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Yakuza Director Says 20% of Fans are Female, but Series Will Retain Machismo Focus

yakuza 5 08-08-15-1

In a recent interview with Famitsu to commemorate the Yakuza series’ 10th anniversary, series director Toshihiro Nagoshi shared some very interesting information regarding the playerbase of the Yakuza series.

For starters, the series has seen the audience getting younger, as Nagoshi explains that he sees more an increase of players in their 20s. Originally the player base was described as being in their 30s.

The most surprising part of the interview was when Nagoshi shared that as of now, 20% of current Yakuza players are female. Nagoshi goes on to say that despite these numbers, the series will still be made with male players in mind.

Lastly, when asked if they would put more effort into worldwide development, he answered that the series was always made for an adult male audience in Japan, and that they’ve ignored Asia and the Western market for that reason. However, after seeing the results the series has produced in Asia, the idea of selling more worldwide has come to his mind.

The latest game in the series to come west, Yakuza 5, was released back in December of last year.

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Alexis Nascimento-Lajoie

About

Writer at Niche Gamer. Passionate for video game journalism, and more than glad to be a part of it. I also write DOTA 2 stuff.



99 comments
  1. deadeye
    deadeye
    May 25, 2016 at 4:14 pm

    I’d imagine the people playing it are probably playing because they like it for what it is.

    Male or female. Changing it at this point would upset the men AND women that are already interested in it.

  2. TsukuyomiMagi99
    TsukuyomiMagi99
    May 25, 2016 at 4:18 pm

    Stole the words right out of my mouth. LOL

  3. Jack
    Jack
    May 25, 2016 at 4:20 pm

    Good, the series is just fine it it’s current direction, changing it now would be silly.

  4. Mr0303
    Mr0303
    May 25, 2016 at 4:20 pm

    A series “with male players in mind”? Misogyny! Heresy! Won’t somebody think of the womenz?!? Statistics show that 112% of gamers are women!

  5. Smug
    Smug
    May 25, 2016 at 4:21 pm

    It’s a game with actual manliness, and the main characters are likeable (reliable, trusting, kind-hearted despite their brutish ways, etc.) enough even with all their other flaws

    >tfw Saejima will never be your kyoudai
    it hurts

  6. TsukuyomiMagi99
    TsukuyomiMagi99
    May 25, 2016 at 4:21 pm

    I just hope they release Isshin and Kenzan over here since they realize there’s an audience outside Japan.

  7. Captain Vidya
    Captain Vidya
    May 25, 2016 at 4:21 pm

    I was just going to say this. Don’t piss off the fans of series as it currently is. Clearly there are a good chunk of women who find the series enjoyable, so don’t mess with it just to risk it all. I wish more studios would realize this.

  8. Daryl Corey
    Daryl Corey
    May 25, 2016 at 4:24 pm

    well those 20% female fans obviously like the machismo as they are fans

  9. Smug
    Smug
    May 25, 2016 at 4:26 pm

    You mean Majima Goro?
    He attracts quite the fanclub among the female userbase.

  10. Madbrainbox
    Madbrainbox
    May 25, 2016 at 4:27 pm

    What kind of misogyny is this?Don’t you know that ALL women think the same??That all ALL the women like the same stuff and anything that deviates from it is very sexist and extremely damaging to the delicate but strong flowers that are all women?

  11. Jack
    Jack
    May 25, 2016 at 4:27 pm

    I think Saejima is a pretty big draw too
    and Kiryu
    and Akiyama

  12. jlenoconel
    jlenoconel
    May 25, 2016 at 4:30 pm

    Where do devs/publishers get these numbers from anyway? I’m not saying it’s not true. I’m guessing that in Japan that women’s tastes are different, because I don’t think as many Western women would be into this game.

  13. Obbliglol
    Obbliglol
    May 25, 2016 at 4:33 pm

    Excellent, because that 20% will be happy with your focus on machismo as that’s what they’re there for. No need to pander.

    <3

  14. Smug
    Smug
    May 25, 2016 at 4:36 pm

    Kiryu is such a big softie inside

  15. Bon Babab
    Bon Babab
    May 25, 2016 at 4:38 pm

    That’s fujoshits for you. They make a decent chunk of many game audiences.

