Hostess Bars And Quiz Game Cut From Yakuza 3

By Spencer . February 24, 2010 . 1:31am

imageOn the plus side, Yakuza 3 is being localized, but not all of it. Sega removed hostess bars and a quiz mini-game.


Strip bars are still in so the hostess bars weren’t cut due to sexual content. It sounds like Sega was expediting localization and didn’t have time to localize text heavy hostess chats and Answer X Answer.


“The content between Yakuza 3 US/UK and Yakuza JP is a little different in that we took out certain bits in order to bring the game to the west in the time alloted for us to do so. The parts we ended up taking out were parts that we felt wouldn’t make sense (like a Japanese history quiz game) or wouldn’t resonate as much (such as the concept of a hostess club),” a Sega representative explained to IGN.


The rep swears these changes won’t alter the story and you can still date hostesses, just not at hostess bars. Yakuza 2, if I remember correctly, had the hostess bars called “cabaret clubs” in the North American version. You could manage them and even become a host. Sega felt the content “resonated” and was worth localizing then, but now, perhaps under a tight deadline, these bits got the axe.

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  • JeremyR

    This would be the perfect time for an animated gif of Captain Kirk yelling “Kaaaahn!” only “Seeeeega!” instead.

    I mean, what’s the fun of being a Yakuza if you can’t manage a club like that?

  • I can understand them not wanting to translate ALLLLLLLLL of the questions and answers in that accursed quiz game (mainly because it wouldn’t do any good since you’d mainly still need to know about Japanese culture, sports, food, etc.), but I felt kind of bad for the people getting the US release since they removed the cabaret clubs. That’s soooooooo lame.

    Personally, I thought it was cool to be a manager for girls, dress them up, let them serve others, and whatnot. Oh the variations you could come up with. And could even have your girl cosplay later on and turn her into a nekomimi maid like I did :P (maid outfit + cat ears + glasses = epic win)

    • Aoshi00

      yeah, the questions related to Jpn culture might fly over our heads, but getting rid of them is very lame (lazy?) indeed. For the record, Kazuma is as good a pimp as he’s a gigolo :)

      But this just made me go get the Jpn version now, I can’t stand an incomplete game, even though I would miss the F-bomb.. I just ordered one before the black label runs out.

      • Vino (Tim N)

        whats the difference between the original Japanese version, and the black label/best edition?

        • Aoshi00

          I don’t think there’s any difference, unless the Best reprint contains more DLCs, but I’m the stubborn type would who pay extra $15-20 for a better cover, those shrunken box arts always get me..

          I just snatched a Jpn copy on ebay for $65, YesAsia actually had it on sale for $60 a while back, I was going to buy it then but the news of the US ver just broke, and now this cut..

  • Xeahnort

    I cancelled my preorder yesterday. I think the game will be great but not as much as with full content and I’m not gonna pay 70 € (95 $) for a cut game.

    Screw you SEGA.

    • Hraesvelgr

      I’m thinking about cancelling my preorder, as well. I had planned to support the game fully initially, but I’ve been looking for a preorder to drop in March because there are several releases then and this makes the decision easier. Maybe I will buy it further down the line, but I don’t really want to support an edited game in this day and age.

    • nyoron

      Yep. I’ve never played a Yakuza game before and was planning to start with this one but forget it.

      • thebanditking

        Im sorry but this seems like a rather silly decision. Yakuza is one of the best 3rd party exclusives on the PlayStation and from a story telling persepctive its quite amazing (if your into Japanese mafia movies that is). Not to mention the world is painstakingly detailed and the combat in just plain fun. To me why deny yourself an excellent experience because of something so minor?

        If you never read this story, and picked the game up and played it you would have never noticed the missing mini game, especially with all the other things there are to do in Yakuza 3. Try playing the crane game or Boxcelios just once, its amazingly addictive. Download the demo try the arcades, walk the streets, smash punks faces into walls, browse the stores. If anything I said sounds remotely interesting then I can bet you will love the game much like I do.

