Despite a brief appearance on Wii U and a recent move to PC, the Yazuka series has been almost entirely represented on PlayStation platforms, going all the way back to the PlayStation 3 and even appearing on the PSP. But somewhere out there, there’s a timeline in which Yakuza lives and thrives with Nintendo, or even Microsoft.
This was revealed in an Edge magazine interview with Toshihiro Nagoshi, the figurehead of the Yakuza franchise. It’s a bit of a cheeky statement from Nagoshi, as he stated that the series was at one time pitched to both Nintendo and Microsoft, but declined by both. Now, Nagoshi implied (with everyone’s favorite interview-ism, “[laughs]”) that both have since knocked on his/Sega’s door with a change of heart.
After that, Nagoshi spoke a bit to the origins of Yakuza, particularly the demographic decisions that ultimately led to the original game being what it was. It was a time when competing with western game developers was growing more difficult, and also one of financial struggles with Sega (this was around the merger with Sammy).
After whittling the focus down from a mass audience to primarily Japanese males step by step, Yakuza ultimately was rejected by Sega after multiple presentations. However, once the Sammy merge took place, Nagoshi tried once more and got it through, much to the implied chagrin of Sega’s CEO.