  16. Smug
    Smug
    May 25, 2016 at 4:39 pm

    Ryuji Goda too considering they made him come back in Dead Souls and Isshin.

  17. Bon Babab
    Bon Babab
    May 25, 2016 at 4:39 pm

    Not going to happen, especially Kenzan. Black Panther games, 1&2HD, Kenzan & Ishin are forever JP onry.

  18. Heavily Augmented
    Heavily Augmented
    May 25, 2016 at 4:42 pm

    What’s this? Developers continuing to make games that people want and not bending over the the clique of people screaming for diversity in games? HERESY!

  19. Uncle Ocelot
    Uncle Ocelot
    May 25, 2016 at 4:51 pm

    I think the machismo might be why those women like the series. Unless women suddenly stopped liking manly men after millions of years.

  20. Smug
    Smug
    May 25, 2016 at 4:52 pm

    Those games (as well as having a non-censored version of Yakuza 3) were mainly the reason why I studied japanese

  21. GamesGoodMeGood
    GamesGoodMeGood
    May 25, 2016 at 4:52 pm

    I have no problems with catering to a specific amount of female demographic – as long as existing content that is catered to males is KEPT, and NOT REMOVED/CHANGED/CENSORED just to cater to the female demographic.

    Removing anything that is catered towards straight males (especially the boobs) is what the Western SJWs/feminists keep on doing while hiding behind that false mask of “equality”, “diversity” and “inclusivity”. That is totally unacceptable.

    But overall I am glad that the series will still be made with male players in mind though, catering to the majority is always good business practice and good for the fans.

    Just like how the make-up/cosmetics/beauty industry caters exclusively towards females. Good for business and good for the consumers.

  22. Minuteworld92
    Minuteworld92
    May 25, 2016 at 4:57 pm

    nice to know females in japan are actual gamers instead of the “pretend to like video games” bimbos we have in america.

    this might be gushing but I think japan has better culture, better games and better women than burgerland.

  23. Ubrokemygrill?
    Ubrokemygrill?
    May 25, 2016 at 4:58 pm

    Did they ever stop to think that maybe those fans like it because it’s machismo?

  24. GamesGoodMeGood
    GamesGoodMeGood
    May 25, 2016 at 5:01 pm

    “I wish more studios would realize this.”

    They probably do, the problem is Anita Sarkeesian and her brigade of retards aren’t letting them have a choice.

  25. GamesGoodMeGood
    GamesGoodMeGood
    May 25, 2016 at 5:06 pm

    Fujoshis are pieces of shit though. They’re pretty selfish and hypocritical, and seem to want everything catered to them.

    Probably the reason why the Final Fantasy franchise has become nothing more than an imaginary Yaoi fest.

    I used to like Final Fantasy a lot…

  26. Ankoku Tou
    Ankoku Tou
    May 25, 2016 at 5:13 pm

    Be Saejime’s kyoudai.
    Get blinded in one eye
    Be featured in Yakuza Kek Souls

    Be Saejima’s imouto
    ??????.

    No thanks.

  27. Ankoku Tou
    Ankoku Tou
    May 25, 2016 at 5:21 pm

    Would GAR for Kiryu and Akiyama.

  28. ender424
    ender424
    May 25, 2016 at 5:25 pm

    Well no shite they’re gangsters what do people expect?

  29. nine_ball
    nine_ball
    May 25, 2016 at 5:32 pm

    I’ve never understood why people would start focusing on a different demographic when what you’ve been doing is what attracted that other demographic

  30. Sigurd Chalphy
    Sigurd Chalphy
    May 25, 2016 at 5:32 pm

    What woman wouldn’t like Kiryu? He doesn’t take crap from anyone, gets into manly shirtless fights, and has a heart. Western developers should take note.

  31. Smug
    Smug
    May 25, 2016 at 5:32 pm

    Saejima’s been seeking for more close friends. Cant fault a man for doing that after rotting in prison for 25 years.