        • nyoron

          I’m sure it is a great game, and it’s been on my radar for months now. But ultimately I do not and will not support the removal of content like this. People can complain all they want on the internet, but in the end the only real way you can send Sega a message is to vote with your wallet. So that’s what I’ll do.

          If Sega decides to do the right thing and patch the content back in, then I will change my mind also. Otherwise, if that means I don’t play this game, so be it. I’m not raging about this or anything and I don’t think I’m being terribly unreasonable either. I know that some people don’t care about the cuts and that’s cool, buy the game and have fun. As for me, there are plenty of other games that I want coming out in the next few months and in my backlog anyway.

    • thebanditking

      I hope everyone gives a bit more thought to this. The reasons for removing this came down to budget, not out of being lazy or thinking it would improve its western accecptance. Its obvious Sega had a budget for this game and after all was said and done the hostess bar and quiz game would have required more time and money to translate and have make sense, then the budget allowed.

      We are still getting all of the JP DLC, and the game still has the Club Sega Arcades, battle arena, Karaoke, Strip clubs, and various other distractions. I mean come on guys loosing anyone of those sure but your going to complain about the loss of the dating sim elements?

      This seems like a knee jerk reaction from the community. Yes its a shame, but nothing to not buy the game over.

      • symytry

        The people complaining about the cuts are hilarious…removing two mediocre side aspects of the game pushes you into not buying it? You should probably be glad that there is less to do in the game since you’re all bitching about how many games you have to buy and play this month. Most of you would probably never play these elements anyways, and even if you did, it would be a quick dabble.

        I personally am unaffected by these removals. The story is always the best part about Yakuza…not the host clubs and sub-par minigames which are nothing more than a diversion. There’s also a lot more of them than there were in the first 2 titles.

        • MisterNiwa

          Are you an idiot?

          We pay a full price for a Game that got released last year, and dont even get the full game.
          The people complaining about this cuts are hilarious?

          Are you serious?
          I just cant believe that you dont care about something like that.
          Because of people like you, Activision still sells millions of copies of games.

          • symytry

            Calm down bud.

            Buy yourself the import version, print out a walkthrough and your problem is solved. Hell you can even get ‘The Best’ version for less than half of the US retail price.

            Here you go:

            enjoy all the dating and answer X answer you like :)

          • bobhoskins

            “Are you an idiot?”

            That’s a pretty hi-larious thing coming from you. You’ve effectively opted not to buy a meat-lovers supreme large pizza, because it is lacking in exactly a single slice of pepperoni.

          • MisterNiwa

            I apologize for this ‘Are you an Idiot?’

            But for my part, i was anticipating these cuts pretty much, because they also cutted the Mahjong Game.


        • thebanditking

          Im not glad there is less to do, but this is hardly a deal breaker for me.

    • bobhoskins

      And this is the sort of response I’m expecting from a society with a collective IQ of less than 70….

      • daizyujin

        Man dude, you need to shut your pie hole and cut the insults. Nobody wants to hear them.

  • Removing the Hostess Bars takes out most of the joy from the game to me.. I liked that little distraction from actual story and all the fighting…. and dressing up girls is fun. :( I’ll wait for a cheap, used copy maybe…

  • TC101

    Some flimsy excuses. Yakuza 2 had Hostess bars and they saw no problem leaving it as is. Do they believe that Yakuza 1 & 2’s failure in sales was due to people not understanding Hostess bars?

    It is a niche game/product with a small audience. Bringing it over, only to nuture it doesn’t make any sense at all.

  • Randgriz

    Arent you guys overracting a bit?
    They took out two features that youll hardly miss and its not like it impacts on the story.
    I think canelling your preorders is a good way of saying “we dont want Yazuka 4.” You guys are like babies, seriously.

    • Problem is nothing should ever be cut. This was one of the problems that happened with the first Persona game that Atlus thankfully rectified with the recent PSP release.

      These same mistakes should not be occurring in 2010.

      And simply because you do not care if they’re excluded does not diminish the fact that some do. Complaining about people complaining is hardly much more mature (yep, I’m doing the same thing!).

