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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100 Comments

28 Author Replies

  • Hi,

    I just wanted to let you guys know that I am going to support this title by buying myself a copy of Yakuza 3 as I preordered it awhile back and I can’t wait to play it. I really loved the demo with the fights and exploration.

    Quick question: I hope that there is some DLC down the line in terms of mini-games or extra missions, any chance of that happening if this game sells well?

    As for Yakuza 4, I hope you folks at Sega will consider bringing it here in the US. I will do my best to support you guys!

  • Meant Sega, not Sony Above Comment #49. Sega took on a huge bet bringing this game over here.

  • Unused purchase that will be added to my game collection.
    Already looking forward to Yakuza 4!

  • Played Yakuza 1 when it first came out. Just finished Yakuza 2 a week ago.

    Huge Shenmue fan, loved the Dreamcast. I bought my copy today (though I won’t get it till tomorrow). You can bet I’ll be playing this phenomenal game all weekend.

    Thanks for keeping the communication open Sega.

    P.s. NEW JET SET RADIO thanks.

    • “Would you stop playing with that radio of yours? I’m tryin’ ta get ta sleep!”

      Thanks for supporting Yakuza!

  • I went to pick up my pre-order from Gamestop and it hadn’t come in yet. Cannot wait!

    Seriously, this game was made for me.

  • I preorded online and i’m now waiting for my copy in the mail. This is my first Yakuza game, and after playing the demo I now see what all the buzz was about! Can’t wait to play the full thing.

  • Sweet stuff

  • Aaron,

    Can/may you provide insight into the release date for this. I can;’t afford this until next month. I’m puzzled why you chose to release with FF13. I know you are in different genres, but you have to anticipated that the gamers will buy that as they waited for 5 years now. GOW3 is the most overhyped game since I can remember. It doesn’t seem like your giving your game a fair chance in the marketplace.

    PS. As my last wish can you pass long that Phantasy Star needs to go back to it’s roots. What’s the odds that we could have a PSII rework on a current gen. It’s my current #1 game of all time.

    • I’m unable to provide insight into the release date, but I can definitely take some of your Phantasy Star requests in.

      There was a PSII rework in Japan a while ago, which looked pretty cool. I’m admittedly also a fan of the more recent games (PSO, PSZ), but still have some love for the old classics too.

  • I would love to support Yakuza 3 but with all the content that has been cut, I can’t. I probably wont even buy it used. If an anouncement ever gets made about the cut content coming back as DLC or a patch, then I’ll buy it.

  • This game is very intriguing, but what I’d really like is a Shenume 3 or Valkyria Chronicles 2 on PS3.

    I man can dream… A man can dream……

  • Thanks SONY & SEGA for bringing this game here. This is a must buy for me.

    Any plans for DLC? Like hostess bars? Doesn’t hurt to ask/beg.

  • @61 nvm…I misread the last paragraph. My bad. doh!

    • No prob! Actually, each copy of the game does come pre-packaged with a code that will net you some of the DLC that Japanese gamers had to wait a few weeks / months for. If you pre-ordered, you’ll get even more.

  • went to Best Buy and they didnt have it yet i think they will get the game tomorrow so i have to wait till tomorrow to get it

    • It may take a day or two for the game to arrive at your store, depending on where you live. It should be there by Thursday at the latest!

  • I pre-ordered the game but would strongly prefer the cut content be included. so would many others as stated again and again and again. please make it happen and soon as dlc.
    here’s hoping for kenzan and 4!

  • Yakuza series are just great… please also the 4th chapter.. make it happen guys….!! ;) thanks!!

  • Hi Aaron thanks for the post. I hope you’re reading this because I have something to ask you. I am a huge fan of shenmue and Yakuza certainly has some similarities to it. I’m going to be buying this game as well as the previous 2 so that i can play them all. Quick question? Can Sega please give us a printable cover of the Japanese version. Nothing against the US one, but the film-noir look of the Japanese one looks so amazing. Hopefully you see this!!!! Who else is with me on this?

    • Realistically speaking, I don’t think this is very likely. However, I’ll still pose the question for you.