  32. DavidGX
    DavidGX
    May 25, 2016 at 5:35 pm

    True! It’s not like people are going to be fans of something just to hope it changes at some point. If people like it, they like it for what it is NOW.

  33. Dewey Defeats Truman
    Dewey Defeats Truman
    May 25, 2016 at 5:35 pm

    I always kinda figured there would be more female yakuza fans considering how many beefcakes there are.

    Also Y0 when

  34. Dewey Defeats Truman
    Dewey Defeats Truman
    May 25, 2016 at 5:39 pm

    If Kiryu was my dad, things would be different around here.

  35. Dewey Defeats Truman
    Dewey Defeats Truman
    May 25, 2016 at 5:42 pm

    I really wouldn’t want to be Saejima’s imouto.

  36. Mike Campbell
    Mike Campbell
    May 25, 2016 at 6:07 pm

    What about catering to both

  37. Mike Campbell
    Mike Campbell
    May 25, 2016 at 6:49 pm

    Oh sorry about that but still feminist don’t want censorship just gaming to appeal to a broader audience

  38. GamesGoodMeGood
    GamesGoodMeGood
    May 25, 2016 at 6:58 pm

    “feminist don’t want censorship”

    Ha ha ha.

    “just gaming to appeal to a broader audience”

    “Censor/ban anything that appeals to straight males”

  39. scemar
    scemar
    May 25, 2016 at 7:13 pm

    YOU MEAN SOME GIRLS CAN LIKE STUFF MADE FOR GUYS SO DEVELOPERS COULD KEEP DOING IT THE WAY IT WORKS?

    WOW SUCH A REVOLUTIONARY THOUGHT

  40. CrimsonColossus
    CrimsonColossus
    May 25, 2016 at 7:16 pm

    Fuck yeah. Yakuza wouldn’t be Yakuza without having manly men doing manly things. Things like singing karaoke and paying women to talk to them.

  41. Mike Campbell
    Mike Campbell
    May 25, 2016 at 7:27 pm

    asides from some radical sjw when has feminist ask for censorship and when has a game been ban in the us because of feminist (DOAX3 doesn’t count because koei tecmo decide they don’t want the game to realease overseas) and most feminist are not that bad aside from a few vocal radical SJWs

  42. GamesGoodMeGood
    GamesGoodMeGood
    May 25, 2016 at 7:59 pm

    Your mask slipped ages ago.

    Feminist Frequency is that way son.

  43. shuragidyne
    shuragidyne
    May 25, 2016 at 8:28 pm

    don’t forget handsome and good with kids.

  44. Tyrone Jackson
    Tyrone Jackson
    May 25, 2016 at 8:31 pm

    >Not knowing how well a Yakuza collection on Steam would sell

    Why is Japanese business so out of touch? Is it done on purpose? Some kind of contest between the companies to see who can squander the most opportunity?

  45. Ankoku Tou
    Ankoku Tou
    May 25, 2016 at 8:39 pm

    You’d have to understand the Asian business mindset.
    Not a lot of them are risk takers. Though Falcom used to make games generally for PC, they seemed to have stopped and focusly solely on consoles.
    Though Sega seems to be slowly entering the PC market, as with SE, IF and NIS, I’d give it a year or 2 after Yakuza 6 is out, perhaps the entirety or a partial of the Yakuza collection would be out then. I’m thinking they would have some sort of exclusivity deal with Sony.

  46. shuragidyne
    shuragidyne
    May 25, 2016 at 8:39 pm

    I would totally pay for an android game featuring ryu ga gotoku characters as hosts though.

  47. Smug
    Smug
    May 25, 2016 at 8:47 pm

    Feminism is complete cancer, and not just in gaming

  48. Audie Bakerson
    Audie Bakerson
    May 25, 2016 at 8:50 pm

    大日本帝国万歳!

  49. Ankoku Tou
    Ankoku Tou
    May 25, 2016 at 9:31 pm

    The problem with most first world Western radical lefties is that they would complain over the littlest of things. “Sexist air-conditioning”, removing games from supermarkets or making a video series on some cherry-picked, self serving bias on video games, benefiting no one and helping nothing concrete.

