Yakuza Kiwami has gotten a western release date

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odinsmana

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#1  Edited By odinsmana

Yakuza Kiwami is coming to the west the 29th of August and will cost 30$.

Kiwami is a full on remake of the original Yakuza game that was released on the PS2. Kiwami is based on Yakuza 0 and reuses a lot of the stuff from that game like Kiryus multiple fighting styles. It has also added some completely new stuff like the Majima anywhere system.

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Shindig

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#2  Edited By Shindig

Ok, at what point does this feel like saturation?

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odinsmana

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@shindig said:

Ok, at what point does this feel like saturation?

When they release Yakuza 6 next spring? Personally I will never get enough Yakuza, but I do wonder how well these will sell so close after another.

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Cesakich

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@shindig: They were just straight up reluctant to bring these out over here for a while weren't they? Saturation is probably more than two games then

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Zeik

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#5  Edited By Zeik

@shindig: Never.

It's SEGA's fault for taking so long to release these games in the west. 0 and Kiwami are like several years old at this point. If we had gotten them at the same rate as Japan there would be more breathing room between them. But better late than never.

Anyway, I'm stoked for this. I skipped over playing 0 myself (for now) due to so many other games coming out and the GBE playthrough, but this is definitely a day 1 buy, especially at that price.

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GenericBrotagonist

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How close are GBeast to finishing 0? Should we expect a few months long hiatus?

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odinsmana

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How close are GBeast to finishing 0? Should we expect a few months long hiatus?

At their current pace they will probably be done sometime around September (it can vary pretty wildly though based on how much side stuff they do), so they could go straight into Kiwami. It would probably be best for them to have a break anyway though, so that they won`t get burnt out.

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alex

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This is all very exciting.

We'll definitely take a break between finishing zero and picking up Kiwami, but I'm looking forward to checking this one out.

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cloudymusic

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#9  Edited By cloudymusic

$30? Wow, wasn't expecting that. I would've been there on day 1 regardless though!

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ArtisanBreads

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I need to finish 0 but for $30 this is pretty awesome to see.

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vortextk

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Pre-ordered. One of those games I'm not worried about doing that for. I want 0 but time.,,.and it costs more...and gbeast is playing it....I'm not sure what to do about 0 honestly.

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MooseyMcMan

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I was thinking I was going to skip this one, so I wouldn't burn out on Yakuza before 6 next year, but I can't say no to $30 worth of beating up digital Japanese crime men!

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sfw44

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Whoa $30 thats incredible and its so soon. I cant wait

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donchipotle

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I take it we won't be getting Mark Hamil's take on Majima?

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TechnoSyndrome

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The $30 price tag seems like a great way to deal with Kiwami coming out so soon after 0. I bet a lot of people that would be hesitant to pay another $60 for another Yakuza game so soon after finishing the last one will change their minds when they see the price. And as someone who was fully ready to pay $60 for it I'm still pretty happy about this news.

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OMGFather

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That steelbook is sexy. Definitely getting that.

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Shindig

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@cesakich said:

@shindig: They were just straight up reluctant to bring these out over here for a while weren't they? Saturation is probably more than two games then

They're on an annual release schedule in Japan. We're now following suit. In fact, with playing catch-up, it's 3 in 18 months.

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DarkbeastCaarl

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#18  Edited By DarkbeastCaarl

Great lets get isshin next

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OceanEve

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Is there an easy way to play yakuza 2 without a ps2? I'd like to play that one sometime! ^_^

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OceanEve

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@fakevox: okay thanks ^_^ is there any info on whether they're going to update that game like they're doing with 0 and now the first one? I don't see why not since they decided to bring these games to the states! :D

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whitegreyblack

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I only wish the surge in interest in the Yakuza series would convince Sega to put out a physical release of Yakuza 5 - it's the only one that is missing from the ol' game collection.

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Do_The_Manta_Ray

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#24  Edited By Do_The_Manta_Ray

Man, this looks gooooood. They appear to have put some serious work into this. I wonder what the combat system will be like, if it's a complete redesign, or if they've just "modernized" it a little to remain faithful to the original game.

