The lights are on
In an interview with Toshihiro Nagoshi, the head of the studio that creates the Yakuza series, Nagoshi said that at the moment there are no plans to bring 2012's Yakuza 5 to North America.
Similar to the Monster Hunter franchise, Yakuza is a series that is immensely popular in Japan, but has failed to gain mainstream popularity in North America. It has its fans, but it just doesn't have the same kind of sales numbers here in the United States as it does in Japan.
Nagoshi confirmed the current lack of plans to Edge. He didn't say it would never happen, but he said the size of the new Yakuza game, Yakuza Ishin, forced the team to focus entirely on its development, rather than moving certain team members to localization duties for Yakuza 5. Yakuza Ishin is on the calendar to release for PlayStation 3, Vita, and PlayStation 4 as a PS4 launch title.
Yakuza 5 could certainly come to North America someday, but for now, there is nothing planned.
[Source: Edge, via Joystiq]
Our TakeAt this point, it seems like the best thing to do for Yakuza fans would be to hope for localization of Yakuza Ishin instead of 5. By the time the development team gets a breather to think about localization, it will have been two years since 5 released, and Ishin will be the most recent game on the team's mind. The timing for a North American version of 5 just seems like it might not work out. It could happen though. There is no reason to give up hope entirely.
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