Greetings Sony fans and Yakuza enthusiasts! Today is an exciting day, both for PS3 gamers and for us here at SEGA – the PS3 exclusive, Yakuza: Dead Souls is coming to the west! It seems like only yesterday we were all sitting on the edge of our Sony-branded seats, hoping desperately that Yakuza 3 would see the light of day overseas. In the years since, we’ve seen not only the US release of Yakuza 3, but Yakuza 4, too – and, thanks to the fantastic support of fans and PS3 gamers like you, we’re proud to now announce the latest chapter in the Yakuza franchise. What was once Of The End is now Dead Souls!
So, what is Yakuza: Dead Souls all about? I traveled to the top of the mountains and spent two weeks meditating to bring you the answers. In the end, that failed, so I just played the entire game instead. It was awesome, and in doing so, I found that this game is a mix of:
- Zombies in Tokyo
- Yakuza with guns
- Beautiful Hostesses
And while I’m not able to reveal how much content from the Japanese version is coming over, let me just say that you fans are going to be very, very happy when you hear how much we’ve included.
The version we’re bringing to the west features the entire storyline, as well as its brand new mini-game: Pachislot. Yakuza: Dead Souls returns you back to the streets of Kamurocho, which is now under attack by hordes of Zombies. Though you won’t be restricted by Zombies as your only threat, as you’ll also face powerful mutants, and, perhaps most dangerous of all, members of the Japanese underworld.
The name Dead Souls has multiple meanings within the game, beyond the obvious “Oh-hey-that’s-totally-a-Zombie” angle. But did I mention the Zombies yet? Well, there are Zombies. Lots of Zombies. So many Zombies I’m going to start using a capital Z when I type Zombies, just to spite all those English professors back in college who said I couldn’t. Zombies, Zombies, Zombies!
Yet even for all the wacky and hilarious Japanese culture laden within the game – and in past Yakuza games, too – there is a strong layer of serious, emotional storytelling taking place here. This game has also convinced me that, without a doubt, Kazuma Kiryu is more manly than both Chuck Norris and Duke Nukem fused together – but that’s for another blog.
If you’re a fan of the series, we’d like to end by saying THANK YOU for going out there and picking up the western releases of Yakuza 3 and 4. Even now, every copy of Yakuza 4 sold, and every pre-order of Yakuza: Dead Souls helps this franchise continue to survive and grow here in the west.
Got a question about Yakuza: Dead Souls? Want to know more about the game or leave a comment below? Please do – I’m aiming to top my previous response numbers with a 100% response ratio this time. All I ask is that you keep the questions Yakuza related, where possible. Thanks guys – and stay tuned for more Zombie goodness from us soon!
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Awesome! I own every Yakuza game so far, and this won’t be an exception!
I just have one question; Are there any plans to bring Yakuza 1 and 2 to PSN as a PS2 Classic? The more people that can enjoy the Yakuza Games the better!
I can’t give any thoughts on the possibility of Yakuza 1 or 2 coming back (either in a bundle, as HD, etc) – sorry!
I can say thank you, though, for being a strong supporter of the series by owning every game so far, and in doing so helping Yakuza continue here in the west!
One of the best series going today. All the Yakuza games are classic, and this will join them, no doubt.
Hope you enjoy it, Box – thanks for commenting, and glad you like the series.
im so excited!!! i thought this game had been passed over for localization like valkyria 3. WE WANT VALKYRIA 3!!!
back on topic: im excited! though slightly bummed not all the content from the jp ver is coming as indicated by ur post. perhaps once the list of cuts is revealed i wont mind much as things like the trivia/shogi/mahjong mini-games arent to important to me. but hopefuly its not too much cut content. also i liked the “Of The End” subtitle more but im just glad were getting this game at all.
Glad you’re excited! And don’t be too bummed at all – the content not coming is quite minor, and a massive chunk of the Japanese version is arriving here in the west.
