Confirmed: Game has cut content

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#1 Edited by vidiot (2737 posts) -
New article on Kotaku

It was just too good to be true. 
Sega seemingly going all out on releasing Yakuza 3, not just outside of Japan, but with everything intact. At least that's what the recent demo displayed. Subtitles instead of a hammy dub, hilarious karaoke mini-game, and the plethora of different merchandise visible.  
 
But, wait, it's Sega
From IGN

Hostesses out, strippers still in.

by Greg Miller

 February 23, 2010 - With the release of Yakuza 3 just two weeks away (March 9th in the States and March 12th in the U.K.), fans are beginning to go off the deep end about the beat'em up/RPG-like/Grand Theft Auto-like game that has you wandering the streets of Japan and wailing on bad guys silly enough to get in your way. However, one of the biggest questions on the minds of readers like you is did everything that made the game a hit in Japan make it into the U.S./U.K. versions?

The short answer is "no," but it's not as bad as you might think, according to a SEGA representative.

"The content between Yakuza 3 US/UK and Yakuza JP is a little different in that we took out certain bits in order to bring the game to the west in the time alloted for us to do so. The parts we ended up taking out were parts that we felt wouldn't make sense (like a Japanese history quiz game) or wouldn't resonate as much (such as the concept of a hostess club)," the rep told IGN. "We didn't replace the parts we took out, but we made absolutely sure that the story continuity stayed intact so that the story experience was the same as the Japanese version and that it didn't take away the human drama so inherent to the Yakuza series."

The good news? Even though the hostess clubs are out, you can still go on dates with the girls. Better news? The strip clubs are still in Yakuza 3, so plan on dropping some Yen there. 


Usually when games are delayed between Japan and the rest of the world, like say, over a year in the case of Yakuza 3 new content is added. I don't care how irrelevant what was cut was cut: If Persona 4 taught us anything regarding localization, there is a very competent way of dealing with cultural differences. For those of you who think the all the questions and answers given during the classes in Persona 4, were the same in the Japanese release, your in for a rude awakening.

What's even weirder is that I've heard that the hostess mini-game was actually in the previous Yakuza 2, and apparently it was an incredibly large component. 
 
The discovery of the cuts initially did not come from Sega of course, but from keen-eyed gamers who were comparing the JP demo and the US demo. (Roughly the same demo) Trophies regarding the hostess mini-game were cut, and well, let's just say the sega forums have appropriately not reflected very happy customers.
 
For me it's all very confusing why such cuts are being made, and it seems counter to what Sega was marketing with this game. Not exactly a deal breaker for me, but annoying nonetheless.
#2 Posted by AjayRaz (12389 posts) -

...:( 

#3 Posted by onimonkii (2421 posts) -

as long as it wasn't cut to be later released as dlc that's ok with me
 
last thing i need is a slip in my yakuza 3 case with a code to download the hostess club ($5 on psn otherwise!)

#4 Posted by GunstarRed (4730 posts) -

*sigh* but we can still stomp on dudes faces...so yay for that.
#5 Posted by newmarcom (295 posts) -

Wasn't the hostess club aspect one of the major aspects of the Yakuza universe? I mean it was the show stopper at all of the Tokyo Game Shows. I feel conflicted in my purchasing decision now.

#6 Posted by animateria (3252 posts) -

Oh, Sega. I just made a joke about you in another thread.
 
But you really try hard to make it a fact.

#7 Edited by Symphony (1913 posts) -

You know what's more weirder than what Sega is doing with the localization? The term "more weirder".
 
In all seriousness though, I can't believe they're taking out the Japanese history test, I was looking forward to that :(
 
Edit: Haha! Caught my grammatical error!

#8 Posted by vidiot (2737 posts) -
@Symphony: I'm not going to fight you about grammar Symph. I'm not going to take that bait.  
-_-
#9 Posted by Symphony (1913 posts) -
@vidiot said:
" @Symphony: I'm not going to fight you about grammar Symph. I'm not going to take that bait.   -_- "
Free bump.
 
You're welcome.
#10 Posted by OllyOxenFree (4969 posts) -

Hmm so they took out that Japanese quiz show in the arcade and the hostess club...
 