  • I will be picking it up tomorrow, but I can’t pretend I’m not upset about the cut content. Is there any chance of making the hostess parts and such DLC if this sells well enough?

  • ChiyoChanAmerica

    Hi, I’ve still not even managed to find out anywhere what exactly is cut, do you have a list or so?

    As much as I’m a Hardcore Yakuza Fan and how I’d love to play/get the English Version of the game to support you guys for Y4/Kenzan, I ain’t gonna buy it, Censorship sucks. If you decide to release EVERYTHING (Including the Trivia games) later on as DLC, even if it costs $50 just for DLC, I’ll get the game and the DLC, I soo badly want to play as originally intended after playing the Japanese Demo.

    From playing the US Demo I can see that you’ve also taken the massage parlor out as well, is this in the US Full Game? There’s soo many questions but no answers from SEGA.

  • I suddenly wish I had my job back so I could afford this. I was praying for this to come out…but now I can’t afford it.

  • Aaron, that was a great post you made here today. It shows how sensitive the people on the other side can be (or you are very good at lying). Either way, I agree with everything you said. I’m a loyal VF fan and have been following SEGA since the Master System days. I know how you guys have pushed for VF5R and sent our message during the Facebook campaign, unfortunately we didn’t get the results we wanted but with the recent announcement of Final Showdown I have my hopes up.

    Anyways, while I’m a HUGE FF fan since I was a teenager, I have convinced friends of mine who aren’t into FF to pick up Yakuza 3 instead, and they did! So while SEGA might not see the color of my money this time around (but it will with Resonance of Fate and Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing), do know that you’re receiving my support through other means ;)

    • Nice, one of the Virtua Fighter fans. I remember your campaign, and while it was admittedly a little annoying to see our Facebook status spammed, I could sympathize with the cause – I first got into the series with VF2 on the Saturn.

      Cheers and thank you for supporting Yakuza and even spreading the word to your friends. I did the same for another SEGA game called ‘Phantasy Star Online’ back in the day… and it ended up paying off in the long run. :)

  • Hi Aaron,
    nice to hear its getting released.
    Ill show some love from the Netherlands…BUT i will import the game from the UK :D

    Thats where about 90% of my games come from so dutch sales might look low :D

  • Went to gamestop this morning and picked up ff13 and said ahem, wheres my yakuza pre-order? Tomorrow! lol I wanted this more then ff13. Have been spreading the word to friends and hope to have some more jump on board. Well one more day and Ill be ignoring the world yakuza style. Heres to hoping 4 makes it our way shortly after and that the sales are good enough to warrant that.

  • electroshockwave

    Hey Aaron. Speaking of Shenmue, is there any chance of Shenmue 1 & 2 being released on PSN? I think that would be great for a lot of people, myself included, who never owned a Dreamcast and didn’t get to play the original games.

    • You know, someone else asked me that at last week’s Yakuza event in San Francisco.

      I’ll mention it, and see what people think.

  • Got my copy right here, along side the first two entries in this wonderful series that does everything right that all genre games that have some aspects of this title do not have a clue about. Huzza for the still living and breathing Japanese gaming scene, diminished though you be, yet still where the best games have and will always be coming from.

    Though, if I may be so bold as to suggest, for Yakuza 4, be so kind as to not launch it up against or around huge titles such as Final Fantasy XIII. If this game had come out two weeks ago, where there was nothing else for people to play, I am sure it would have done a lot better.

    Also, allow me to nudge SEGA asking them to perhaps treat the supporters of Valkyria Chronicles with a trophy patch? I got that here too, in my collection, bought on day one no less.

  • “Cheers and thank you for supporting Yakuza and even spreading the word to your friends. I did the same for another SEGA game called ‘Phantasy Star Online’ back in the day… and it ended up paying off in the long run. :)”

    Oh I love Phantasy Star Portable too, btw! (and the older classic Phantasy Stars, PSIV was my first RPG ever!) Speaking of which, any word on Phantasy Star Portable 2 coming stateside?