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odinsmana

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Man, this looks gooooood. They appear to have put some serious work into this. I wonder what the combat system will be like, if it's a complete redesign, or if they've just "modernized" it a little to remain faithful to the original game.

The combat is based on the combat in Yakuza 0, so Kiryu will be using the different styles from that game.

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@zeik said:

@shindig: It's SEGA's fault for taking so long to release these games in the west. 0 and Kiwami are like several years old at this point. If we had gotten them at the same rate as Japan there would be more breathing room between them. But better late than never.

Let me bring a little perspective into this matter since I work in Japanese game localization as a translator. I don't have any specific knowledge of Sega's inner workings (and even if I did, I'd likely be NDA'd to hell and back), but I have worked on a lot of games that are similarly big like a Yakuza game, so I like to think I can speak to the scope, scheduling, and logistics involved in bringing something like a Yakuza over.

The first thing to bear in mind in terms of these translations taking so long is that the game scripts for every Yakuza game are enormous, even by RPG standards. I don't know specific numbers, but I'm pretty confident they generally break 1 million Japanese characters easily once you total in sub-stories and other side content. (For perspective, the main storyline of Tales of Berseria, which I worked on, clocks in around 600,000 characters and the optional content I believe at least doubles that total amount.) This not an insignificant amount of text to translate. Every translator works at different rates, but generally they can only translate around 3,000 to 5,000 characters a day depending on the nature of the content, if any research into niche subjects has to be done, etc. Generally, at least in my experience, 4,000 characters a day is a happy medium, but either way, the most you can realistically expect a translator to translate in a given month and have it be well-written stuff is around 80,000 to 100,000 Japanese characters. (I've been known to do 120,000 on very rare occasion, but only when the deadlines demanded it. Those months are pretty stressful!)

This means that if only one person is in charge of translating the entire thing from start to finish, a game the size of a Yakuza can quite easily take the better part of a year to translate into English, if not more. And that's before you factor any time for actual editing work and any fine-tuning that may need to happen once translation drafts are implemented and tested in-game, whether it's just contextual polish or squashing weird bugs or something else entirely. Now, typically, a game that's as big as Yakuza will at least have two translators working on it to split the load, but it's a delicate balancing act because the more chefs you have working in that translation kitchen, the harder it is to achieve a quality final product due to different writing styles and whatnot. My understanding is Yakuza games do indeed have more than one translator working on them, but it's definitely not a lot because of what I just mentioned. Even so, again, things are only going to go so fast because no localization is ever done as soon as the translators are done writing their first draft, far from it. Even with multiple translators and editors on board for each year, I can see these games still taking close to a year or more to localize from start to finish. What you can infer from Kiwami coming out so soon, then, is that localization work on it began while Yakuza 0 was still itself being localized and the same can be said for Yakuza 6, too.

It's not just translators and editors that have to be brought on board in order for a game to be localized, either. You need programmers who ideally worked on the original Japanese version of the game to dive back in and modify the programming code to make any necessary changes to make the game run in English. You'll probably also need artists on the team to hop on board to redesign UI assets at the very least in order to make menus and other parts of the game accessible to foreign players. Depending on how a development team is structured, this can be a drain on resources away from whatever the current main project for the Japanese market is or, if localization is happening while the Japanese version is still in development, a drain on resources from simply getting that version done to begin with. This is why global simultaneous release dates for Japanese games still aren't always a guarantee even in this day and age, as it can be a difficult juggling act to keep both raw content production and localization (or localizations, if a game is trying to shoot for other, non-English-speaking markets, too!) on schedule, a proposition that's often too hard for all but the biggest developers like Square-Enix.

Either way, my point is that most localizations require a pretty significant investment in manpower, which in turn impacts how reasonably quickly a localized version of a game can be made without sacrificing quality in one way or another. This is especially true for a series like Yakuza, where the games are churned out on a pretty consistent schedule and there's an expectation that the main team will essentially move on immediately to the next entry once the current one is released in Japan and sells well enough to justify Sega's continued support of the series. The fact that the team has actually managed to create a pipeline where it can now reliably simultaneously produce this many localized versions on top of their usual work developing the latest entries speaks to how far they've come since the old days pre-5. There are very, very few developers within Japan that I can think of that can actually maintain such a complicated, intense structure and not have things go off the rails. Most of the big publishers I've worked with more or less have everything in order with their localization departments these days, but they're usually not juggling that sort of load, either.