P.S. – I love Valkyria, too. Tell your friends to go buy a copy for the PS3!
I just wanted to say thanks for taking the time to reply to me and everyone else Aaron. Much appreciated!
You’re very welcome!
i have not played yakuza 4 yet but i will pick it up along with dead souls.
You’ll have a blast. Thanks for supporting Yakuza! (Sounds almost like I’m endorsing organized crime when I say it that way..)
Y dont you guys ask the Yakuza Studio guys to release Yakuza 1 with Japanese Voices and Yakuza 2 for the psn?
Always lot of cool ideas – the better Yakuza as a franchise does in the west, the more likely ideas like this could someday come to fruition.
Did you play Yakuza 1 with English voices? Surprisingly, there are a number of people I’ve heard from who thought it was pretty good. The English cast back then was pretty impressive, especially for a video game. But it’s all a matter of opinion I think. : )
i’m glad to hear yakuza is coming back. i’ve been a fan since the very 1st game. I know Zombies games are hot right now and I’m not to big on them but I will always support yakuza game brand. And I’ve seen people asking for other games from the yakuza franchise and hopefully they will bring them here to the USA. I know you can’t comment on it right now but the yakuza brand is strong hear in the USA. Can’t wait til March 2011. Can you say if there is going to be a collector’s edition or something special added to Yakuza: Dead Souls. Thanks again for bring Yakuza back to the US
Hi there – thanks for the comment Smoke! I can’t make any comments on a Collector’s Edition right now, but we are aware people would like to see one. Stay tuned!
For everyone complaining about the controls, it doesn’t take long for you to get used to them. The only problematic thing with the game that needs to be fixed is the crappy camera. It tends to flip in the opposite direction you wanted it to be in.
Its a great Yakuza game. I managed to get 100+ hrs out of it. Its totally worth the price.
How soon we know what’s going to be cut from the game?
Are they going to change the control setup? If so, will there be an option to play with the original control setup?
Will we get the Japanese DLC? (So far I think its just some items and costumes. Nothing amazing.)
Thank god its not being dubbed!
I despise the name change. Even Kiryu says “OF THE END” when he kills the final boss in the game.
SEGA would do well to actually promote the series. It was a no show at all game conventions this year. I ended up importing it since it didn’t look like it was coming over here. :\
+1 I’d like to see a Yakuza HD collection with the Japanese dub.
The only thing I can see being cut is the Answer X Answer stuff. Cutting anything else would be lazy and inexcusable.
Nice, awesome to hear you played the Japanese version for 100+ hours. To answer some of your questions:
– No exact dates yet on when you can expect the full content list, but we’ll get it up as soon as we can. The list of content going in is huge, and the list of things being removed is tiny. (And mostly minor things – we’re not talking Hostess clubs.)
– Too soon for me to comment on controls – stay tuned.
– For the DLC – another stay tuned, but with a side of “we know you really want it, and have considered that”!
I’m still excited! :D I get so mad when people rip on Sega these days. Like any other company there are some missteps but my gosh, being the developer/publisher of Vanquish, Yakuza 3&4, Valkyria Chronicles 1 & 2, Virtua Fighter, Virtua Tennis 4, Resonnance Of Fate. That’s a pretty solid lineup! Now Sega… ok I know it wouldn’t sell well but could you PLEASE release one of the Hatsune Miku: Project Diva games on the PSN? PLEEEEEEEEEASE??? :)
Someone who does their research… props for that! That’s part of the list I use whenever some ill-informed gamer asks if SEGA still makes good games. And with Sonic Generations coming up soon too on PS3, we’re about to be solid on just about every key SEGA franchise. It’s a nice time to be a fan.
Hatsune Miku… not one I can offer any thoughts on, but another franchise we know there’s a lot of love for. It’s amazing how popular she is here in the US / Europe already. Did you get a chance to see the concert they had in L.A. a few months back?
The demo that’s up on the Japanese store is a lot of fun (and the game looks gorgeous) but those zombies take a heck of a beating before they go down.
