Gio Corsio of Sony Computer Entertainment of America’s Third Party Production team sits down and speaks with Yakuza general director Toshihiro Nagoshi and Yakuza 5 producer Masayoshi Yokoyama in the first of a three-part developer interview that touches on the game’s theme and scope.
When Corsio asks Nagoshi what he values most as a creator, his answer is quite frank, “It’s an action adventure game, but the dramatic scenes are created by Japanese people, aimed at a Japanese audience. Titles created for a worldwide audience are appealing and interesting as well, of course, but there weren’t many games that were aimed squarely at adult Japanese players. It was important to me to make a game that really speaks to that market.”
Corsio then asks about the world and setting of Yakuza 5. “The game set in five major cities across Japan, and of course follows Kazuma Kiryu – but the player can also play as four other characters,” Nagoshi says. Yokoyama chimes in, saying “this is the first time we’ve included a female protagonist Haruka Sawamura. The game’s overall theme is dreams, and the game follows the lives of those people who are pursuing their dreams.”
Corsio turns to Twitter, where people have submitted their questions using the Yakuza 5 hashtag. When asked what it was like to build a game around organized crime, Nagoshi responds with clarification, “I wasn’t trying to build it around that motif, per se, it’s just that there weren’t many games in Japan or the West that had used the motif.”
Nagoshi and Yokoyama note that the decision regarding which five characters would be in which cities was dominated by the story. “We had a really solid story, and the placement of the characters sorted itself out based on that,” Nagoshi says.
Yakuza 5 is slated for release on PlayStation 4 sometime in 2015.