The course of the Yakuza series is atypical to say the least. Created from an idea by Toshihiro Nagoshi and initially rejected by several manufacturers, it immediately established itself in Japan by targeting only the adult Japanese public. Offered only on PlayStation consoles for a long time, and marketed very late in the West, Yakuza games were first niche games in Europe and North America. With the arrival of Yakuza 0, however, the license has experienced a renaissance in the West. Since then, SEGA has radically changed its strategy vis-à-vis Yakuza. So much so that the Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio series is now one of SEGA’s driving forces.
The Yakuza series is doing excellent numbers on PC and Lost Judgment does better than its predecessor. These are two of the messages that emerge from the recent SEGA Management Meeting. The Japanese publisher recently published the written account of this internal event. And in the latter, he mentioned his growth strategy for its various licenses. Among the brands taken as an example was Yakuza.
The PC, the Yakuza’s new eldorado
SEGA therefore explains that it has used several levers to increase the popularity of the Yakuza license. The first lies in the gradual increase in the number of platforms on which the games of the series are marketed as well as that of the number of languages in which these same titles are offered. The Japanese publisher emphasizes for example the impact of the release of Yakuza on PC. Since the Yakuza came to Steam, 2.8 million games in the series have been sold on PC.
SEGA also discusses the positive impact of simultaneous global releases of Yakuza-related games. The publisher here takes the initial good sales of Lost Judgment to illustrate his remarks. Lost Judgment is the first episode of the series to be released simultaneously in Asia, North America and Europe. And according to SEGA, its initial sales are 76% higher than those of the first Judgment.
Being everywhere at the same time, a strategy that pays off
The publisher explains that this profound change in strategy has really paid off. According to him Yakuza games now generate “significant profits on a regular basis. “ And this, in all regions and on all platforms. SEGA also believes that offering the Yakuza dematerialized in the midst of COVID has made it possible “increase considerably“their sales. Note that the presence of several games in the series on Xbox Game Pass also played a role here.
Finally, SEGA says that offering spin-offs using the same engine as traditional Yakuza has helped the series grow. Titles like Ryu ga Gotoku: Ishin and Judgment brought variety to the experiences on offer and “thorough“the license according to SEGA. Therefore, it is possible to expect the House of Sonic to continue on the same path when it comes to the Yakuza license.
According to the latest news, only Yakuza 8 has so far been officially mentioned. And everything suggests that the latter will be released worldwide simultaneously on multiple platforms.
Do these sales statistics for Yakuza games surprise you? Have you discovered the series recently? Have you started since its games were available on PC? On Xbox consoles? Or was it the localization in French that made you take the plunge? Tell us all in the comments below.