Japan is turning its attention to the one-year anniversary of the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake. The tragic disaster not only destroyed lives, it took them.
Last spring, Yakuza: Dead Souls (then, it was called Yakuza: Of the End) was slated for a March 17 release. Out of respect for the earthquake victims, the game was pushed back to summer 2011.
This week, as the Japanese media is looking back at a year after the quake (check out the most recent Famitsu), Sega's America branch is releasing a localized version Yakuza: Dead Souls on March 13—only two days after the quake's one year anniversary.
This week, Sony's PlayStation Blog ran images of Kamurocho, the in-game version of Tokyo's Kabukicho red-light district, before and after the zombie attack.
With similar before-after earthquake comparisons appearing in the Japanese media, it's strange to look at these screenshots so close to the earthquake's anniversary.
Of course, game makers shouldn't have to tread carefully with such imagery forever; however, March 11 is the first anniversary. The entire nation of Japan will stop. Americans can relate, I'm sure; remember the first anniversary of 9/11?
Releasing Dead Souls only days after March 11, it's as though Sega of America has completely forgotten—or worse, thinks Americans have.
Before and After the Zombie Devastation in Yakuza: Dead Souls [PlayStation.Blog]