Sega bringing Yakuza to PC, starting with Yakuza 0

Alright, pack it up, no need for E3 now, we can all go home as the best news possible has been announced: Sega are bringing their Yakuza games from PlayStation to PC. Prequel Yakuza 0 is coming first, then Yakuza Kiwami. This is the best news. Yakuza is… so it’s an open-world action-RPG about mobsters in a Tokyo district (based on Kabukicho), with much crimechat. Also, you play arcade UFO games to win prizes for a child, sing karaoke, dramatically whip your shirt and jacket off in one motion, hit people with bicycles, fight using breakdancing, beat up rich men in gold lamé suits, and eat so many dinners. Yakuza is weird, funny, and deeply charming. Best news.

I cannot over-stress that, beneath the serious crimechat, Yakuza is warm and goofy. Main protagonist Kazuma Kiryu has a heart of gold, running an orphanage. Every non-main quest is daft as heck. Everyone is weird as hell. Tokyo is loud and colourful and full of minigames from bowling to full-on vintage Sega arcade games. It feels a bit like Deadly Premonition at heart, only the body around that heart isn’t a shuddering crap pile.

Anyway! Yakuza 0, the 2015 prequel, will hit Steam on August 1st, priced at £15/€20/$20.

Yakuza Kiwami, the recent remake of the first Yakuza from 2005, will come to Steam after that.

I do hope Sega continue to bring Yakuza games over. I recently played Yakuza 6, the latest, and had a wonderful time smashing men with bicycles, feeding stray cats to befriend them, soothing a baby through motion controls, recruiting people for my baseball team, and getting a job as a city’s mascot performing for children.

The good news came today during the PC Gaming Show, the event hosted by cheery RPS fanzine PC Gamer.

Check out our E3 2018 tag for more announcements, trailers, news, and goodness knows what else.

45 Comments

  1. RvLeshrac says:

    Pity they decided to use Denuvo.

    As soon as they ditch that garbage, I’d love to recommend the games.

    • Halk says:

      Denuvo is not that bad as 2 years ago FYI

      • SaintAn says:

        Proof? Last I heard it damages the performance of games.

        • Baines says:

          I’m not sure what hard evidence actually exists for Denuvo’s alleged performance hits.

          The early popular claims against Denuvo were often either baseless correlations or outright fabrications. But they soured the public against Denuvo to an absurd degree, and people to this day repeat claims that have been repeatedly disproven and debunked through multiple methods.

          Worse, Denuvo is often used with other DRM or used in games that may not have the best code in the first place. So even when you can cite a Denuvo game that appears to have suspect performance, it isn’t necessarily Denuvo itself that is causing the issues.

          I’m not saying that Denuvo has no negative impact, but due to the factors above it becomes very hard to trust nearly any public claims against Denuvo.

        • Kefren says:

          In my comment further down I mention issues with getting a Denuvo game to run – it would have worked if I changed how I use my PC, but that’s a problem to me, being forced to change my preferences to match restrictions I don’t agree with. Just one example.

    • zaldar1978 says:

      When people stop pirating games then expect companies to stop using software to stop it. If you want these games on PC expect to pay for them.

      • Kefren says:

        It’s rather insulting to imply that people who avoid DRM are pirates. I know you probably didn’t intend it seriously, but it does become a refrain, which can be hurtful when I’ve spent so much money on games, often just to support the devs. GOG says I have 410 games. Steam says I have 359. The Steam ones have Steam DRM or no DRM. I also owned games on Itch, Gamersgate etc. I have no pirated games. I just avoid games with DRM due to all the problems with it – it’s a system designed to limit things, and not to add anything beneficial. I’ve had problems with games, music, films (I once had to return a projector because of the Macrovision DRM in some films). Yet I have never had a lack of DRM be a problem. I bought Inside and Doom and many other games as soon as they removed Denuvo (I monitor link to en.wikipedia.org), even though I didn’t think I’d enjoy some of them. I’d do the same if RE7, Dishonoured2 or Prey removed it. Until then I’m quite happy with the many games I own but have never played, or would play again. I should add that I still play games from over 30 years ago. DRM would get in the way of that if I came to play games some years from now. Just think of how much trouble people still have getting relatively recent GFWL games to work (where publishers never bothered to strip it out).
        As to protecting profits – it is also lost sales to people who avoid DRM. I can sort of understand some publishers panicking about release weeks, but even then they should remove the DRM after a few months. I don’t think CDProjekt worried about the Witcher 3 being released with no DRM – and because they focus on the long tail, not just the nonsense of opening week, they still sell a lot of copies today (as GOG charts often show – in fact, I am not a Witcher fan, but bought all three games just to support them). The Wikipedia article shows that most Denuvo games have pirated copies available anyway.
        So from a publisher point of view, adding DRM like Denuvo doesn’t necessarily protect a game or increase sales. It can lose sales. From a customer point of view it adds nothing at best, but can cause problems at worst – at the very least by making you use the software and your PC in particular ways, such as being online (I only tried one Denuvo thing, and that was a headache – link to karldrinkwater.uk).
        If people have never had issues with DRM (or that were tracked to DRM) then good for them. If you like DRM, fine. But just don’t assume that everyone who is against it is dishonest or a thief. There is a lot more going on.
        Oh, one more example. I stopped buying music (even CDs) when there were lots of formats with DRM and it got confusing – I think one of Microsoft’s DRM issues left people unable to play music. Anyway, the good news is that the industry saw sense and accepted mp3 as the (DRM-free) default. In the ten years since then I have bought more music than at any other point in my life. Restrictions make people wary of spending, or spending as much; openness encourages support.
        I don’t have much money at all (I’m a full-time author but am not very well-known) but still spend quite a bit on buying DRM-free works from other creative people – musicians, developers, artists, authors and so on. I don’t enable DRM on any of my own works on any platform where I’m given a choice to disable it. Honestly, being anti-DRM does not mean you are dishonest. Thanks for listening. :-)