    • MisterNiwa

      I mean, you obviously dont care, but its not a right thing to screw people like that.

      That Hostess Club was hours of gameplay that was thrown away.
      If i pay 70€ bucks for this game, then i want to play a FULL game.

  • thebanditking

    While disappointing this does not change my plans at all. I can understand some frustration over this but the hotess bars in Yakuza 3 were a small distraction and the quiz game would likely make little sense to most. I would seriously hope some of you reconsider buying it as without sales the series will likely stop coming over here.

    Sega said before to localize a game like this it takes between 600 and 700k. Thats a huge investment for a game if you not sure its sales will at least make the investment break even.

    I suppose all of you will also be ignoring Lost Planet 2 since Takeuchi already said that finished content was removed from the game because it would not fit on the 360’s DVD, but they are happily going to charge for it as DLC. Personally I see that as more a reason to not support a title then this.

    • SlashZaku

      This doesn’t match up really with LP2’s situation. This game has already been released with said content but for the localized version, they’re cutting it out citing ‘Western understanding’ and time constraints. I’d say delay it till they can get the stuff translated (people have already waited quite some time just to get the confirmation, a few more months won’t bother anyone if they’re getting all the original content) cause they’re walking right into God of War III & FFXIII already.

      • thebanditking

        Of course they are citing “western understanding” and “time constraints” telling people they did not have the money to do this is bad press. Most people forget that these companies have share holders who watch and read the news same as we do. You do not openly state that you could not complete something due to financial/budget limitations. That creates a bad image for investors, and makes the general public think your having financial problems.

        Your right that this doesn’t match up, Lost PLanet 2 is a much bigger slap in the face then this. Its not like Sega is cutting out the hostess bars because they are going to charge you for it later. Where as Takeuchi openly admits that even though they could have stored all the content on 2 DVD’s (or 1 Blu-ray) they are willingly leaving it out to cut costs and pass the bill for the full game back on to you.

        • Aoshi00

          Toriyama from S-E used budget as an excuse though for taking out some locales in FFXIII… it’s funny he said Westerners don’t get XIII right? Jpn gamers are accusing him of being a bad writer and giving Toriyama Akira a bad name since the rest of the world associate “Toriyama” w/ “Dragonball creator” lol

          • thebanditking

            On the contrary I think alot of Westerners “get” XIII. I don’t think all of the game journalists do but as a whole I think most understand what he was shooting for its just that some don’t think he achieved that goal.

            I hope people dont blame Akira Toriyama for their disappointment with FF13, that would be terrible.

    • Em666

      >> Sega said before to localize a game like this it takes between 600 and 700k. Thats a huge investment for a game if you not sure its sales will at least make the investment break even.

      If you believe SEGA then yes that is a HUGE investment.
      But I have worked in the localization field, and that figure is probably valid only after factoring in, doing a PROPER localization.

      I.e. English voice dub, full text translation of ALL the content and doing any possible cultural “art” changes(like no upside down crosses, swaztikas, etc…)

      In the case of Yakuza 3, they don’t need to redo any voice overs, just text. The biggest constraint I can see is not so much budget but the limited amount of time they allocated to do the project(Can you say AFTERTHOUGHT?). The localization figure probably includes the paying the sales people overseas, play testers etc.. Even so those wages are divided between platforms/games, so I really doubt it would cost 700K US$ to do this localization port. I don’t doubt you, rather I doubt the SEGA representative.

      The cut stuff could probably be done via DLC(paid) in the future if they want to. I think SEGA should have lowered their price of the game as a concession to the US gamers.

      Oh Well to each there own,… I am glad SEGA ported over the Valkyrie Chronicles EDY special pack (I play in Japanese voice so I don’t mind the lack of English voice content) and that they listened to fans and are bringing Yakuza 3 over (despite it being a lesser product than the original).

