Masayoshi Yokoyama, current studio head of SEGA-owned RGG Studio and producer of the Yakuza series, recently expressed to GameSpot that he feels the Yakuza games' style and tone do not fit with the Nintendo Switch. GameSpot described him as "hesitant" to port the mature series to the Nintendo console.
The Yakuza series, recently retitled Like A Dragon, is riddled with mature themes and imagery throughout its extensive catalog of games. As is pretty clear from its name, it mostly centers around violence between gangs. Yakuza 0 infamously even let players see unlockable videos of actual bikini-clad women, so there's no denying the series should be marketed toward adults.
Yokoyama openly pondered, "Do we want to put a title like this where we're going around and picking a fight with the world and doing all this Yakuza stuff, on a Switch?" He repeatedly emphasized the concept of Yakuza having an 'underground feeling' and how that was what the studio wanted to do with the IP. He explained that his team sees Yakuza as something for "people of the night," and seemingly implied that putting the game on Switch would be like "walking around the day with everyone else." He stated that the 'underground feeling' they were going for clashed with "the family-friendly image of the Switch."
It's undoubtedly disappointing news for any Switch fans that were hoping to see the game land on their console, especially after the franchise's apparent eagerness to be as available as possible with its presence on both Xbox's and PlayStation's subscription services. Furthermore, the Yakuza games, though AAA, aren't known for incomparably modern graphics, so it's likely some downscaled version could have run effectively on the Switch. If not, cloud versions, like the recently announced Resident Evil Switch games, are now a relatively viable option.
The reasoning spawned further frustration as many fans rejected Yokoyama's perception of the Switch. Though a good part of Nintendo's business model is made up of family-friendly exclusives, the Switch already has various adult titles, arguably more adult than Yakuza/Like A Dragon, like the Mortal Kombat games, Doom, and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.
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