  2. Seafoam says:

    I dont know. It’s cool I guess but in my heart I feel that Yakuza belongs on the playstation only. Odd feeling.

    • pentraksil says:

      Why would anyone feel any game belongs to only one console :D ?

      • Seafoam says:

        As I said, odd feeling. Like something is out of place.
        In my head I’ve always equated the Playstation with Yakuza games, imagining them on pc feels… weird. Like Parappa the Rapper on Xbox, or Mario on Playstation.

  3. LearningToSmile says:

    I was very close to buying a PS4, and Yakuza was about 50% of the reason why.

    Guess I don’t have to anymore. Great news.

    • RvLeshrac says:

      Uses Denuvo, so the performance is going to be ass. Get ready for the inexplicable framerate drops, hitching, and inability to play offline.

      • Halk says:

        This is a lie, why г spread dis?

      • Premium User Badge

        Malarious says:

        I’ve never had any issue with Denuvo games and I’ve played almost every Denuvo game that’s come out in the last 2 years. But I run things on an SSD and a modern CPU, 1080ti, etc, so… it’s entirely possible people with other circumstances have issues. Wikipedia has a list of games using Denuvo here: link to en.wikipedia.org

        All I can say is that a lot of the games on this list don’t run noticeably worse than non-Denuvo games I’ve played lately. Most recent example is Vampyr (non-Denuvo) which really struggles a lot with the kind of hitching and inconsistent frame dips that you assert are common with Denuvo.

        Anyway, Denuvo probably imposes much less of a performance overhead than, say, the C# garbage collection that accompanies the typical Unity game. Some day someone will explain to me why Battletech (non-Denuvo) hitches and stutters and has minute long load times on an SSD…

        • SaintAn says:

          If you have a powerful computer that would make up for most games performance loss, how would you know if Denuvo decreases performance or not?

          Here’s an actual developer saying that Denuvo caused performance issues: link to twitter.com

          You can also do a search to find more proof from other sources about other games.

          Anyone that trusts a corporation over proof and denies that Denuvo is causing problems is a global warming denying, lead eating, Trump supporting moron.

          • Baines says:

            First, the tweet soon saw a reply that stated that Denuvo was attempting to fix the issue, which meant it wasn’t working as intended.

            Second, Katsuhiro Harada is not necessarily an unbiased source, and it remained in question just how much of the fault fell onto Denuvo and how much fell onto how Bandai Namco were attempting to use Denuvo.

            The issue stemmed from a Tekken 7 patch that appeared to be entirely driven by increasing DRM/anti-cheat measures. Maybe the performance impact was due to a Denuvo update, or maybe it was due to the Tekken 7 devs relying much more heavily on Denuvo, or maybe it was a combination of the two.

            If you write a file check routine that produced an acceptable performance hit when used sparingly, should you be blamed if another dev proceeds to call that routine on every file ten times per second? Or what if the other dev actually intended reasonable use, but the nature of how the game was coded just happens to trigger multiple checks all at the same time, and it isn’t remotely feasible to completely restructure the game in a manner that will prevent that situation from occurring?

          • Don Reba says:

            Second, Katsuhiro Harada is not necessarily an unbiased source, and it remained in question just how much of the fault fell onto Denuvo and how much fell onto how Bandai Namco were attempting to use Denuvo.

            If Denuvo degrades performance through placing additional demands on developers, it is still to blame. Not using it would solve the problem completely.

      • zaldar1978 says:

        People not stealing games would solve the problem completely. People who complain about this I expect are always pirates at heart.

