Yakuza 0 Launches January 24, 2017, Exclusively on PS4

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Yakuza 0 Launches January 24, 2017, Exclusively on PS4

Give your shoes a pump, set your pager to vibrate, and get ready to crank your Walkman, because Yakuza 0 has a release date — you’ll be able to introduce street thugs’ faces to the exquisite pavement of Kamurocho on January 24, 2017, exclusively on PS4 in North America and Europe. (That lead sentence was full of eighties references, since Yakuza 0 takes place in 1988.)

If you’ve only heard some friends shout “Play Yakuza!” from the rooftops of the internet, Yakuza 0 is the perfect game to get into the series. Yakuza 0 is a prequel to all the previous games, where our grizzled yakuza-with-a-heart-of-gold protagonist, Kazuma Kiryu, is a bright-eyed 20-year-old, fresh into the game. Meanwhile, Goro Majima, the guy with the snake-skin jacket and the hot streak of insanity, is a suave and calculated owner of a cabaret. He actually wants to get back into the yakuza.

But let’s back it up a step or six. I’m Scott Strichart, the localization producer on the game, and I wanted to tell you about some of the ways we’re taking this game’s localization to the next level.

I’ll start with saying that, for the first time since Yakuza 2 back on PS2, we’re actually putting all the chapter titles, character introductions, opponent names, and on-screen directions in English, instead of just subtitling the kanji. This might seem like a pretty small change, but I think when you get to play the game, you’ll really feel the difference!

Secondly, and this is sometimes controversial, but hear me out — we’re maintaining general-use honorifics in the English script. We’re leaving the original Japanese voices intact for the authenticity that only a Japanese voice actor could bring to a yakuza experience, so we took the opportunity to bring the subtitles you’re reading closer to what you’re actually hearing the characters say. Beyond just marrying the subtitles to the spoken word, the honorifics actually play a pretty important role in understanding the respect (or lack thereof) characters have for each other. I think you’ll really see how much more this adds to the story when you get to play it!

Lastly, with this game rewinding to the origins of the series, this was also a chance for us to hit the reset button on the way we refer to the yakuza ranks. Yakuza 0 is going to show you how a power struggle inside a criminal organization looks, and I’ll tell right now, it ain’t pretty.

Of course, whenever you need a break from all this heavy stuff, Yakuza 0 — like the rest of the games before it — delivers plenty of diversions. You can race pocket cars, manage your side businesses, hit the dance floor or the pool hall, go get a drink, chat up girls on the telephone, and much, much more.

Once again, Yakuza 0 is coming January 24 in physical and digital edition. For more information, check out our fresh-outta-the-takoyaki-pan website we just launched, and pre-order today from participating retailers to show this incredible series a little love!

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  • All I have to say is HELL yes.

  • One of my favorite series. Please, keep em coming!

  • AWESOME! I first found out of these games from PS+, and instantly became hooked. Day one purchase for sure! Any chance we’ll ever see a western port of Yakuza 1 HD?

    • No plans right now, but we’re definitely feeling the Yakuza love from you all after 5 and now 0

  • Yes! So glad to see a physical edition, too.

  • But I want it now.

  • AlphaOS is going to jumping for joy for this.

    Shame no pS3, yes to physical copy. This might be the a good starting point for a newbie to the series.

    Please bring Yakuza 3 digitally on PSN. Please bring Yak 1+2 Hd collection to the west…even upscale them to just PS4 only.

    • Thanks – I remember there was a Finnish user from PS Blog Europe who was also devastated about the lack of PS3 copies, but sadly, it’s not in the cards :(

      Y0 should definitely be a good starting point for newbies though!