  • badmoogle

    Well if Sega brings Kenzan over here too then i’m willing to forgive them.:p

  • Simon

    LoL I keep asking around on Sega forums, on the Playstation Blog where you can ask developers questions if anything is gonna be cut because I was 100% certain Sega would cut the hostess bar game, so I can’t say I am surprised. But at least now thanks to their stupid move, I can go ahead and wait for this to go down in price and not buy it day one. I highly doubt its the its cause of time constraint, why would they want to hurry and release it in March, when it is up against, FF13, Resonance of Fate, God of War, Pokemon etc etc. when it could take its time and release in April.

    Sega I am quite disappointed, first the cover art, and now this crap.

    • Jasontate

      I’m sure everything is written in stone when it comes to Sega’s pocket.
      I can only give a educated guess that changing the release date may hurt some investors.

      “If” they sell Yakuza 3 with high sales who knows what goodies we will get with a possible Yakuza 4! Don’t cut the bud before it blooms.

      I own both Yakuza 2 and can not wait for 3, all the time, effort and hard work they have put into so many other aspect’s of the game make up for Sega having to remove 2 things that just may become DLC later.

      • Simon

        yeah I understand, but I can’t buy this day one, I was already thinking about getting this game at a later date, Sega just pushed my decision, there is just too much games I am already getting this month. Final Fantasy XIII, Resonance of Fate, Pokemon HeartGold, Fragile Dreams and Sakura Wars. I have no need for a cut game at regular price when I have all these games to play and wait for a price drop

  • Ouch. They’re cutting out content from your version of the game AND they’re not giving away all the DLC for free? Nothing but the best for the West!

  • And all interest for this game has been lost for me. Sore ja!

  • bobhoskins

    Who CARES!?

    …Hostess bars are creepy as all hell, anyways. Only perverts would be into that s**t. >_>

    And besides, WHY would Kazuma actually GO to one of those…? He’s way too badass for that.

    • thebanditking

      The argument is over the cultural integrity of the game, being altered. Yakuza, like Shenmue before it is a window into exploring another culture (within the limitations of a game) and hostess bars are a part of Japanese culture, thus many want every aspect left in. Still I was never very interested in the hostess bars from the previous games, and the JP demo did little to change my mind. As before this is a shame but hardly a deal breaker.

      • bobhoskins

        Now, you see this? This is the kind of logical response that is in dire lacking these days – kudos to you, sir, for breaking the combo by…you know, actually being intellectually straight-forward.

        • thebanditking

          Thanks for the compliment.

        • daizyujin

          You mean it is logical and in dire need because it agrees with your own?

          I see your logic.

    • Aoshi00

      He’s a bad ass on the surface but a softie deep down, and manly enough to rip those old school enka songs in karaoke :). And he will gladly give a hand to the hard working girls to help pay for their college tuition :)

      BTW, Yakuza 4 trailers are up on Jpn PSN, it’s pretty awesome for 4 controllable characters.

      • thebanditking

        I know I just seen that. Yakuza 4 looks amazing, I just hope its gets localized, as I never learned how to read Japanese.

  • mikhal

    I was set on buying Yakuza 3 day one, but now I’m going to be waiting post-release to see what else was cut before going on with my purchase. Anyone know the fate of Mahjong and Shogi? The lack of trophies for them makes me assume those are gone as well.

    • nyoron

      Of course they are cut, there’s no way that feeble Western minds could understand the concept. Good old Sega, always looking out for us.

  • I actually thought this was known for a while now? People complaining now should have been complaining then. I don’t really care. It’s a small part of a large game, one that I don’t really have the time to immerse myself in, anyway.

    I’m just glad this game is on its way!

    • thebanditking

      I completely agree. You know its funny you mention that this info was passed along before, because now that I think about it, it was. I don’t remember the source but when this was first announced for the US/EU Sega mentioned that the hostess bars were removed, because of how much work was needed to translate them. Perhaps everyone else forgot as well, either that or the announcement was so under the radar everyone missed it.

    • Kris

      You know, I heard that, but I figured it was just BS, since Yakuza 2 had the host club stuff intact. Kinda sucks that there’s less stuff to do in the Y3 now, I had a crazy amount of fun being a host and managing my host club in Y2.