I'm OK with this!

#11 Posted by trophyhunter (5804 posts) -

I'm a huge huge yakuza fan and upon hearing this news I have two things to say.
1. Fuck you sega 
2.I'm not buying it, well maybe when it's 20 bucks and used so sega does not get the money.

#12 Posted by SeriouslyNow (8534 posts) -

WTF?  Why would Hostess clubs be taken out?  We have strip bars in the west and it's not that much of stretch to write a blurb explaining what a hostess club is and how it works.
 
FUCK YOU SEGA.

#13 Posted by vidiot (2737 posts) -
Kotaku has a great article regarding the subject now, the story seems to be picking up some traction.
#14 Posted by Pazy (2553 posts) -

I wasent too bothered about this when I read it since it seemed on the face of it to be content I didnt care about or need but I read the comments of the story I was reading and it said that in Yakuza 2 it was a large component with Club Managment and such. While it dosent really impact whether im going to buy the game or not, though im not fully decided either way, I do wish it could be in the game since it sounds like it could be a lot of fun.

#15 Posted by Shirogane (3560 posts) -

What...no hostess club? T_T 
I'm gonna cry now...was so lookingfoward to it...no so much anymore..
#16 Posted by WinterSnowblind (7612 posts) -

This announcement honestly doesn't bother me.  The hostess bar mini games in the previous games were a tedious grind and felt like nothing more than a money sink.  While I like the aspects of the game that showed you more of Japanese culture, this is one part I'm not sad to lose.  
 
They're not in the 4th game either, instead replaced with the tournament fighters you have to train up..  So it seems even the Japanese got sick of them.

#17 Posted by Supermarius (1196 posts) -

yeah. This is so dumb. On one hand you want to support series like this in the us. But cutting content is really inexcusable. IS there any way to more quickly destroy fan goodwill that cutting content for a region? I guess i hope noone buys it and sega loses significant money on it.  Business decisions like this need to be punished.

#18 Posted by JJOR64 (18783 posts) -

It looks like Sega fucked up again.

#19 Posted by Cube (4366 posts) -
You see, I don't bite the hand that feeds me. Just be fucking happy Yakuza 3 is even getting released in NA.
#20 Posted by WinterSnowblind (7612 posts) -
@Supermarius said:
" yeah. This is so dumb. On one hand you want to support series like this in the us. But cutting content is really inexcusable. IS there any way to more quickly destroy fan goodwill that cutting content for a region? I guess i hope noone buys it and sega loses significant money on it.  Business decisions like this need to be punished. "
The problem being that if the fans do that, there isn't any hope of ever seeing the 4th game. 

This game is only being released because the fans demanded it so much..  poor sales of the previous two meant they had to cheap out on the translation, using only subtitles instead of an English dub, and considering many of the hostesses were based on real people, most of which are quite famous in Japan, it would have been tricky to use their likenesses, etc.  Really not surprising it was cut entirely, 
 
And like I said.. I'm not sure how anyone could have found the whole side quest of training up the hostesses enjoyable anyway, it absoultely bored me to tears.  Not buying the game will only ensure we never get to see how the series ends.
#21 Posted by SeriouslyNow (8534 posts) -
@WinterSnowblind said:
" This announcement honestly doesn't bother me.  The hostess bar mini games in the previous games were a tedious grind and felt like nothing more than a money sink.  While I like the aspects of the game that showed you more of Japanese culture, this is one part I'm not sad to lose.    They're not in the 4th game either, instead replaced with the tournament fighters you have to train up..  So it seems even the Japanese got sick of them. "
ah.  I see your point.  I'm glad enough it's being released in english anyway.
#22 Posted by Supermarius (1196 posts) -

But that's just the thing. The hand is not feeding you like it should. The hand is feeding the japanese game just fine, but its giving you watered down adulterated sustenance. Do you want to be a second class gamer when it comes to imports, forever. It seems like a great series. By its own merits it deserves to do well. But Sega can't cut content. Cutting content is not okay. Sega and every other publisher needs to get this message. No gamer should feel obligated to buy bad ports. If you do, how can you ever hope for better. I really like sega but they have gotten worse over the years and one of the reasons is that people keep buying crap they put out. You gotta draw the line somewhere, even if it means no sequel in the us for this series.