    • I can’t speak about the possibility of a western release of Phantasy Star Portable 2, but my fanboy tendencies have already led me to import the game and start playing through it.

      PSP RPG + Free online play = win. But that’s really another blog post entirely…

  • Hey Aaron im from Dominican Republic, im importing Y3 from amazon (where i bough all my games because we dont have a official market here) sooner or later, im have to wait because FF (im a diehard fan) an Heavy Rain just clean my poor pockets. I just like to tell u that the Yakuza series have a very core fanbase here in my country, just me know 5 people importing Y3. Thank U so much and ‘que tengan mucho exito con este gran lanzamiento, viva Yakuza!!!!

  • When they add the missing content back I will buy the game.

  • I love the yakuza series and im happy 3 is finally here. I do have a question though. Will you ever bring the sping off and 4 over to the NA? I really would love to see that happen.

    • It’s currently too early for me to make any comments regarding the 4th game or Kenzan. Time will tell!

  • I have never played the first or the second game but I knew of the game from a good friend of mine who played the first two. I always thought the Yakuza games looked interesing but never really had the time or extra money to play them.

    But ever since I played the Japanese demo, I wanted this game to come out in the states. I wish the hostess clubs would of stayed in the game though. When I heard this game was coming to the US, I preordered it as soon as I could. And now I can not wait to pick up my copy tomorrow. I just want to give a big THANK YOU for releasing this game to the US. I hope it sales well enough to bring Yakuza 4 over to the states as well. :)

  • So happy the game is finally out. I been spreading the word like crazy in hope that the game sells enough so 4 comes here. Two copies bought for myself already.

    Come on, don’t allow this series to stop coming here after 3.

  • I plan on picking this up, but it probably won’t be for a couple months because FF XIII and GoW 3 come out this month. I just don’t have the time or money to get all three. So unfortunately it will have to wait.

  • It sucks being in alaska because we get all the games last, including Yakuza 3! *tears* FF and GoW are going to have to wait until further notice in my books. Mr. Aaron and crew, kudos to you. You rock.

  • Hey did Aaron did you watch the latest MEGA64 video for Yakuza, you should watch it. I think it will ‘resonate’ with you. Its great to see you only replying to comments that say ‘I support you Sega’ ‘I will buy the game day 1’, sad to see your not responding to comments that bring up the cuts.The cuts which lost about 20+ hours worth of minigames and Sega still thinks its appropriate to charge us full price and release the game at the worst possible time, hint: FF13, BFBC2, GOW 3, and etc. Can you explain to me official why Sega thinks that people who want to buy Yakuza 3 would not be able to understand everything, do they think people who know nothing about this game will buy it? Who are the people who pushed Sega to release this game here?

  • Hey sup, How you doing Aaron, I have always being a Sega fan all my life, I still have my Sega Genesis, Saturn & Dreamcast, and will never get rid of them, those where true gaming started out, I have always liked Yakuza and is a sure day 1 buy for me and Hope for Sega to bring the Shenmue series to PS3, the first 2 games and hopefully Part 3…..

    I have a request, it might be impossible since I’ve never seen a game based on the franchise in the U.S., I’m talking about the Fist Of The Northstar 2D fighting game that the company published in Japan, that was released like 2-3 years ago i Think. I know it’s a PS2 game, but I played the Arcade version and fell in love with it, I guess it’s license issues, but damn I loved that game, just to remind that franchise has a fanbase in here!!!!

  • Continuation- wether it’s PS2, PSP or PS3, I’ll buy it!!!!

  • I got the japanese version of the game, and would like to pick up the english version.. since there were cuts, how would the trophies work? would there be another set of trophies? does this mean I would get 2 sets of trophies for the game? thanks~

  • Damn, I’m so disappointed that it’s coming out this month.
    I hope you understand but I’m getting FF and God of war first this month. I know those games are good for my taste and

  • Damn, I’m so disappointed that it’s coming out this month.
    I hope you understand but I’m getting FF and God of war first this month. I know those games are good for my taste and I haven’t played a Yakuza game so far. I will get it eventually! next month.