Glad this is coming to the West. Was starting to wonder..!
As you get better guns, and as you raise your accuracy for headshots (or just improve your skill manually), they’ll drop much faster. The gatling gun is especially fun for mowing down waves of them at a time.
Glad you enjoyed the demo!
There’s a demo up on the Japanese PS store, if anyone wants to check it out. It’s a lot of fun.
For the sake of continuing a comment on every response – thanks for spreading the word!
OMG yes, Yess, YESSS!!! Fantastic. I love you Sega! XD
We love you too. Thanks for supporting Yakuza! : )
Thank you Sony and Saga for bringing these wonderful games to us xD Any chance we will be seeing more Saga and Ps2 titles?
Saga? Who is this Saga? ; )
No news right now on any PS2 titles from Sega, but never say never, right?
Nice but where is our 4.0 system update??!!
I’ve actually got that right in my pocket.
You can have it when you deliver two cheesecakes and five-hundred chili dogs to SEGA of America HQ, San Francisco, CA. We like our cheesecakes.
(Honest answer: I don’t work at Sony, so I couldn’t tell you – sorry!)
Darn typo… Sorry, haven’t had my coffee yet lol
Haha, no problem! You’re not the first, believe me.
We all know the psp is dead in North America so release Valkyria 3 on the ps3 as one of those HD release things like the god of war games or monster hunter. pack in valkyria 2, $40 day1. your welcome
It’s unrelated to Yakuza, but…
There’s a lot that goes into making a video game. Often we get comments that might be great ideas on paper, but aren’t quite so pragmatic when you look at it on a time line. I do wish we a had a big, red, “UP-RES” button, though. (Sadly, they don’t exist.)
Totally off topic, but one last post and I’ll be quiet.
My launch 9/9/99 Dreamcast is “Still Thinking.”
My Sega Saturn that was manufactured in 1995 is still running as smoothly as the day I bought it.
Every console I bought after the Dreamcast has had to be replaced at least once. Damn, I miss SEGA hardware. Thanks for a lifetime of great games and hardware!
I played my Dreamcast so much the motor died. (During a game of Phantasy Star Online, no less!)
Thanks for the SEGA love. : ) And thanks for supporting Yakuza!
Is there any chance you can port Yakuza: Black Panther & it sequel to the Vita. This way the games have a better chance of leaving Japan.
Would be interesting! I can’t give any comments about how likely it could be, but it’s a cool idea.
+ Aaron Webber on October 5th, 2011 at 12:20 pm said:
I’ve actually got that right in my pocket.
You can have it when you deliver two cheesecakes and five-hundred chili dogs to SEGA of America HQ, San Francisco, CA. We like our cheesecakes.
@Aaron…How about sending me some cool swag and i may think about that smarta** comment lol
Chili Dogs and Cheesecakes for swag?
You’ve got a deal, sir.
Haha Aaron Reply me if im wrong Yakuza just copied the concept of Black Ops (Zombies) as they saw more gamers playing the Zombie concept and Infamous 2: Festival of blood also has Zombies concept..
I think one could make the argument than any game with ‘Zombies’ in it copied another game somewhere along the line. (And every movie, and every book, etc…) But I can definitely dispel any rumor that we’re copying Black Ops – Yakuza and Call of Duty are very different beasts!
We’re not trying to be another Black Ops in terms of gameplay, and I think that’s important – it’s good to be something unique, especially when you’re mixing an RPG, shooters, and Zombies together.
great news i have been a huge fan of the series since the first game and i was really hoping this one would be released in N/A
Thanks for supporting the series, Egg! Hope you’ll love this one when you pick it up. : )
Would love to see the Yakuza PSP titles come over or at least a new PS Vita title! Why the name change? shouldn’t it be Yakuza of the End?
The original Japanese title was “Ryu Ga Gotoku: Of The End”.