#23 Posted by WinterSnowblind (7612 posts) -
@Supermarius said:
" But that's just the thing. The hand is not feeding you like it should. The hand is feeding the japanese game just fine, but its giving you watered down adulterated sustenance. Do you want to be a second class gamer when it comes to imports, forever. It seems like a great series. By its own merits it deserves to do well. But Sega can't cut content. Cutting content is not okay. Sega and every other publisher needs to get this message. No gamer should feel obligated to buy bad ports. If you do, how can you ever hope for better. I really like sega but they have gotten worse over the years and one of the reasons is that people keep buying crap they put out. You gotta draw the line somewhere, even if it means no sequel in the us for this series. "
I'm not trying to defend the cuts, but like I've said..  the games have proved unpopular in the past, they were never going to spend a lot of money translating the game, and in order to get the hostess bars they'd have had to liscence the likenesses of many Japanese celberaties.  Combined with the fact the minigames was horrible, I really don't understand what the big deal is.  
 
I do think we should simply be thankfull we're seeing the game in any form, they could just have easily have said it's not going to sell (and it likely won't, with or without this content) and not bothered at all.  If you want to 'punish' Sega by not buying this, it just means they wasted $20 on the two man translation team and that we have no hope of ever seeing Kenzan, Yakuza 4, or any future game in the series in English, ever.
#24 Posted by Equal_Opportunity_Destroyer497 (556 posts) -

Oh Sega...why must you constantly make stupid decisions that outshine your occasional not-stupid decisions.
Stupid decision #1: Waiting a whole year to release it outside Japan. 
Stupid decision #2: Releasing it on the same day as FFXIII
Stupid decision #3: Removing content that made it into the last game and offering bullshit excuses as to why.
 
I still want it, but I'm bummed about this for sure.  Does anyone know if the European release will have this content? If it does, I'm importing. If it doesn't, no Yakuza 3 for me until it hits the bargain bin. It'll probably hit the bargain bin sooner rather than later anyway, since Sega has basically set it up to fail. And for those keeping track, Yakuza 4 comes out in Japan next week. Maybe we'll get a shitty version of that by 2012.

#25 Posted by Cube (4366 posts) -
@Supermarius: For Yakuza as a franchise to not have cut content, there needs to be a possibility for the next installment to even get RELEASED.  The only way for that to happen is if people buy Yakuza 3. I'm not personally missing out on anything. OH NO MY WHOLE WORLD IS IMPLODING OVER FUCKING HOSTESSES. I mean, sheesh. No one can be happy with what they get. Gamers, how fucking self-entitled. There's a bottom-line at Sega, like any business. 
 
Unless the cuts affect the story (the actual MAIN reason to play it), I'm not seeing the big deal.
#26 Posted by SamuSlave (252 posts) -
@WinterSnowblind: @Cube: You both make good points I agree with. On one point by buying a censored  product we are consenting to Sega for future alterations but in another point by not buying the game we are jeopardizing the possibility of seeing any more of the franchise outside of Japan.  That being said I still plan on buying it the day it comes out.
#27 Posted by Gruff182 (847 posts) -

Does this mean some of the boobs have been taken out? ..not cool.

#28 Posted by animateria (3252 posts) -
@Cube said:

" @Supermarius: For Yakuza as a franchise to not have cut content, there needs to be a possibility for the next installment to even get RELEASED.  The only way for that to happen is if people buy Yakuza 3. I'm not personally missing out on anything. OH NO MY WHOLE WORLD IS IMPLODING OVER FUCKING HOSTESSES. I mean, sheesh. No one can be happy with what they get. Gamers, how fucking self-entitled. There's a bottom-line at Sega, like any business.   Unless the cuts affect the story (the actual MAIN reason to play it), I'm not seeing the big deal. "

 
What kind of message are we sending to Sega when we are missing whatever content and still buying it?
 