        • Kitsunin says:

          Yeah, because that’s realistic. I just don’t want to have a subpar experience because those using the DRM want to prevent people from playing their games.

          But I guess I am a pirate at heart, because I wouldn’t spend $60+ every month on games if I hadn’t been able to develop the love via piracy as a kid. Piracy is so bad for the industry, amirite?

        • MajorLag says:

          Right? I mean, who wouldn’t want to pay money to be treated like a criminal? Only a dirty pirate, that’s who.

      • Kefren says:

        I have no idea if Denuvo causes those issues – I imagine it can in some marginal cases (since it is additional processes being run beyond those needed for the game), but my own objections are more to do with restrictions, future playability of games, sales and so on. Someone above implied that anyone anti-Denuvo is probably a pirate, but it is much more complex than that. I’ll just post my comment here to save time, since I should be working!

        It’s rather insulting to imply that people who avoid DRM are pirates. I know you probably didn’t intend it seriously, but it does become a refrain, which can be hurtful when I’ve spent so much money on games, often just to support the devs. GOG says I have 410 games. Steam says I have 359. The Steam ones have Steam DRM or no DRM. I also owned games on Itch, Gamersgate etc. I have no pirated games. I just avoid games with DRM due to all the problems with it – it’s a system designed to limit things, and not to add anything beneficial. I’ve had problems with games, music, films (I once had to return a projector because of the Macrovision DRM in some films). Yet I have never had a lack of DRM be a problem. I bought Inside and Doom and many other games as soon as they removed Denuvo (I monitor link to en.wikipedia.org), even though I didn’t think I’d enjoy some of them. I’d do the same if RE7, Dishonoured2 or Prey removed it. Until then I’m quite happy with the many games I own but have never played, or would play again. I should add that I still play games from over 30 years ago. DRM would get in the way of that if I came to play games some years from now. Just think of how much trouble people still have getting relatively recent GFWL games to work (where publishers never bothered to strip it out).
        As to protecting profits – it is also lost sales to people who avoid DRM. I can sort of understand some publishers panicking about release weeks, but even then they should remove the DRM after a few months. I don’t think CDProjekt worried about the Witcher 3 being released with no DRM – and because they focus on the long tail, not just the nonsense of opening week, they still sell a lot of copies today (as GOG charts often show – in fact, I am not a Witcher fan, but bought all three games just to support them). The Wikipedia article shows that most Denuvo games have pirated copies available anyway.
        So from a publisher point of view, adding DRM like Denuvo doesn’t necessarily protect a game or increase sales. It can lose sales. From a customer point of view it adds nothing at best, but can cause problems at worst – at the very least by making you use the software and your PC in particular ways, such as being online (I only tried one Denuvo thing, and that was a headache – link to karldrinkwater.uk).
        If people have never had issues with DRM (or that were tracked to DRM) then good for them. If you like DRM, fine. But just don’t assume that everyone who is against it is dishonest or a thief. There is a lot more going on.
        Oh, one more example. I stopped buying music (even CDs) when there were lots of formats with DRM and it got confusing – I think one of Microsoft’s DRM issues left people unable to play music. Anyway, the good news is that the industry saw sense and accepted mp3 as the (DRM-free) default. In the ten years since then I have bought more music than at any other point in my life. Restrictions make people wary of spending, or spending as much; openness encourages support.
        I don’t have much money at all (I’m a full-time author but am not very well-known) but still spend quite a bit on buying DRM-free works from other creative people – musicians, developers, artists, authors and so on. I don’t enable DRM on any of my own works on any platform where I’m given a choice to disable it. Honestly, being anti-DRM does not mean you are dishonest. Thanks for listening. :-)

        • DuncUK says:

          I get your points but of all the main concerns with Denuvo – performance impact, online requirement and future playability if Denuvo ever go bust – none have ever affected me and I think the latter shouldn’t be a concern for anybody.

          Denuvo these days is of the “phone home” variety and as such requires ongoing support from Denuvo to provide the authentication servers. Hence there is also an ongoing fee for the publishers to pay to keep the DRM active. Denuvo is always patched out as it’s uneconomical to keep going after a few months as the vast majority of piracy happens in the the first few weeks of release. If the developers have any sense it will be a trivial move, almost certainly just a simple rebuild of the code with the “include Denuvo” compile option turned off. So Denuvo removal is inevitable and hence not a reason to avoid the game. You’ll still be stuck with Steam DRM.

          • Kefren says:

            It may be easy for the devs to remove, and you’re right about the ongoing cost – but we can’t rely on that. There are lots of games that have been cracked, yet nearly four years on still haven’t had Denuvo removed link to en.wikipedia.org (suggesting they maybe never will – perhaps they’d rather just stop selling the game? Who knows, but it could still become unplayable one day for those that did buy it).