Market realities and sales numbers of previous entries also probably made it harder to make a case within Sega to make Yakuza localizations more expedient in previous years, although obviously I don't have anything resembling hard numbers and am just speculating at this point. Considering all of the main numbered entries have made it over in one form or another despite those ups and downs, though, it's probably safe to say that those logistical issues surrounding manpower and development schedules probably weighed on localization efforts more than anything else, as clearly Sega has ultimately been able to keep finding financial justifications to keep localizing them no matter how late they historically can be. I suspect these more recent localizations having Sony's support behind them, as well as the improving health of major Japanese games abroad overall in recent years, has also helped improve the situation in various years and incentivize Sega to invest more heavily in creating a work environment favorable to producing localizations as challenging as Yakuza's. Although I can understand concerns about potential saturation issues releasing so many localized entries in relatively close proximity to one another, I think it's ultimately a good problem to have when localizing multiple titles in a long-running series like Yakuza. Again, as someone who's worked on the inside of similarly big projects, the fact that they're able to even consider, let alone pull off, such a feat is really remarkable to me and certainly not something you see often in this line of work.

Hopefully that all makes sense and doesn't come across as too ramble-y or condescending. I just thought I would add my two cents since localization schedules and loads are things people like to discuss a lot anymore, but don't always have necessary a lot of hard facts or documented experience from industry insiders to consult.

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Xel

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How close are GBeast to finishing 0? Should we expect a few months long hiatus?

They're nowhere near finished.

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BoOzak

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Pre-ordered. Already own the original PS2 game but I barely remember any of it. (played it roughly ten years ago) I'm surprised this isnt full price, not that i'm complaining.

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I'll probably play it. I got the first game on PS2 after having played 2-4 and it felt a bit too dated and not just grahics wise. It will be nice to play with more modern gameplay.

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Shindig

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Hopefully they offer an explanation as to why ten billion yen has been sitting in a briefcase for 20 years.

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@pepsiman: Thanks for sharing your insight! Good to see a real-world perspective on otherwise opaque matters like this.

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odinsmana

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#32  Edited By odinsmana

@shindig said:

Hopefully they offer an explanation as to why ten billion yen has been sitting in a briefcase for 20 years.

Wait, what briefcase? The ten billion yen does not show up in Yakuza 0 does it?

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Shindig

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@shindig said:

Hopefully they offer an explanation as to why ten billion yen has been sitting in a briefcase for 20 years.

Wait, what briefcase? The ten billion yen does not show up in Yakuza 0 does it?

I'm not even sure any more. The more I think about it, the amounts could be different.

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I've never played any Yakuza game but really like Japanese settings. I think I'll keep watching Beast in the East and pick up Yakuza Kiwami and start my play from there.

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dagas

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I got the steel book edition even if I already have the original on PS2 and I haven't finished 0 yet. I hope Kiwani 2 comes out in the west as well.

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Is any one else finding the combat in Kiwami a lot more difficult than zero on normal setting? I feel like I'm buying way more health drinks and actually dying far more in this game. Also, there seems to be a higher percentage of enemies carrying guns as well.

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@corwag said:

Is any one else finding the combat in Kiwami a lot more difficult than zero on normal setting? I feel like I'm buying way more health drinks and actually dying far more in this game. Also, there seems to be a higher percentage of enemies carrying guns as well.

The bosses seem a little harder but normal enemies are still a push over.

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#38  Edited By chrispaul92

@corwag: I think that they're just doing a better job of making you use all the styles. In zero I mostly just used brawler, but in this I'm switching a lot more. It's also worth noting that you need to buy the ability to use the kiwami heat moves after you get out of jail. I didn't realize that until I looked it up and those would've made some early bosses much easier.

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