Although perhaps you’re not familiar with the Yakuza video games, the series is quite big in Japan, having sold millions of copies since the first game hit shelves back in 2005.
The Yakuza games feature deep stories about – as you can likely guess – the Yakuza, the infamous Japanese crime syndicates which have gained worldwide notoriety over the years. Aside from elaborate plots, these games also have great characters like recurring series’ protagonist Kazuma Kiryu (known as the Dragon of Dojima), Kiryu’s sidekick Akira Nishikiyama, Goro Majima and others.
Despite their popularity in Japan, though, these games have been slow to come to the West, with Yakuza 0 reaching our shores in early 2017 after having been released in Japan in early 2015. The more recent Yakuza Kiwami came out in the US in August 2017 and was well received all-round, meaning western audiences might be warming up to a series the Japanese public fell in love quite some time ago.
And the latest Yakuza game to be scheduled for release in the West is Yakuza 6: The Song of Life, which hit the Asian market in late December and which is now close to being released worldwide.
Although Yakuza fans were recently disheartened by news that game publisher Sega had chosen to delay to game until April 17, presumably for polishing, with Sega saying about the delay that this was “a tough business decision we didn’t make lightly”.
At least the company released a demo of the game on February 27, letting people sample this latest Yakuza game and make up their minds before parting with their hard earned cash. The thing is, Sega had to pull the demo quickly after it went live on the PlayStation Network…The reason for this is that the Yakuza 6 demo, which weighs at more than 36 GB, actually contained more than the game’s prologue, which was meant to be the demo’s content.
You see, some clever folk quickly realized the demo files actually contain the full game, and supposedly found a way to progress beyond the prologue, getting access to the full Yakuza 6 game according to Sega.
Of course, this led to the company quickly pulling the demo off PSN, explaining its reasons in a tweet shortly after the event.
“We apologize, but have had to remove the Yakuza 6: The Song of Life demo from the PlayStation Store. We are as upset as you are, and had hoped to have this demo available for everyone today. We discovered that some were able to use the demo to unlock the full game”, said Sega on Twitter.
So, was this incident an oversight of Sega’s overworked devs, who are now on a hurry to finish the game and meet its new April 17 deadline? Or were hidden forces behind Sega’s latest blunder?
Either way, a new Yakuza 6 demo should be online pretty soon, letting fans of the franchise and newcomers get a taste of Sega’s upcoming open-world game. And despite Sega’s misstep with the demo, here’s hoping the English version of this latest Yakuza game will be as engaging as earlier entries released in the West when it hits the PS4 next month.