      We don’t really have plans for the rest of the things you mentioned, but we’re definitely on board the Yakuza hype train

    • I’m all for supporting PS3 digital-only release – and I’d buy it even after buying both physical and digital Y0 on PS4.
      Also Y3 on PSN would help a bit since it’s not easy to get one’s hands on them now.
      But the most requested, I’d imagine, would be Y2 – extremely hard to get. Yakuza 1&2 HD Edition on PS3 would help me immensely in bringing friends to the series. One is waiting a few years now with PS3 purchase but 1&2 HD Edition is still Japan-only. PS4 remasters would be cool but as an option, not as an exclusive (not being able to detect saves on PS3 for Yakuza 5 items).

    • I believe John Hardin might be referring to me. I am such a Playstation owner that I have just PS3 and no PS4. I wrote earlier in the Europe blog that it is a shame that the PS3 version that was released in Japan alongside the PS4 version is not coming to North America and Europe, even though the PS3 version exists. Sega would just need to insert the same subtitle file that is for PS4 to the PS3 version and there, we would have a PSN digital release for Yakuza 0 ready for PS3.

      I would not even need a physical release as I got Yakuza 5 as digital release and Y3 and Y4 as physicals.

      I too like + Finka_Karfein would hope that Sega would release the Y1&2 HD versions for PS3 (and Wii U) since those were released in Japan. I was expecting those a lot since I never owned a PS2 so didn’t have the chance to experience the first two.

  • Thank you form Italy!!! Best news of the day :D

    But please in the future bring to us Yakuza 1 e 2 HD and Ishin and Kenzan :D

    Thanks, you made my day :D

  • Oh and hurry up and confirm Yakuza 6 and Kiwami for US lol.. I mean Kiwami isnt a guaranteed but considering weve gotten EVERY other mainstream Yakuza game theres no way we’re NOT getting 6 eventually. Might as well just tell us we are.

  • Awesome news! Thanks, Scott, and everyone else at Sega! This is my favorite series, and I couldn’t be more excited. I hope everyone shows their support for this amazing series! We have even more Yakuza to look forward to, so please show Sega your support with Yakuza 0 so we can see Kiwami and 6!

  • *chants* HYPE HYPE HYPE HYPE!!

  • Oh, man! I didn’t know John was showing up to the party, too! What’s up, John? :D

    Thanks for all your hard work! Those E3 demos were awesome! Can’t wait!

    • Whatup. Yeah, we had to put Scott back to work on the game LOL

      So imma answering your questions (and passing along all the kudos! Thanks!)

  • Day one for me! Please bring Kiwami to the west and hopefully for a fall 2017 release! And please do a Kiwami treatment for Yakuza 2 as well! And of course bring 6 over to the west!

  • Retaining the honorifics this time is great news. The overly liberal translations of the previous games always bothered me, particularly when you had things like Majima calling Kazuma “Kiryu-chan” getting translated three different ways in a single conversation (Kaz and Kazzy are two, the third escapes me right now).
    It always seemed odd to me that a game so deeply rooted in Japan and Japanese culture would get a localised treatment rather than a literal one, so I wholly approve of this change.

    • Yeah – we’ve been steadily working on cultivating a dedicated core of localizers – Scott and the rest of the team are super committed to making sure that the Y0 localization sets a new high-water mark for the Yakuza series.

    • I don’t really like this.

      I except a game in english subtitles with english terms. I understand that towns, names or certain food cannot be translated and should be left in japanese but honorifics doesn’t exist in english and shouldn’t be forced into english. When I watch something about Spain, I don’t except everybody to say “Señor” and “Señora” and left some “Gracias”, “Cerveza”, no matter how deeply rooted it is in spanish culture.

      To me, seeing those -san, -chan in english text seems very amateur, if I wanted that, I would learn japanese and play in japanese, that’s the only way I could have a “unaltered” flavor of the text. If not, I don’t want something saying me all the time “Hey ! This is a translation y’know !”. Kazzy and Kaz were fine to me as they were real localization and adaptation of the text.

      No hard feelings though, I can understand your point of view and why somebody would like this. But I may refrain to buy the game (in english at least) as I don’t want to support those “half-assed translation” (in my point of view).