    Instead of, you know, helping women who are from, let’s say, rural India, where a victim of sexual assault would have to pay the perp damages, or worse, be killed, aka honour killing, if she was from a lower caste. Victim blaming, as they would say, a term that most Westerners, culturally appropriated :^)

    And this is coming from a 3rd worlder leftie, and I find it ironic that the Western radical left are using the same bully tactics as with the radical rights over here.

  50. Jack
    Jack
    May 25, 2016 at 9:37 pm

    what the fuck did you just say?
    it’s WOMYN, you shitlord, not go in the corner and thing about what you did

  51. GrimFate
    GrimFate
    May 25, 2016 at 9:50 pm

    Because the more demographics you focus on the larger the pool of money you have to gain. It sucks, because it can alienate the initial fans by sacrificing what they liked about the IP, but it can be more profitable for the developer. I feel it’s a delicate balance, because profits allow you to make more games, but fans are the ones that will stick with you through the tough times.

  52. NuclearKangaroo
    NuclearKangaroo
    May 25, 2016 at 9:54 pm

    i cann see your point, but since 20% is not an insignificant number by any stretch, it might not be a bad idea to throw them a bone

  53. Madbrainbox
    Madbrainbox
    May 25, 2016 at 10:07 pm

    Oh no!I’ll go flagellate myself into a corner for this horrible mistake.

  54. TheManWithPants
    TheManWithPants
    May 25, 2016 at 10:14 pm

    Man I just recently got into the Yakuza series, and man, it’s a fun, but emotional ride. I really hope Sega brings Kiwami and 6 over after 0, and I seriously hope they bring the games to PC one day.

  55. Spaceloaf
    Spaceloaf
    May 25, 2016 at 10:26 pm

    In other news, Mattel announced that “Barbie Horse Adventures 2: Ride Harder” would maintain it’s feminine cutesy style despite 10% of its players being creepy 40 year-old men.

  56. TheManWithPants
    TheManWithPants
    May 25, 2016 at 10:31 pm

    In other words, the Yakuza team is basically the polar opposite of Sonic Team, in terms of both demographics and game quality.

    Yakuza is a game that’s focused and knows what it wants to be; Sonic on the other hand, has some serious identity issues, and keeps trying to constantly revamp itself to be ‘hip’ and ‘cool’ with kids today, while games are still generally mediocre and on top of that, they’re pushing away their older fans at the same time by alienating them with hurr durr Saturday Morning Cartoon plots filled with unfunny jokes and now they’re pushing for memes too; and even before that, they pushed some fans away with try-hard dark and edgy shit like Shadow the Hedgehog and the broken Sonic 06, and now Sonic Boom is a thing and.. yeah.

  57. sanic
    sanic
    May 25, 2016 at 10:33 pm

    Good the women who play it like it for what it is not what they can change it too.

  58. GrimFate
    GrimFate
    May 25, 2016 at 10:39 pm

    Very likely, and I definitely respect the Yakuza director for sticking to his vision.

  59. Derek
    Derek
    May 25, 2016 at 11:54 pm

    A pity. I wanna see female enemies beyond Zombies and Nair

  60. Derek
    Derek
    May 25, 2016 at 11:57 pm

    There is also the fact it doesnt treat its audience like a bunch of herbivore men. Yakuza is one of the few niche series that knows how to temper the fanservice and action with some genuine themes and a respect for the culture it portrays. Can you say the same for niche Vita Titles?

  61. Derek
    Derek
    May 25, 2016 at 11:57 pm

    Psst. They are the fujoshi who love Bara.

  62. Fear Me I Am Free
    Fear Me I Am Free
    May 25, 2016 at 11:58 pm

    Well, if it’s 20%, obviously that 20% of females like the way the game is.

  63. Derek
    Derek
    May 25, 2016 at 11:59 pm

    For a series with male gamers in mind it sure as hell give them a lot more respect than what is perceived as a game for the male audience in Japan.

  64. Derek
    Derek
    May 26, 2016 at 12:01 am

    You realize Yakuza is niche. Big companies are playing the Marvel Cinematic Universe card. They are trying to be movies and hollywood is a Liberal Bastion if you wanna make it.