    • Aoshi00

      I play Dream Club, so this actually would be a big part to me (even though the CG hostesses look creepier than anime cel-shaded ones), and in Kenzan you have geisha and those bandage wrapped female gambler :)! W/ the bad cover and this, just pushed me to go get the Jpn version now. I didn’t like the translation they did w/ Yakuza 2 anyway, they made some boo boos like Kazuma’s old man’s name, it was Kazama but the subtitle says Fuma..

      • thebanditking

        Thats cool, you obviously have the ability to make such a decision. My point is that those who can’t read or understand Japanese should still pick up the US release as its still a fantastic game even without the hostess bars.

  • mirumu

    I hate when this sort of localization happens. I wanted to play the game, but in it’s original intact state. This change makes me not want to buy it, but at the same time not buying it would send SEGA the wrong message. Well, I guess buying it does too. Argh. I think I need to find a contact address for SEGA.

    • thebanditking

      Snail mail or email? To email them you need to register for a Sega Pass account, snail mail should be a quick google away.

  • thebanditking

    Just figured I would add this, here is Sega official comment on the matter, and like I thought it came down to the budget for the localization.

    “Ultimately, the choice that had to be made was either no Yakuza 3 in the west, or a version of the game that was almost exactly the same, but with a little less trivia.”

    Personally I would much rather see the game get released then not. Sacrifices have to be made especially when catering to a niche, and I can accecpt this.

  • Vino (Tim N)

    Has no one here tried the demo? I read through all the comments and barely any mention on it. Come on guys, try it out, its not all about the sexy hostess. Beating guys in the face, using a taser on them, lit portable stove to the face. Awesome fun right there.

    I agree, taking out the hostess managing urks me a little because I did import it, and had a lot of fun prettying up my girl, and setting her out on the guys, wish I knew what the hostess were saying to me as well. But whatever.
    I did want to know what that weird mini game was though, it was like a massage parlor, but if I messed up or something, a babies face would appear on the screen.

  • kupomogli

    I hate how people say “vote with your wallet by not purchasing it” due to the cut content. Sega was never going to release this ever and decided to since they had so much fan support.

    I’ll really miss the club management and the hostess bars, but it doesn’t break the game. I can tell you that I went in the clubs multiple times to get max hearts and the girls to send me messages to date outside of the clubs on the first two games.

    I agree that with the removal of the hostess bars it pretty much makes half the items in the game completely useless. Also removing Mahjong and Shogi is pretty stupid as they merely needed to do nothing more than remove the tutorial or shorten it a ridiculous amount. I can guarantee that people, like me, that don’t like Shogi and Mahjong, aren’t going to like it even with the tutorial. Or they could have just copied and pasted the tutorial from Yakuza 2 as both games are there.

    However, the hostess clubs are very little in the games. Club managment is a different story(Why Sega :(?) I don’t care about Answer x Answer and might play it once or twice anyways. Last, if you own Yakuza 2, you can play Mahjong and Shogi anyways, both which are very good, yet suck balls if you can’t get into them.

    So back to “voting with your wallet.” Great. Vote with your wallet by not picking up Yakuza 3 because of the cut content. You’re not voting for anything but “should we get Yakuza 4 or not.” When Sega decides not to release Yakuza 4 it’s because you decided not to be grateful towards Sega’s generosity of bringing this game to the west, even if we did get shafted hard.

    After this with the amount of bad press and their Yakuza forum blowing up into raging fanboys, and every other news board having fanboys canceling their preorders because some cut content. When and if we get enough sales to see Yakuza 4, you can be sure that Sega won’t fu** around and cut any content.

    Also, the amount of content in the game regardless is insane. The hostess clubs are an extremely small portion of what the game has to offer. All the mini games such as gambling in the casino(where I’ll spend most of my time at when it comes to playing mini games,) golf, bowling, karaoke, etc, the huge number of side missions, the arena missions, the amount of and most likely(going off the first two games) amazing storyline, etc. Also, again. the fate of Yakuza 4 in the US rests on Yakuza 3.

