Sony Fielding High Volume of Yakuza, Shenmue Localization Requests

Is Third Party Production Key to Importing Sega Titles? If companies like Sega won’t bring some of their recent flagship franchises to the West, why can’t another company?  That is […]

Is Third Party Production Key to Importing Sega Titles?

If companies like Sega won’t bring some of their recent flagship franchises to the West, why can’t another company?  That is the main objective of Sony’s Third Party Production unit, established earlier this year and tasked with bringing new, unique, or overlooked IP to the Playstation family of systems.

In a recent interview with Kotaku, Sony’s Adam Boyes discusses how the division is listening and collecting fan requests for the effort, then taking action.  Boyes noted Final Fantasy Type-0 is high on his personal and fans’ wish lists for Sony to localize, but two other Sega properties came up in conversation as well:

Schreier: With the caveat that this is all up in the air, this is all in negotiations, are there any that you guys have in mind that you would really like to bring over here?

Boyes: I think a lot—we get a ton of requests for Yakuza, a ton of requests for Shenmue. We see the lists. Like everything that people have tweeted Gio, literally we have a person that compiles those lists and prioritizes based on how many requests we’ve gotten. And I think to date there’s well over 10,000 mentions across like forum threads and stuff like that. So those are the ones we’re focused on.

But I think the challenge is always that there’s so many different intricacies, going into is the creator there, what’s the current status, does the publisher have other things going, so it’s not as easy as like, ‘Why are you taking so long?’ There’s a lot of things you have to do. And because it is a new thing that we’re doing, it’s also difficult to sit down with a partner saying, ‘Hey, we’re gonna do this, it’ll be fine.’ You can’t imagine that the Gearbox team and Randy Pitchford would be like, ‘Oh yeah yeah yeah take our baby and just whatever.’

They want to be really involved and they want to be sure we build trust. So I think what you’ll see is the first couple will take longer, and then once we get a couple of those games, especially ones localized from Japan over here, then I think you’ll see the cadence increase.

The bottom line for Yakuza and Shenmue fans wanting a localization or re-release: At least someone wants to listen to you.