The Yakuza series has been a niche franchise for a long time, with the bulk of its popularity coming from Japan, but the last few years have seen the series’ stock rising. Yakuza 0 in 2017 was a hit in the west as well, following which other instalments have also seen critical and commercial success, while the series’ migration to Xbox and PC on top of launching for PlayStation has also helped.
Recently, Sega said that it wants to target multiplatform and simultaneous global launches for Yakuza, Judgment, and Atlus games, and in line with that, during the company’s recent quarterly investors Q&A (translated by Persona Central), they said that they also expect sales for niche titles such as the Yakuza and Judgment games to grow, with Sega expecting 2-3 million units sold each for future entries.
“We believe that there is still potential for a significant increase in sales of the same game by global expansion and simultaneous localization in multiple languages, with earnings that will naturally follow,” they said. “In the past, for example, the Japanese version of Yakuza was released first and then sold sequentially in other regions, and the level of localization varied, with the presence or absence of voices and supported languages. By simultaneously launching the game on multiple platforms and in multiple languages, the company will be able to concentrate its marketing costs, which were previously spread out over a period of time, and thus reduce them. Additionally, the PC market, which used to be dominated by Steam, has become a market environment that allows us to expand our business to other platforms, including Epic Games. As a result, we believe that we are now in a position to aim for 2-3 million units in the lifetime of a title that previously sold about 1 million units worldwide.”
As far as the future of Yakuza and Judgment is concerned, there’s plenty to look forward to. Lost Judgment launches later this year, and it will indeed be a multiplatform and simultaneous global release. Meanwhile, while Judgment sticks to Yakuza’s brawler roots, future Yakuza games are going to be turn-based RPGs like Yakuza: Like a Dragon.