While Sega has eventually managed to bring all the main Yakuza games to the West, we’ve still never gotten the series’ two historical spinoffs, Ryū ga Gotoku Kenzan! and Ryū ga Gotoku Ishin!.
Set in the 17th and 19th centuries respectively, these games take the core cast and premise of the Yakuza series and transplant them into historical Japan, meaning Kiryu is now a wandering swordsman and Majima is...well, Majima.
Sega has never even hinted at releasing these in the West before, but maybe the main series’ recent success has changed their mind. In an interview with German site JP Games, director Daisuke Sato says, “Personally, I would like for these titles to be localized and enjoyed by our Western fans. We were prioritizing regaining our ground with the series in the West from Yakuza 0, so time just flew by without an ideal time to release these games.”
“In my opinion, the action is one of the best in the series, so I’d like to localize them if we get the chance. However, the game is also close to 7 years old, so we may need to put in additional work to remake it instead of a simple port, so the decision is a bit more complicated.”
He’s right on that last part; going back to the series’ older games can be a little rough in the 2020s, but full remakes also means there’s a lot more work involved in bringing the games over than just adding some Western languages to an existing game.
Hopefully the global success of the Kiwami games (where the two oldest Yakuza games were remade) might convince them that hey, maybe it’s worth it!