      I understand I’m just a rant in the middle of comments so yeah, not like it was a big deal.

    • YES, Cervel, PREACH!! That was something that has always equally annoyed me over the years and you brought up one of my biggest peeves of all times for this series’ history of localization in the West. All I can say is ABOUT DAMN TIME you all stop doing that and actually representing the proper honorific ways of Japanese language (especially when you’re talking about the yakuza underworld and its various nuances) correctly. My Japanese might be very limited, but my ears most certainly ain’t dead to catch spoken Japanese names and how they should be translated as.

      Truly, thanks for correcting yourselves on that and keep it up for future releases (in the West)! ^_^

  • I have a Japanese copy of Ryu ga Gotoku Zero and I don’t even speak/read Japanese — so this is great news!

  • Any beautiful Day One Edition? ^^

    My body is Ready!!! O(≧▽≦)O

    • I know this is probably a very annoying question but has anything been cut from the game? For example. Are the Gravure or little AV videos still in the game?

    • >Any beautiful Day One Edition? ^^

      We don’t have any news on that…. yet. :3

    • @Darji

      This is the rawest Yakuza yet. AFAIK, nothing is getting cut.

  • I wish the other Yakuza games would get remastered because that’s ultimately the way to go.

  • So excited for this,I played yakuza 4 when it was given for ps plus and now I’m almost finished with yakuza 5 for the ps3. Can’t wait to play yakuza 0.

  • That nothing was cut is really great. I must say after the fiasco of Yakuza 3. You guys are doing a fantastic Job with the Localisation. And I hope with a PS4 only release this IP finally gets the success it deserves.

    So Thank you for your great Work <3

  • Thank You Sega. I bought Y3 Retail NEW a few years ago and loved the game. Bought 4 and Dead Souls on Disc as well to show Support. was heart broken we never got 5 on Retail but someday i’ll buy 5 but we got it for free tho so that’s better ( but i’ll buy it one day still sometime down the road when i pry myself away for PS4 ( but i’ll still download it for free )

    now Sega I heard there was a Yakuza 1 and 2 HD port on PS3 in Japan we never got .. with the PS4 getting PS2 Classics in 1080P and with Trophy Support,

    it seems like a good time too bring over those PS2 games we never got on HD support for PS3 too PS4 ! I would buy those in a heart beat ( so yes my Start in Yakuza series was with 3 ) and very much want 1 and 2 over here.

    thanks for showing more love again by going Physical Release and by re-releasing Valkyria Chronicles on PS4 as well and i hope that has sold well for you :)

    Your Fan who buys Valkyria Chronicles and Yakuza Games – JamesSoprano

  • AE!

    But why Sega did not bring the Ryū Ga Gotoku Kenzan! and Ishin! in west? Are there specific reasons for these titles to remain Japan only?

    • For Isshin, etc., we don’t have any plans to localize those; from what I’ve heard from our counterparts in Japan, it would require a high-level knowledge of Japanese shogunate history to understand the story, which isn’t very common outside of Japan. :(

    • You mean like Way of The Warrior and all those other games we’ve gotten that “a high-level knowledge of Japanese shogunate history”? We played and liked those just fine. Also anyone who plays Yakuza probably likes anime too and who hasnt seen Rurouni Kenshin? Sure its fiction and not 100% historically accurate but neither is Yakuza… point being wed get it just fine.

    • That seems like such a lame excuse. I agree with DuoMaxwell007 and the games he mentioned (also the Hakuoki series that has been localized). Sega probably thinks “Gamers are going to be confused and aren’t willing to take five seconds to look up Japanese history on Wikipedia, so we shouldn’t bother localizing Isshin.”

