Yakuza 0 Asia Ver. May Support English Language – Full Q&A With Sega

September 23, 2014 Written by Heath Hindman

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While no North American or European release dates have been announced for Ryu Ga Gotoku Zero (or  Yakuza 0), I did receive English information from Sega. It’s being released in the Asia region, and this English PR info may be indicative of English language support for the game. Often, Asian version releases have language support that includes English (the RE Remake and the recent Sword Art Online as two prominent recent examples). If this game does indeed get English subtitles, it might just make it a perfect import, since PS3 and PS4 (the two systems this game will appear on) are region free.

There was a special Sony press conference about this game that was only offered in Japanese and Chinese, yet the press releases and info sheets given by Sega were in Japanese and English. I’ve never seen something like this before, for a game that didn’t get an English translation. Heck, Capcom won’t even give you out screenshots of their Japanese-only games. Is anything sure? Not at all, but it’s a reason to keep an eye out.

At the Tokyo Game Show, I was invited to a special media meeting to talk to Sega’s Masayoshi Yokoyama, a writer for the Yakuza series. After we watched a trailer and got some info thrown our way, the time was open to our small group to ask questions. Full disclosure: the interview was entirely in Japanese, and I recorded it. The translation below is my own, based on my audio recording of the event. Responsibility for any mistakes is therefore my own.

Q: This is the first game in the Yakuza series to come to China. Will the other ones be available some day as well?
A: Well, if they sell! We would love to say that of course they’re coming, but it will all depend on how successful this installment is. We want to see what kind of response this title gets. Right now there are no plans to bring the others to China.

Q: Why is this version coming to Asia now?
A: In the past, we did some research. But what will tell us more information is if we actually release a game, right? If we sell it we can get some hard numbers. We thought, well, let’s try it and see.

Q: Why set Yakuza 0 in this era?
A: Well, simply put, this installment takes place in an era before the first game. We wanted to tell the story of how these characters came to be who they were in the first game, how Kazuma Kiryuu became The Dragon of Dojima — how his legend started. We had wanted to tell this kind of story before but hadn’t had the opportunity. Since we’re moving to PS4 development, we took this as an opportunity to “reset” a little bit, and we wanted to introduce the series and systems to a new generation of consoles, since Ishin wasn’t really connected to anything. Now, this time, well, “let’s move on to 6” is something we thought, but the timing seemed right [for something else]. So why don’t we try moving backwards and do 0? It really felt like a chance that wouldn’t come again, and all the pieces were in place.

Q: A lot of side-characters have appeared in the series so far. Are we going to be able to learn about the past of those characters?
A: 1988. In that time, those characters were certainly were alive???. Do you remember the rival character The Dragon of Kansai. The game is set in 1988, and he would be 12 then! He would be a 6th grader! But–he appears. Even for characters who don’t appear in the main story, we wanted to explore some sub-stories. And we wondered what kind of a 6th grader he would be like. You could call it a bit fan-servicey, but… we wanted to answer questions about what those characters were like when they were young.

Q: (Question about the Millennium Tower.  Not audible due to reporter mumbling.)
A: (I can’t remember what was said and my audio file isn’t clear right at the beginning of his answer.)  That building in the previous Yakuza games–the Millennium Tower. In Yakuza 0 the Millennium Tower isn’t built yet–it wasn’t the millennium yet. But there are plans for the Millennium tower to be built. The last piece of the plan for the MT? If somebody gets ahold of that they can mess with the plan, so everyone is chasing after it.   We can’t say a lot of things, but if you were wondering why everything was so calm in the first Yakuza game, it’s kind of a story about that.

Q: In the trailer we saw that the game will show Majima Goro’s story. Will we see other sub-stories?
A: There will be piles and piles of stories. all of the different factions have their own stories, but they do all combine in some way. We have probably over a hundred sub-stories, maybe the most volume in the whole series.

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Goro runs a cabaret place in Osaka. You’ll help him run the best damn cabaret in all of Kansai.

 

Q: Are there plans for DLC? PSVita content?
A: There are no plans yet. We want people to be able to take the game and play whenever, true, but we haven’t put Vita things or DLC into motion at this time.

Q: Are there any surprises in store for players?
A: Well, we always want to surprise people! Obviously we can’t say much, because then it wouldn’t be a surprise! We’ll just say that there are sure to be surprises.

Unfortunately, a lot of questions had to go unasked, because the time was quite brief. Still, we’ll keep our eyes peeled for future developments.