Western Yakuza fans have been hounding SEGA to localise historical spinoff titles Yakuza Kenzan and Yakuza Ishin for years now. The two games repurpose the characters and gameplay of the Yakuza series for a samurai era setting, but they’ve never been released outside of Japan and other Asian territories.
Given that the Yakuza series has finally established a strong foothold here in the West, requests for Kenzan and Ishin are at an all-time high. But is it ever going to happen? Well, based on recent comments made by Yakuza producer Daisuke Sato, we wouldn’t count it out completely.
Earlier this year, Sato stated that he’d like to bring Kenzan and Ishin West as remakes, and now, Sato says that this might be an “opportune time” to do it — primarily thanks to the success of fellow samurai title Ghost of Tsushima.
In an interview with GameBlog, Sato explains: “Even long before Ghost of Tsushima, I did want to release “samurai” games like Kenzan and Ishin in the West. Unfortunately, after Yakuza 0, we were very busy with remastering the numbering Yakuza titles for the PS4, so we missed the opportunity to work on some of these other games. However, if anything, Ghost of Tsushima has helped Western gamers become more interested in samurai, so I should think of it as now is a more opportune time to release these titles.”
Indeed, Ghost of Tsushima has been a huge hit for Sony. Just the other day, news broke that the PlayStation 4 exclusive has sold over 6.5 million copies; a staggering amount, especially for a new property.
We can only hope, then, that Ghost of Tsushima has helped pave the way for Kenzan and Ishin. Would you be interested in these Yakuza spinoffs? Ask SEGA nicely in the comments section below.