We are entitled because we are paying for the product, it's their job to make sure we are satisfied.
 
If we don't like what they are doing, we have no reason to support them. Want to take content out of the game? Well, expect to lose a bunch of sales.
 
We aren't responsible to create an environment where Yakuza 3 has successful sales, that's Sega's job. Hell, it's not our concern what their bottom line is.  It's a tough business environment and if Sega wants to make some money on a fairly unknown franchise in the West, they better not fuck up.  
 
Either way, Sega US is either incompetent or have no interest in Yakuza 3's success. Sending it out in March against Final Fantasy XIII is a big mistake. And now they're losing sales from people who were on the fence. Good Job, Sega.
#29 Posted by Soap (3528 posts) -

fuck this man, they are only cutting content because they have a lazy translation team. I'm a westerner and trust me, I understand the concept of a fucking hostess bar. I'm going to cancel my preorder in protest to this crap.

#30 Posted by Linkyshinks (9881 posts) -

I don't care, I'll be getting my fix of hot hostess action in Yakuza 4 very soon.

#31 Edited by Killroycantkill (1361 posts) -

I read this over on Kotaku. Sega always has to f something up, first PS3 Bayonetta and now this. Wonder what next, Sonic 4 being canceled and turned into another 3D shadow game? 
 
Edit: To all the people saying they're not going to buy the game you still should. If you don't what is Sega going to do with the series you love? Not release the 4th one. If you show your support maybe they will do a better localizing job on the 4th game.

#32 Posted by vidiot (2737 posts) -
@WinterSnowblind said:
" @Supermarius said:
" But that's just the thing. The hand is not feeding you like it should. The hand is feeding the japanese game just fine, but its giving you watered down adulterated sustenance. Do you want to be a second class gamer when it comes to imports, forever. It seems like a great series. By its own merits it deserves to do well. But Sega can't cut content. Cutting content is not okay. Sega and every other publisher needs to get this message. No gamer should feel obligated to buy bad ports. If you do, how can you ever hope for better. I really like sega but they have gotten worse over the years and one of the reasons is that people keep buying crap they put out. You gotta draw the line somewhere, even if it means no sequel in the us for this series. "
I'm not trying to defend the cuts, but like I've said..  the games have proved unpopular in the past, they were never going to spend a lot of money translating the game, and in order to get the hostess bars they'd have had to liscence the likenesses of many Japanese celberaties.  Combined with the fact the minigames was horrible, I really don't understand what the big deal is.  
 
I do think we should simply be thankfull we're seeing the game in any form, they could just have easily have said it's not going to sell (and it likely won't, with or without this content) and not bothered at all.  If you want to 'punish' Sega by not buying this, it just means they wasted $20 on the two man translation team and that we have no hope of ever seeing Kenzan, Yakuza 4, or any future game in the series in English, ever. "
I really have no pity for Sega stating that the first two didn't sell well. Don't kid yourself, if they want to point fingers at why Yakuza hasn't been successful outside of Japan, they can start by pointing at themselves. 
 
This series has been marketed poorly outside Japan from day one. It's mighty popular in Japan, and I think some people get the impression that it's "Japan's GTA" (Even though though it totally is not) and that the same sales over there, should translate in roughly the same sales and popularity over here.
 
Warning Opinion Follows:
That's never going to happen.
 
I'm going to try to word this part as carefully as I can. Not because they are bad games, but because the cultural significance that is attached to each title has a hard time penetrating mainstream gaming. Like a foreign film getting commercial acclaim, it's hard to do. Before you go off on me, when I say "mainstream gaming", I'm talking about the people who pick up Call of Duty and GTA with the mentality of "it's time to pick up the new Call of Duty and GTA". Which in Japan are probably the same type of people who pick up the new Yakuza, because, hey duder: "Time to pick up the new Yakuza game."
 
But because of the open-world nature, and the success of GTA, I think it really screwed up Sega in how they marketed the first game initially. Phoning in a bunch of B-List celebrity talent, raising the expectations of sales through the roof. That sure as hell didn't pan out too well.
Then came the release of the second game, which was even worse. Of course that flopped, it was a PS2 game made in 2006...released over here without any fanfare....in 2008.
 
