Madness, is it not? We’ve only just got the excellent Yakuza 3 in the west, Yakuza 4 is out in Japan this week, and now Yakuza 5 has just been announced at a press event for said imminent fourquel. That’s one hell of a sequel backlog for us to look forward to on this side of the planet.
Above: Not much to go on, admittedly, but this teaser art proves part 5 exists
To put the Yakuza series’ ludicrously rapid escalation into context, the first game only came out in 2005, and aside from numbered sequels there has also been a standalone spin-off set in 17th century Kyoto. So that’s six full-sized games announced or released within 5 years. Gran Turismo 5 and Duke Nukem, please take note.
And to add further context (but mainly just because we really like bar graphs), here’s a visual depiction of Yakuza’s proliferation compared to other game series over the same period of time, in terms of standalone releases.
While similar in style and scope, the big two western open-world crime sprees are trailing way behind. Only the legendarily sequelled Pokémon and Warriors franchises have made significant headway on Sega’s gloriously nuts crime-‘em-up. Both Japanese series also. Are amphetamines a regular lunchtime delicacy over there now or something?
Above: We like Yakuza 3 a lot. You will too
But still, we’re not complaining. The Yakuza series has long been a brilliantly bonkers hoot (read Dave M’s Super Review of part three right now for evidence of that), so the more the merrier, we say. Though working off the series’ current release/translation speed, it’ll be 2012 before we get part 5, and part 7 will be on the way by then.