    • Hey, if fangirls can figure out enough of the Sengoku and Bakumatsu eras to understand Basara and Hakuoki, I’m sure there’s a market for samurai yakuza out there

    • John… that’s the lamest excuse we could hear from you – much worse than “the company fears the revenue would be too low and that it’s too risky”. Don’t SEGA see we’re so hyped we’re prepared to import and play in Japanese? Not understanding a thing, not to mention the all cultural and historical aspects? Heck, we don’t have that much knowledge about Japanese mafia either and we’re playing and enjoying Yakuza just fine.
      Just pull yourself together and spam us with what we want – your extremely Japanese portfolio. From what I can see here in the west, more and more people are prone to experiment with exotic, foreign games. Of course, there’s still a large zombie-fan base and other main-stream frenzies but it’s not that rare to be able to speak with friends about Tales of games rather than Dragon Age.

  • OH MY GOD THANK YOU SEGA, THANK YOU JOHN HARDIN. I can’t believe that for the first time since Yakuza 2, the on-screen texts will be in English! This is absolutely phenomenal.. Thank you again Sega and John Hardin!

  • A few days after my birthday. I love you so much Sega <3

  • I’ll give the honorifics a shot, especially because I love the Yakuza games, but I still would rather have them translated. I know it’s a harder task to try to find the equivalence, but all language has subtlety to it, especially English, and there’s a lot you can do with naming conventions in English to convey tone, such saying just the first name or the last name, saying the full name, using nicknames, truncating the name, using initials, etc.

    I have an understanding of honorifics and the implications of referring to someone as -chan or -kun, but I’ll never fully understand it as much as someone who speaks and live the life of Japanese. That’s not even taking into account the way they may say it, intonation, which could inflect even more meaning that I wouldn’t fully grasp.

    I know it’s a lot to ask, but please consider it for next time.

  • John,

    Any word on the Yakuza 0 Vita companion app coming alongside this release? That would be INCREDIBLE.


    Look at it! Just LOOK at it! We need that! Playable games? Earning money and XP on the go? Please. I’m desperate.

    Just tell me where to wire the money. I’ll make it happen. :D

  • Sweet! pre-ordered! any awesome bonuses like a soundtrack?! or a mini pachinko?

  • I’m happy with Japanese titles, actually! But thanks for making the effort!

    Will there be a physical release?

  • John,

    Any word on the Yakuza 0 Vita companion app coming alongside this release? That would be INCREDIBLE.

    Playable games? Earning money and XP on the go? Please. I’m desperate.

    Just tell me where to wire the money. I’ll make it happen. :D

    (Edit: Took out Famitsu link)

  • One of the very few game series I’ll bother to pre-order anymore. I have greatly enjoyed all of the mainline Yakuza games released in North America and I’m excited to see Sega putting forth the effort to keep the series alive and well in the English-speaking world of gaming. Good call on the honorifics in 0, too.

  • Will there be special editions, like a sexy steelbook?

    • There definitely won’t be a premium (meaning: higher price) edition, but in terms of a launch edition? Well, we don’t have anything to share on that front….yet. :3

  • Since a guy from Sega is looking at this, where the H-E-DOUBLE HOCKEY STICKS is my PSO2. I mean come-on already!??!?!?!

    • where is pso2? that’s an easy question to answer. it’s on pc, ps4, and vita.

      pso2 isn’t coming to america, but america is coming to pso2 (specifically, las vegas).

      it would be a complete and total disaster if the game got an official western release at this point. it would be more of a ghost town than the failed south east asia server.

  • I always heard about the Yakuza games back in the day but never cared about them. But I have friends that rave about them. I’m still not sure if I should start here or wait for a possible localization of Yakuza Kiwami and start from where it REALLY started.

    • Kiwami actually adds plot elements from 0 in addition to the original story; 0 itself fleshes out a lot of the relationship between the pro/antagonists of 1. 0 would be a better place to start than Kiwami from a storytelling standpoint. If you wanted to feel the evolution of the series from a gameplay perspective then you should go back to 1/2 for ps2 first. Fair warning though; it’s come a long way.

    • What @fixbane said.