I'm seeing something systemic with Sega, in general, regarding how they handle niche games and I don't like it. I think they should learn from the fine folks at Atlus. Not in just how they localize games, but the effort they put into communicating with their niche base of customers. This series can be commercially successful outside of Japan. When your making a game that has no English voice track, has you singing enka karaoke, and dealing with a plot that revolves around the inner-workings of the Yakuza: You're catering to a niche fan base. 
 
Now you're telling them, the fanbase that rallied for this game to be released over here: wont understand the hostess aspect, because of cultural differences. Even though this was something that was not cut from the 2nd game, that you released over here...
 
...huh.... -_-
I agree on one thing WinterSnowblind: We all know that's P.R. bullshit, and the real reasons why these parts were cut was probably because of time. What this shows is that this thing is being thrown out the door barely, but I'm simply upset we have even gotten to this position in the first place. There needs to be some changes in how Sega operates, for the sake of consumers and themselves. This type of content cutting reminds me of stuff we did in the 90's regarding Japanese to English localization, and it's counter to how the rest of the game is being localized. Sega is better than this.
 
I can see both reasons why one would want to support, or not support this game. On one hand, more sales could possibly give Sega more confidence with the rest of the franchise. On the other hand, allowing something to be successful with dramatically cut content sends the wrong message. Personally for me: I'm in a pickle to say the least whether or not to pick this thing up come March 9th....and there are a lot of games being released on March 9th.....
#33 Posted by Supermarius (1196 posts) -

Man, from the quick look it looks great. Why does sega allways have to do at least one messed up thing in all it major releases in the past few years. :(

#34 Posted by Brendan (7511 posts) -

Why does anybody care about quizzes and hostesses clubs anyway?  These cuts don't sound as if they matter to the game at all.
#35 Posted by Venatio (4485 posts) -

Sorry but what is a hostess club and why wouldn't it make sense in a US/EU release?

#36 Posted by WinterSnowblind (7612 posts) -
@Venatio said:
" Sorry but what is a hostess club and why wouldn't it make sense in a US/EU release? "
It's a type of bar in Japan where you pay girls to have drinks with you.
In terms of gameplay.. imagine the GTA IV man dates, but you have to pay for super expensive items that require a lot of grinding in order to afford.
#37 Posted by Nasar7 (2500 posts) -

The cuts suck but by no means is it a dealbreaker.  
 
Sega is working with a limited budget and very small time window for finishing this project and they probably realize that they will be losing money on this game regardless.  
 
So cut Sega some slack. People saying they are canceling their pre-orders are overreacting.

#38 Posted by Venatio (4485 posts) -
@WinterSnowblind said:
" @Venatio said:
" Sorry but what is a hostess club and why wouldn't it make sense in a US/EU release? "
It's a type of bar in Japan where you pay girls to have drinks with you. In terms of gameplay.. imagine the GTA IV man dates, but you have to pay for super expensive items that require a lot of grinding in order to afford. "
That's it? I thought it would be something much bigger then that
#39 Posted by project343 (2807 posts) -

If I buy this game, it won't be for the gameplay or story. It'll be for the cultural experience. They shouldn't be cutting out content that (I feel) is one of their biggest selling points.

#40 Posted by Yummylee (20561 posts) -

Regardless of how much it benefits the overall game, its still a pisstake as to why it has it cut. Just the idea of it losing some of its original content...after such a long delay for a western release?? =/
#41 Posted by CrimsonAngel (28 posts) -

Also for your information not only is the hostess thing gone together with the quiz, but also Shogo, Mahjong and a few ohter Mini games are said to have gotten removed.  
Of course all the Mini-Quests and NPC that had any thing to do with these are of course also gone.
 
Oh and Massage Parlours also seem to be gone.

#42 Posted by bretthancock (778 posts) -

I'm not getting all up in arms about this but this went from a day 1 purchase for me, to a wait and see if this gets put back in via DLC.

#43 Edited by PhilESkyline (770 posts) -
What will we be missing from no Hostess bar mini games? 
 