    • nyoron

      I felt the need to respond to this because I’m the only one in this thread that used the phrase “vote with your wallet”… but I cannot believe that you are insinuating that people who do not want to drop their hard earned cash on a product they are not satisfied with are somehow immature. Those oh so generous folks at Sega are not releasing Yakuza 3 out of the goodness of their hearts. No, Sega is a business, the “fanboys” are their consumers, and if they can’t satisfy them with something as basic as the complete game then they will lose some money. Sega knew the risks and they decided it was worth it.

      If you’re happy with the release, great! It seems like there are many others too. But nobody is under any obligation to buy this, especially not out of brand loyalty or to help Sega fund hypothetical future releases. I won’t speak for long time fans of the series, but as far as I am concerned Yakuza 4 is not my problem.

      • kupomogli

        You do know how much Yakuza 1 and 2 sold in the US right? Yakuza 2 sold 50,000 copies within 2009. That’s it. That’s in three years.

        Companies like Namco won’t even localize the next Radiant Mythology even though the first title sold over 150,000. Over 150,000 ON THE PSP.

        Now companies are always out to make money, it’s obvious, but Sega has multiple other games they could have set their sites on to localize. But why did they pick Yakuza 3, part of one of their lowest selling franches ever to be released in the US? There was so many fans begging the game to be released and this is honestly one of the only times I’ve seen a company really give the fans what they want.

        Did you know that Phantasy Star Portable has been out for more than a year in the US and between US sales only, Phantasy Star Portable has more sales than both Yakuza and Yakuza 2 put together?

        Now back to them making money. They decided to cut by far the least amount in the game. Answer x Answer if it was still included is guaranteed that you’d use a guide to play it. Shogi and Mahjong? If you were a Yakuza fan then you’d already own Yakuza 2 and those two wouldn’t matter much. Mahjong and Shogi were also games most of the fanbase disliked regardless.

        This brings us to the club management and the hostess bars. I loved both. However, they are very minor parts in the game. The fact that even with the small bits of content cut, the game still has more content than any other game with a March release date aside from possibly FF13.

        • StealthKnight

          If the content was so small, why didn’t they translate the text instead or even do a crappy Google text translation. Sure it may be as professional but the fans would be satisfied with it for this game only. I do wonder how much extra would it really cost them.

          People don’t like losing content because while it may not be big to you and maybe not to me, but it feels like some corners where cut. Not to mention the western excuse was weak and deceptive. Sure,I would buy the game if I had a ps3 but if they were to do this again then it would be unacceptable.

        • inarborat

          3 years? Yakuza 2’s only been out since September 2008. Released 2 years after the J-version, with very little advertising on a somewhat dead platform, and after the Wii, 360, and PS3 had been out for more than 2 years. They failed with that release and they’re going to fail again, miserably. I love the games but I can’t support a neutered game just so I may, might have a chance to play Yakuza 4. Sega said “cut content or no game.” Nice PR work there.

          Also, the budget of $700,000 seems a little ridiculous but think about this. Sega will probably earn $25-30 on each game sold. Sell 50,000 copies (and it will sell more, the demo has helped a lot and Yakuza finally had some hype in the West) and they’re raking in 1.5 million. That makes them money, not a lot but they see a return on their investment. Granted, I know the numbers and costs are a lot more complicated but you get the idea. Sega is unique with this title because they’re the dev and the publisher. A bigger slice of the pie for them.

          I’m not buying the game unless the content comes back with DLC. It’s disappointing to say the least. But, I’ll have Heavy Rain, God of War III, and Dragon Age: Awakening to mend my heart. At this point, I don’t even care about Yakuza 4.

  • rhyth

    bummer, maybe SEGA can compensate by making dlc or extras, how about a ryo hazuki for u all shenmue fans. if this happens means SEGA listen to us or SCREW U SEGA WHERES MY JSRF PS3 ARGHHHHHH!!!!!

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