  4. Thulsa Hex says:

    This is the best. Nicest surprise, so far.

  5. Someoldguy says:

    John Travolta struts his stuff once again. A fitting tribute for the 40th anniversary.

  6. Halk says:

    Thanks sonykids for beta-test for PC Master Race again!

  7. tsff22 says:

    FUCK YEAAAAAAAAH!!!

  8. Premium User Badge

    Aerothorn says:

    I’m shocked at how cheap this is. Like, I appreciate that it’s been out for a little while and so expected the $40, rather than $60, price point…but they’re selling it for $20. $18 with preorder.

    I was like, wow, has the price plummeted that fast? And nope, the PS4 version is still going for $40. So PC is getting a massive discount.

    • DuncUK says:

      My guess is this is the series is probably pretty unknown to most PC players generally (I’ve always wanted to play them but have never owned a PlayStation) and if they want to build up a fanbase then releasing the first of many games at full price isn’t necessarily the best way to achieve that. Better to release this one cheap and then maybe ramp the price up a bit for Kiwami if it sells well.

      On top of that Yakuza 0 and Kiwami came out for PS4 which makes them much simpler ports than any of the later games. Perhaps if those both sell well enough then it would leave enough of a potential market to remaster the other games. While the RRP for the PS4 version may be high, it’s not that hard to get these games for alot less with a trivial bit of googling.

    • ohnopirates says:

      Yakuza 0 has been on sale a lot. For example, it’s $18 with playstation plus right now and has been regularly dropping to within that range for about a year (IIRC).

      That’s not to say this isn’t great, but the PC version is being priced appropriately.

  9. mlj11 says:

    Any recommendations on the best installment? I probably don’t need – nor do I have the time – to play all of them, so having one game to enjoy the experience is more than enough.

    • Eight Rooks says:

      As Alice pointed out, Zero is a prequel – to the entire franchise, so it doesn’t require any knowledge of the other games. Kiwami is a remake of the original game way back on the PS2, so if you mean “which one should I buy on PC”, they really are starting you off at the beginning.

      It also possibly bears mentioning that while every Yakuza game has a heaping helping of weirdness alongside the Serious Crime Business, Zero is a bit weirder than most, as it’s set in the bubble years in Japan and it goes full-tilt for depicting the culture of gangster excess like Martin Scorcese on laughing gas.

      • mlj11 says:

        Ah, thanks.

        I should have added that my question assumes Sega will bring the other games in the series to PC. Eventually. Hopefully.

  10. SaintAn says:

    I’d really prefer to play them in order. Are they releasing the collection too? I don’t want to play a prequel because it would still be designed for people that know the series.

    • Eight Rooks says:

      Several reviews of Zero have touted it as an ideal starting point for someone new to the series. By all accounts you will get more out of it if you’ve played the “previous” games, but the story is still – apparently – written for those who have no idea who these people are. It’s an origin for the main protagonist and his best frenemy, after all, and it takes place years before the rest of the series. (I’ve not played it, mind, so someone feel free to correct me – I beat 1 through 4, Kenzan and played a fair bit of Dead Souls, but I’ve not yet touched 5, 6, Ishin or either of the two being ported.)

      • Ringwraith says:

        Yup, and it helps Zero has one of the strongest storylines with one of its two characters it splits its time between.
        Majima is great and gets the best intro.

        Kiwami came after Zero, so it ties in with lots of added references to Zero, even though it’s a smaller game.

    • Uninteresting Curse File Implement says:

      I can’t help but think other games in the series will be kind of a letdown after Zero, especially early ones, that have very little comedy, and just feel a bit long in the tooth in comparison.

  11. woodsey says:

    Wow, this is cool. I bought a Naughty Dog machine a few months ago and had been eyeing these up, but I may as well wait until August now.

    That’s a stupidly cheap price too.

  12. Danda says:

    I have just bought Yakuza 0 to show my support. I really want to play this series on PC.

  13. racccoon says:

    possible battle royale..after thoughts included

  14. zaldar1978 says:

    This is incredible and I am so happy! Going to be putting money aside for this hard core if at all possible. Do we have required specs yet? Thanks!

  15. Ushao says:

    Yes! Since I’ve watched some gameplay of this I’ve been wanting it to come to PC. I can’t afford to keep up with consoles anymore.

  16. fuggles says:

    This hopefully means that we are one step closer to persona on pc!

  17. BooleanBob says:

    I hope you guys have comfy chairs, because the cutscene:gameplay ratio in this series is pretty massively in favour of the cinematics.

    I’m still excited though!

  18. Premium User Badge

    Mikemcn says:

    Been wanting to get a ps4 in part for this game, so glad it’s coming over!!

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