@bretthancock
said:

" I'm not getting all up in arms about this but this went from a day 1 purchase for me, to a wait and see if this gets put back in via DLC. "

If they release this it for free DLC that will be fine. If we have to pay, best believe every gaming website and editors will rip Sega and Sony apart.
#44 Posted by bretthancock (778 posts) -
@PhilESkyline said:
" What will we be missing from no Hostess bar mini games? 
 
@bretthancock
said:

" I'm not getting all up in arms about this but this went from a day 1 purchase for me, to a wait and see if this gets put back in via DLC. "

If they release this it for free DLC that will be fine. If we have to pay, best believe every gaming website and editors will rip Sega and Sony apart. "
Seems like everyone already has.  Maybe Sega will feel pressure to put the content back in the game via DLC?
#45 Posted by Evilsbane (4333 posts) -

Sega: A proverbial man with a gun, pointed at his foot, and he just keeps on pulling the trigger.

#46 Posted by TatsurouXIII (647 posts) -
@Cube said:
" @Supermarius: For Yakuza as a franchise to not have cut content, there needs to be a possibility for the next installment to even get RELEASED.  The only way for that to happen is if people buy Yakuza 3. I'm not personally missing out on anything. OH NO MY WHOLE WORLD IS IMPLODING OVER FUCKING HOSTESSES. I mean, sheesh. No one can be happy with what they get. Gamers, how fucking self-entitled. There's a bottom-line at Sega, like any business.   Unless the cuts affect the story (the actual MAIN reason to play it), I'm not seeing the big deal. "
the game is supposed to deliver a somewhat realistic experience of Tokyo nightlife, and these clubs are a huge part of it. Not to mention the fact that Stardust is part of the story in the previous games.  With these elements cut out of the game it could just as well be a GTA mod with some japanese caligraphy textures. It's little things like the hostess clubs that make the game feel Japanese.
#47 Posted by TatsurouXIII (647 posts) -
@Venatio said:
" @WinterSnowblind said:
" @Venatio said:
" Sorry but what is a hostess club and why wouldn't it make sense in a US/EU release? "
It's a type of bar in Japan where you pay girls to have drinks with you. In terms of gameplay.. imagine the GTA IV man dates, but you have to pay for super expensive items that require a lot of grinding in order to afford. "
That's it? I thought it would be something much bigger then that "
It's a place for single men to hang out after work, have a couple of drinks and enjoy the company of pretty ladies. No sex involved. Hostess clubs are addictive as hell, especially to men in their 40s, more often then not a certain type of relationship develops between the guy and his favorite girl. It's a cultural thing. Sega saying that the Western audience wouldn't understand hostess clubs is fucking insulting. I mean, what is there to understand?
#48 Posted by Dogma (942 posts) -

I read that Sega said that this had to happen. It was either this or actually not releasing the game in the West at all because they had a very very strict deadline. They had to be done with the localization until March. If they missed that window Sega would not have released it at all. I'm no Yakuza expert but if I understand things right the hostess bar thing is some kind of dating simulator thing? That would mean that is involves a lot of text and therefore a lot of text to be translated. This was the part Sega thought they could cut because of time contraints. Yeah... it's kind of sad but would you prefer this or no game at all? I personally thinks it's rather cool that sega even tries to release this game in the west again. 
 
I'm no apoligist. I'm only trying to see this as level headed as possible. It's not the end of the world. Yakazu 3 seems to be fat on content even without these cut out parts.

#49 Posted by KaosAngel (13765 posts) -

How much did they cut?  I got a signed Japanese copy that I never opened when I met the director guy for a meeting thing.  I never played it yet, and I figure I try it with the English copy...but if they cut a lot, I'd just crack open the JP version or end up selling it.

#50 Posted by Dolphin_Butter (1910 posts) -
@KaosAngel said:
" How much did they cut?  I got a signed Japanese copy that I never opened when I met the director guy for a meeting thing.  I never played it yet, and I figure I try it with the English copy...but if they cut a lot, I'd just crack open the JP version or end up selling it. "
Beyond what's been actively publicized, they took Mahjong, massage parlors and a whole bunch of side quests.

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