As much as I love me some Engrish (I have an Engrish T-shirt from Japan that I wear in the office), we wanted to make sure the western name for the game made it easy to understand what it was about, both for fans and for people who might not have played Yakuza before. Hopefully it accomplishes this!
All that said, I still appreciate the certain charm that ‘Of The End’ has, too.
Awesome! I was wondering if this would get released here. I still need to get Yakuza 4 but I’ll eventually get to it after I finish Yakuza 3.
How many songs are there in the karaoke mini game? I just love the karaoke mini game.
Nothing like singing karaoke to relax during a zombie invasion.
That was one of the reasons I got Yakuza 3. ^_^
You’ll really love Yakuza 4 if you enjoyed 3.
As to Karaoke… I can find out the total number of songs a bit later, but there’s some pretty awesome stuff in there. Depending on which of the 4 characters you play as, you get different songs or takes on the same – which make for hilarious scenes. (Like the Majima link I posted on page 1 of the comments!)
Ryuji’s karaoke is also pretty funny – he’s the manly man whose arm turns into a gatling gun. Fans will also recognize him as the villain of Yakuza 2.
Nooo you got me wrong Bro xD Im saying that these zombies concept are getting very “Common” in every game just to get attention to play the game just take the Example of Infamous 2: Festival of Blood ! And Bout COD i meant The Zombies Section and if you see its like the Same shooting the Zombies through guns and etc etc ..
All Credits To Aaron For Replying 68 Comment out of 73 Woot woot the Best Editor in PS Blog :D xD !!
Ah yeah, I see what you’re saying. : ) We didn’t just throw zombies in to jump aboard the hype train though – when the Japanese dev team decides to roll with a concept, they go all-out.
Time to catch up on the comments I missed!
Sega any chance of bringing Valkyria Chronicles 3 over?
Not something I can comment on in this blog. We do know there’s a huge following for Valkyria out there, though – please continue to spread the word on the series and tell your friends!
Wouldn’t it be cost beneficial to budget in the english translation during initial production of future games in this series? It seems like a loss of momentum to have America be a year behind instead of having a worldwide same day release.
Also I think up porting Black Panther 1 and 2 for Vita in the West could yield positive results. Especially early on in a consoles life cycle where people are willing to try more games because they have a new interesting piece of hardware.
It’s possible, but when we make an English version of the game, there’s also a fairly large amount of coding involved. Every single line of text, when translated, has to then be updated within the code – it probably sounds fairly easy, but as with most code, even the little things can sometimes make something else go all sorts of crazy. That work would likely be done by the same team working on the main game, so it has the potential to cut into the resources they’d normally spend making the final product even better. Hope that makes sense!
thanks for replying to every comment, i might buy yakuza 4 just for that =)
I think it’s always important to remember that readers are people – and the most respect you can give to someone is acknowledging that they’re more than just a number, even if your response can’t answer their question directly. I know I’d appreciate it if I was on the other end, so I hope and am glad you guys do, too. : )
Aaron, any chance you guys will bring Skies Of Arcadia to the Ps3? It is my all time fav. RPG game next to FF 7 lol
Ah, you just had to bring up Skies of Arcadia, eh? I love that game so much – a friend of mine is currently replaying it, and I’ve been watching their progress with all sorts of nostalgia. No word on a next-gen port, but I’ve made our digital team aware that there’s a lot of demand for the game. You get +1 respect from me for enjoying Skies!
I’m not sure how to reply to this one… but I’ll go with: Yes, and thank you!
I haven’t followed the Yakuza games, but this game looks promising. Will there be a storyline to go with these characters, or is the game going to focus primarily on the zombie action?
There’s a dramatic, slightly tongue-in-cheek storyline with CG cut-scenes throughout the game. The Yakuza franchise has always delved heavily into the use of detailed movies to progress its story. There are a number of mysteries that will be revealed as you play through, from: “Why are their Zombies in Tokyo?” to the slightly more awesome: “Why does that dude’s arm turn into a Gatling gun?!”
