will continue to throughout the day. Thank you for the comment, looking forward to what you have planned!

  • @ DarkRecoil: That kind of attitude is what will make titles like this never come around to the States. There is so much to do in this game, I can’t even begin to describe it. If you were a fan, you wouldn’t make that kind of comment anyway.

  • //Do you happen to know if Yakuza 4 supports English subtitles on one of the Asian relases? That would save us all some drama. ;-)//

    I have always wondered that is the translation from Japanese -> English so expensive process that Japanese devs just cant do it to their games. I mean I doubt many fans mind if some parts are left untranslated that are not relevant for the gameplay. I mean there are many fan translator groups doing similar thing for free for many Japanese Visual novels atm. Many people could easily just import the game (look demons souls for example) as they could enjoy the game, even if they would not understand everything (such as jokes, traffic signs etc).

    This seems weird especially when looking at some fighting games, which only have menus and few lines of text to translate.

  • Here’s a link to what I posted, it won’t fit in here since it exceeds the character limit but Aaron and everyone I do encourage you to read what I wrote :) It won mostly praise, and really touches on what Aaron said earlier about how the best thing we can do right now for the series is support it! I’ve really been trying to drive home that point civilly and respectfully :) I’ll be picking up my pre-order of the game tomorrow!


  • Don’t sleep on this title. Sony made a huge bet bringing this here, when they were initially not going to. Yakuza 4 just came out, and i’m sure the success of Yakuza 3 will determine if 4 comes out here. I’m buying this instead of FF13, which i can get later.

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