Yakuza 6 is likely one of the weirder success stories on Sega’s record, especially given what it had to go through to get this far. After taking it off Western markets and then reintroducing it years later, Yakuza 6 Western sales have finally equaled Japanese sales, for the first time in the series.
The Yakuza games take us on journeys through the lives of a number of Japanese yakuza (and former yakuza) members such as Kazuma Kiryu, Goro Majima, and others, not only giving us an insight into yakuza politics and Japanese culture, but also over-the-top martial arts and quite intricate plots. However, they weren’t too popular in the West at first, and so Sega had them pulled from Western markets.
For those who enjoyed the games, this made them much harder to get to, however shortly after Yakuza 5 launched in Japan, Sony announced that they would be bringing Yakuza back to the West with English subtitling, so that Western fans could play the games as they were meant to be played.
Yakuza 6: The Song Of Life, the most recent game in the series, released in 2016 in Japan, but in April of 2018 in the West. Since then to now, the Yakuza 6 Western sales have managed to make up fully half of the game’s worldwide sales, an astonishing achievement for a game that was never intended to be released in the West.
Thankfully, now that Yakuza 6 Western sales have equaled Japanese sales, it seems like Sony’s decision to bring the series back to the West has been vindicated, and hopefully the series can continue this trend for as long as it goes on.
In the meantime, if you want to get into the Yakuza series, you can pick up a number of games exclusively on the Playstation 4. These include Yakuza Kiwami, a remake of the first game, Yakuza Kiwami 2, a remake of the second game, Yakuza 0, a prequel to the series, and Yakuza 4, 5, and 6, depending on your consoles. For those you can’t access, wait a few years and the Kiwamis will likely catch up.