Each character has their own unique backstory – and they all react a little differently to the Zombies. (Majima, who loves all things Zombies and is actually quite excited by their appearance, is probably my favorite.)
If you want to get to know the characters before Dead Souls arrives, here are the games they first appear in:
Shun Akiyama – Yakuza 4 (PS3)
Ruji Goda – Yakuza 2 (PS2)
Majima Goro – Almost any Yakuza game
Kazuma Kiryu – Almost any Yakuza game
Hey Aaron! Great to see you here. You’re awesome, I love how you’re always helping us getting localized versions of the best SEGA titles. Very excited about Yakuza: Dead Souls. Played the japanese demo a bunch of times and loved it! Long live Valkyria Chronicles, Skies of Arcadia, Ryu Ga Gotoku!
Thanks! I’m just one of many – there are full teams here at SEGA who do the hard work to get these games translated and onto store shelves. The real appreciation goes to them!
Glad you enjoyed the demo! I think you’ll really enjoy the full game. : )
Please SEGA release VC3 in North America!
I’ve bought Sega products since the Genesis. Don’t let me down!
As noted above… no word on that right now, as I’m here to talk Yakuza! But we do know there are lots of VC fans out there.
One of the best things you can do to support the series right now is to continue spreading the word and telling your friends about the first two games – it can make a difference!
YES!! Keep that sweet, sweet Yakuza nectar coming my way! Thanks, Sega!
Enjoy! Thanks for supporting Yakuza thus far – you keep up the support, and we’ll keep that Japanese goodness headed your way!
But I’m still calling it “Of The End.”
I sometimes call it “Yakuzombies”, so no problem there. ; )
awesome! I love the Yakuza Series. There is nothing like it. I was hoping this was coming since yakuza 4 came. Did the title change for any specific reason? Perhaps localized for sales and better working title for the stateside audience? I preorder to support you guys… but the team at sega should try and wrap yakuza 1&2 into an hd bundle or release them on playstation store since they are putting ps2 games on there now.
Glad you like the series! : )
There were a few reasons – one of them: ‘Of The End’ is (potentially) bit confusing to anyone not familiar with Yakuza, and we wanted something that really messaged what the game was about. “Dead Souls” references more than just the zombies, but as mentioned in the blog, I won’t spoil the other ways it ties to the game too. But it’s a very obvious reference, when you see the Zombies on the front of the game cover, that this game is all about the Yakuza, guns, and Zombies.
Thanks also for pre-ordering – I know Gamestop may not have it in their system just yet, but should very soon.
Why is it taking so long to get to us? March 2012?
Looks cool, I tell you those zombies are scary looking. Not sure about the game play. It was always a beatem up so how will that play out? I know number 4 went to guns more then before.
This is actually the fastest release window for any game in the Yakuza franchise to go from Japan to the west. (Less than a year; the game just came out in Japan over the summer.) The game is pretty huge, and there’s a lot to localize and code in, so that’s where most of the work goes. The amount of dialogue in any Yakuza game… as you probably know with 4, is massive, and Dead Souls is no different!
But we love it for that – it’s huge, the amount of stuff to do is almost endless, and you can easily sink in hundreds of hours in before you get a 100% completion.
Guns showed up in both 3 and 4, but the mechanic is very different in Dead Souls, since the entire combat mechanic is focused on them. That said, there are still some nice melee moments you can take advantage of, too. : )
The Yakuza series, in my opinion, kicks the crap out of all other open world games. This latest addition I see as a great next step. Will we be able to everything as we have done in the earlier installments of the series. The Sega Arcade, Arena, Batting Cages, and many other mini games?
Awesome to hear. You’re going to spot a whole lot of awesome side content, like Club SEGA, etc, and some if it may even have a new, zombie-themed twist… more on this in the future!
I never played the series though intrigued, but zombies? I say, YES.