    (damn keyboard submitted it already, sorry)

  • my store is getting the game today cant wait to play it hope yakuza 4 comes over to the us aswell loved the demo cant wait to experience the full game

  • I’ve waited long for this day to come and since the news about the content cuts, the ugly cover and the crowded release date it really wasn’t easy to not cancel my pre-order for Yakuza 3.

    But here I am, ignoring games like FFXIII and GoW3. You want to know why? Because SEGA listened to their hardcore fanbase and brought this game over to the West against all odds, if that isn’t worth our support, I really don’t know what is.

    Yakuza is like a 30h long, playable japanese version of “Godfather” it’s that epic. So every one out there, swallow you’re pride and the content cuts like real men and pray for Yakuza 4 to come unscathed to the West. If not, Kazuma will hunt you down and kick your asses! ;)

  • My Yakuza 3 copy is on the way to my home as I type this comment.
    I’ve some feedback hope you read it:
    1. If possible no content removed for next localization. Preserve original content as much as possible.
    2. If possible try not to make release date compete with big titles, same as other titles(Resonance of Fate vs FFXIII).

    I know Sega has its own reason but many fans really upset about removed content, Gamespot Yakuza3 and others forum is pretty much dead filled with angry/disappointed fans up until to the point they decided not to buy Yakuza3. The reason I gathered:
    – fans had been following developer’s video in the past related to removed content. They excited and wanted this game because of it. They don’t like those content removed.
    – Unclear reason on why content removed. It’s presented in 2 previous titles but why not for 3rd.
    – Pay same price but less content

    To make it worse release date competes with big titles. It made them prioritize to buy bigger titles. Some of fans decided not to buy, cancel their preorder or waiting for price drop. Not to mention some of us don’t have enough money to spend 4 games in a month. So please pass this message to upper management to consider.

    Thanks for reading these.

  • I like your cagey comment about the cut content. It sort of gives me hope that maybe the game could be improved upon after it ships. I’m going to get it, but not immediately as my plate is full right now.

  • Did anyone who preordered from Gamestop get the code card for the Challenge pack? I went to pick up my copy this morning and the guy behind the counter said that they never received any. He also checked with another GS that’s about 5 minutes away and they didn’t receive any either. He said that the card packed in included the Challenge Pack, but when I activiated the code the card only contained the Battle Pack.

    I usually have no problems picking up pre-order bonuses from GS dating back to the Ghaleon hand puppet from Lunar PS One, so I’m curious if anyone had the same luck that I did this morning. Thanks.

  • check the receipt it should have the code on there msg if you found it

  • please please please make a Shenmue3 lol x) its like everyday i think of playing Shenmue 3 which doesnt exist….yet….ill keep my fingers crossed on it though, theres one thing i hate to this day is that i didnt get to finish shenmue (the first game for the DreamCast) i was little when i played it and i wasn’t able to save the game after i finsihed the first disc :( why?? i think it was cause i didnt have a memory unit thingy for the Dreamcast controller i think idunno but i wasnt able to countinue to the second disc sadly but im proud to say i beat the second shenmue on the xbox :) im actually thinking of finding a dreamcast just to play and finish the first game if i can find one. i never heard of yakuza before or even never seen yakuza 1 or 2 but afew days ago i heard about yakuza3(INTERNET)and heard it was simaler to shenmue and even some of the people who made shenmue games made this one.. ever since i been reading blogs/reviews/fourms everything! now im totally excited about getting this game which ill try pick up tommorow! :D its weird i didnt know anything about this game or even knowing it exsisted but knowing what i know now…im getting this game as soon as EB games opens up. :D

  • Well, the game’s finaly out and I’ll definitely grab a copy of it… any region wouldn’t be matter for me since I love this game very very much and never missed any series of it!!!
    This thing won’t gonna make my fingers stay away from my controller… :D

    Thank you SEGA!!!

  • You know what would be great. If a company like Atlus got to release Yakuza in America they actually give a damn about their localizations.

  • XP Damn… they really cut the contents…

  • pre ordered and picked up on Wed. love Yakuza, bring on 4 with no delay!

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