  • Thank you for finally realizing that we all want physical copies! And also yes to the continued use of Japanese audio w/ English subtitles (and honorifics). I personally enjoyed having the chapter titles in Kanji with subtitles underneath, but it doesn’t seem like a big enough change to annoy me.

  • This game looks pretty sweet but I’m also in with the group of people who would love for the west to get a Yakuza 1 & 2 Remaster. I haven’t played either game but from what I’ve heard from people who played the western versions, the translation was terrible so I don’t even really want to play them on PS2 and keep hoping for a newer release someday.

    But anyway, I’m sure this game will be awesome and am looking forward to it.

    • The translation isn’t the worst but they took a few liberties (shortening names (Nishiki vs Nishikiyama), making up nicknames (Kaz, Kazzy), completely changing names because they’re too similar (in 1-3 US, Kiryu’s foster father is named Shintaro Fuma; when actually his name is Shintaro Kazuma. Kiryu’s name is Kazuma Kiryu; note that Shintaro’s family name is different from Kiryu’s despite them sharing the romanized name Kazuma. The names are different; but were changed so that an american audience could know that he was a foster father instead of actual father)). They’re still good games if you’re willing to go back to ps2, yakuza 2 is in my opinion the best game in the series and definitely worth a play. The 1+2 HD releases are unlikely to happen in the US at this point, along with Ishin/Kenzan sadly enough. Oh, and the current release of 1 has english VA which isn’t that great imo; although the illustrious Mark Hammil plays Majima which is pretty great.

      Just to reiterate; 2 is the best and definitely worth going back to even if a ps2 is required. 1 is okay. You should do it.

  • You made my day sir, i am playing Yakuza 4 right now and enjoying every mimute, i support this series to the end. . . . . ..

  • Oh man! 2016 can end right now! Yakuza 0 is coming! HYPE! Day One for sure!

  • Any word on the PS Vita Yakuza 0 Companion App from the #VoteVita campaign, which was supposedly going to come to the west?

  • Not interested in the PS4 port. Thankfully the PS3 original will be much cheaper by then. Yep, it’s good to speak Japanese. Your loss Sega, but hey, you’re used to that.

    • I think you’ve got your wires crossed along the way somewhere…this isn’t a port of a previously-released game. It was simultaneously released on the PS3/PS4 in Japan?

      If you’re upset that we’re not supporting the PS3 version in the west, sorry, I guess?

    • This is not a port, it’s an entirely new game!

    • Wow…..way to embarrassingly show off how much that flew over your head. This non whatsoever anything to do w/ a ‘ps4 port’…..try again, and next time pay attention BEFORE you type. >_>

  • Between Yakuza 1+2 HD and Kiwami, I would rather see the HD remasters being localized than Kiwami, although it would be nice to have both. I prefer the fixed camera gameplay, and the less dramatized approach of the early games. Plus, we get Yakuza 2, which was also great.

    Regarding the English voice settings of Yakuza 1, we really don’t care if they are included in the first game and missing in the 2nd. Just go with any option that would facilitate this release. Although I gotta say, the actors did a great job with the English voices in that game (which was rare at the time).

    • I’d prefer Yakuza 1&2 HD Edition as well (especially with Japanese voice-overs!). Also because my friends own PS3 and not PS4 so it would be hard to get them into series if SEGA released Kiwami like 0 – only on PS4 in the west.
      If they want both markets… Yakuza 1&2 HD Edition + Yakuza 1 and Yakuza 2 PS4 upscales?
      And then Kiwami – even if PS4-only – would be a nice treat.

  • Thank you so much, SEGA. You are a light in this darkness.

  • Time to see what the fuss is about.

    Gonna Try Yakuza 5 out and see where Yakuza Zero takes us.

    BTW, Thank you for Valkyria Chronicles HD, waiting paitently for Azure Revolution.