Yes indeed! If you have a chance, check out the demos for the previous games – Yakuza is a really impressive, PS3 exclusive series, and the love you see in these comments for it is not undeserved. : )
Awesome! I’m a huge fan of the series, so this is great news. This is a definite pre-order for me.
Really stoked to hear it. Thanks for supporting the series!
Is this a ful $60 release or PSN game?
This is a full release, packaged game – you’ll be able to find it at Gamestop and other retailers. I can’t confirm price just yet, but it’ll be in that general range.
SWEET! Thanks for localizing this game! I’m still working on finishing Yakuza 3, I’ll try to buy Yakuza 4 before getting this game.
Any chance this game’s story is connected to the previous Yakuza games or is it okay to play it before playing Yakuza 4?
I’m getting Yakuza 4 regardless.
If you play Yakuza 4, you will get to know a lot about one of the main characters in Dead Souls – Akiyama. You’ll also get to see more of characters like Majima and Kiryu in both Yakuza 3 and 4.
In short… play them both! You’ll appreciate some of the side comments and humor of Dead Souls when it references the earlier games. (Also, they’re just really awesome games on their own.)
Very happy to hear this. March is my birthday, so it’ll be the third year in a row that you guys get me a present.
However, as I never played the first two games in the series, let me add my voice to the call for a Yakuza 1 & 2 HD Collection.
Happy early Birthday! ; )
You, sir, are my hero!
i learnt soo much by just reading the comments :D
Thanks for answering soo many questions.
I love March <3 Yakuza always hits 2-4 days before/after my b'day.
So I always get a copy of Yakuza <3
Glad they were useful! And no prob answering all the questions.
Thank you, likewise, for always being a support of Yakuza here in the west! : )
I love the Yakuza series, and Can’t wait! Thank you for bringing us this cool game in the awesome Yakuza series, SEGA! Now how about an english subtitled version of Ryū ga Gotoku Kenzan! Even if it took a while I would preorder today, if SEGA gave us that too.
Glad you love the series! No word on Kenzan right now, but I have it and really enjoy it. (Import if you want – it should play on your PS3, and it’s not *too* difficult to figure out what to do if you’ve played the other games in the series.)
Yeah, I always wanted Yakuza: Of the End since I saw the first Japanese trailer. And like @85 I’m still calling it that name!
I have one question, is the demo going to be available in the US PSN Store or am I forced to download it from the Japanese PSN store if I want to try it?
Sega, no words can express the gratitude I have for you guys taking a chance on localizing this, but THANK YOU. If you guys can win me over with Generations and MAYBE with a lot of wishful thinking we see a digital re-release of NiGHTS (my favorite game of all time), just maybe you can also have my undying admiration as a reborn Sega fanatic.
You’re very welcome! I think you’re going to love Generations, too. (This was my secret project for a while until we announced it today – I’ve been working with Generations in the meantime!)
As to NiGHTS… it’s one of my favorite video games of all time.
I actually hopped on the Japanese Store to download the demo awhile back – I cannot tell you how happy I am that you’re bringing this over, I was worried I was going to have to import it! Thank you!
After about an hour of Yakuza 4 I went ahead and picked up Yakuza 3. After playing through most of that I searched for, and purchased, copies of the first two Yakuza games.
So while I’m not a big zombies fan, I have no doubt that the story will be top-notch/amazing/laugh-out-loud/heart-wrenching/spectacular, and am completely looking forward to this.
And being able to play as Majima!?! Having fought against him, I can only imagine how great it would be to actually play as him.
So once I can do so, I’ll be pre-ordering this game. Thanks for bringing it to us! :D
I picked up Yakuza 3 a few weeks ago and just now got around to play it. It’s my first Yakuza game and I can honestly say that I am very impressed. Very nice graphics and the Japanese voice over makes it seem more or less like a movie. I’m gonna have to get Yakuza 4 as soon as I finish it and this when it comes out.
Yakuza is now one of my favorite Sega games.