At one point, the Yakuza series was really meant for audiences in Japan to enjoy. But lately, Sega has been giving it more of a chance in the U.S., thanks to the release of Yakuza 6: The Song of Life and the Yakuza Kiwami games. And it looks like the gamble has paid off big time for the publisher.
The company has noted in its Integrated Report for 2018 that the latest game in the series, Yakuza 6, has managed to sell impressively well in the United States. In fact, the game has sold just as many copies here as it has in Japan, which is really something regarding the appeal of the series.
Here’s what the publisher had to say about well the latest Yakuza game has done.
“In Yakuza 6: The Song of Life, although the main character is played by the legendary Yakuza and set in Tokyo and Hiroshima, it has sold as many copies overseas as it has in Japan. In the past, the Japanese market has generated the bulk of sales for these series, and although it has elements that are appealing to overseas. However, the game was not developed with European and U.S. markets in mind. Thanks to painstaking efforts to create a game that Japanese fans will appreciate, the title has become popular not only in Japan but also won over fans overseas who praise the refined game sense of the title. I believe this is why Yakuza 6: The Song of Life has become such a popular hit around the world.”
Overall, the Yakuza series has sold 11 million copies to date, and that number is likely to continue increasing as new entries are revealed in the years ahead.
On top of that, Sega also noted the huge success of other franchises around the world. Sonic the Hedgehog, for instance, has managed to clear out over 800 million copies of his games since his initial introduction on the Sega Genesis way back in 1991. For that matter, the Persona series has done quite well, selling 9.3 million copies of its series. And Total War has some hardcore appeal with the PC audience, clearing out 22 million copies sold in its lifetime.
Where Yakuza goes from here has yet to be seen, but it’s obvious Sega will be leaning on the franchise for a lot of new entries, particularly in the Kiwami re-release series.
You can check out the latest games, Yakuza 6 and Yakuza Kiwami 2, now for PlayStation 4.