  • I’d almost forgotten about Yakuza till we got 5. Since then I’ve played 5, replayed 4 and Dead Souls, played 3, played Ishin in Japanese and am currently playing Kiwami in Japanese. Can’t wait for this!

    Will we get a playable demo this year?

  • Surely Shenmue must be on the cards ………..

  • Really thanks for bringing this out Sega! Been playing Yakuza 5 and it’s already top 5 PS3 games of all time. Saw Yakuza 0 which uses a new engine(same engine Ishin is using) and the moves and combat are much more fluid and faster than ever. Already buying this Day 1 like i did for Yakuza 5 :)

    You should definitely still consider bringing Ishin in the future. I want my Anna Konno model!!!

    But at the very least. Bring Kiwami and 6. And hopefully Nagoshi-san will announce Yakuza 2 Kiwami in the near future so bring that as well.

    “We’re leaving the original Japanese voices intact for the authenticity that only a Japanese voice actor could bring to a yakuza experience”

    Now if someone in Atlus US who has a brain can understand this for Persona 5. I don’t mind honorifics. It’ll probably more understandable for those who study Japanese(already in my upcoming 3rd year, few more years to go).

    • >Now if someone in Atlus US who has a brain can understand this for Persona 5.

      I work for ATLUS too. >:(

    • @John Hardin

      Hey man, I’ve seen how hard you work for Sega. Every game Sega brings, especially HD remasters and all. I always see you there. So you have my respect 100%. It’s mostly the Atlus US people before Sega merge with Atlus Japan. So they had to merge with you guys as well.

      The Atlus US guys is a mess. Seriously, poor communication, BS excuse, and quite frankly a lot of their PR a bunch liars. And I know there’s another John Hardin at Atlus US who does the exactly opposite of you did. So you’ll always be the John Hardin of Sega to me ^^

  • I´ll be pretty busy from October until February and probably a couple months more.
    The Last Guardian, Gravity Rush 2, Yakuza 0, Persona 5 and Horizon ZD. That´s my queue O_O

  • First of all,HELL YEAH THANK YOU SEGA. Second of all,i have a few questions:

    1-Will the game be in any other languages besides english? Im not asking about voice acting,im asking about text.
    2-Is there any chance we get the PS3 version? Even as digital only?
    3-Any plans for the Vita app?

    Thats all,greetings from Argentina.

    • So, I kinda have to be the bearer of bad news here:

      1) unfortunately no, the subtitled text will be english-only, unfortunately :(
      2) also no, not even digitally :( :(
      3) no plans :( :( :(

    • @John But happened to the #VoteVita campaign to bring the Yakuza 0 app to the west? Did it not get enough votes?

  • Thank you very much for bringing this series

  • Thanks again sega for all of your hard work localizing this series. These games are enormous and I love all of them. Please do your best to bring more over! I’d gladly play every iteration old and new of these. I don’t expect Kenzan to ever be localized, considering we’ve essentially ended the PS3 era, or Ishin due to how long it has been, but I think most of the current Yakuza fans would love it if they were. Anyway, we all love this series, and I hope that it makes sense to continue to localize these as more games are released. You’re really not giving me much time to play this before Persona 5 though guys…

  • YYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Thank you so so much, SEGA, I love you unconditionally and John, today I had a bad day and you brought a smile to my face, thank you very much !!

    I adore the Yakuza series and I hope the West continue to receive its iterations, thank you for it and all the other great games, you are all fantastic !

  • personally, i like the kanji/hiragana/katakana titles with subtitles below them better than the stylized english. it feels a lot more true to the original that way. not super excited about that change away from how things have been done previously (an option in the settings would be great *hint* *hint*).

    that being said, very excited about the honorifics being included (again, feels more true to the original) and finally getting a release date. held off on importing 0 hoping it wouldn’t be too long before getting a western release (my japanese is pretty awful) and can’t wait to play it. the demo was excellent when it released last year.

    hopefully shortly after yakuza 6 launches in japan we get a confirmation of a western release for that.

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