  65. Derek
    Derek
    May 26, 2016 at 12:02 am

    Yakuza has the Bara fetish. Make no mistake about that

  66. Derek
    Derek
    May 26, 2016 at 12:02 am

    And doesnt make hard choices while being hard.

  67. LostGryphon
    LostGryphon
    May 26, 2016 at 12:39 am

    Saved me a paragraph, sir. Thank you.

  68. Kiryu
    Kiryu
    May 26, 2016 at 1:30 am

    Wow,20%.I didn’t even know women like this series,really surprised.

  69. Kiryu
    Kiryu
    May 26, 2016 at 2:08 am

    Feminist cuck confirmed.

  70. Bon Babab
    Bon Babab
    May 26, 2016 at 2:46 am

    “Probably the reason why the Final Fantasy franchise has become nothing more than an imaginary Yaoi fest.”

    Are we playing the same Final Fantasy?

  71. Fear Me I Am Free
    Fear Me I Am Free
    May 26, 2016 at 3:12 am

    That’s complete bullshit. Anytime there’s something that doesn’t fit their narrow view of the world, they demand it be censored. Usually they take the route of calling the dev sexist/racist/etc to guilt them into self censoring. If they had their own little genre, then fine, but they want to gatekeep what is and isn’t acceptable in this industry.

  72. Guin
    Guin
    May 26, 2016 at 3:36 am

    It’s actually the effeminate men that get a lot of flak these days. Sorry, not every male can be He-Man, ladies. If we’re gonna be forced to accept fat chicks, do the same for skinny dudes too!

  73. Badmojo7
    Badmojo7
    May 26, 2016 at 3:45 am

    Glad to hear this, it drives me fucking insane when a great game IP/Company suddenly listens to SJW little shits and changes things to try and draw in this mythical untapped demographic. Dumbing down and shoving SJW propaganda into their games, alienating their fanbase, turning their games to forgettable turds, ruining their reputation AND finding out later that surprise, surprise, the SJW demographic does not play games and do not spend money on them. They just get online to be little whining shits.

  74. Sevuz
    Sevuz
    May 26, 2016 at 5:33 am

    Good to hear :)

  75. Shinobu
    Shinobu
    May 26, 2016 at 5:37 am

    “Yakuza Director Says 20% of Fans are Female, but Series Will Retain Machismo Focus”

    This is outrageous! I demand the developers pander to me! I’m trans btw. The Yakuza series needs more positive LGBT values and less sexism! TWITTER! FACEBOOK! TUMBLR!

  76. chizwoz
    chizwoz
    May 26, 2016 at 6:45 am

    Quite surprised it’s that large a female demographic actually!

  77. Arbitrary
    Arbitrary
    May 26, 2016 at 8:40 am

    “They probably do, the problem is Anita Sarkeesian and her brigade of retards aren’t letting them have a choice.”

    What the fuck is that supposed to mean? No-one’s holding a gun to their heads. All the Sarkeesian-brigade people can actually do, is bitch and moan.

    The developers themselves have their own share in the responsibility for why games are what they currently are. It is they who choose to not have a backbone, and bow down to these people.

    Stop pretending they don’t have a choice, and stop it with the fucking apologetics.

  78. GamesGoodMeGood
    GamesGoodMeGood
    May 26, 2016 at 9:57 am

    “What the fuck is that supposed to mean? No-one’s holding a gun to their heads. All the Sarkeesian-brigade people can actually do, is bitch and moan.

    The developers themselves have their own share in the responsibility for why games are what they currently are. It is they who choose to not have a backbone, and bow down to these people.”

    You’re right that technically they have a choice whatever happens, and what Anita and her retards demand (by bullying, harassing, shaming, doxing, lynch mobbing) is NOT legislative.

    But don’t underestimate the power of indirect censorship and positive-PR. Anita and her mob play the indirect censorship game to perfection, and they know that good-PR is everything to these companies.

    Plus there’s the other aspects, such as the white-knights, manginas, the gynocentrism thing, etc.

    “Stop pretending they don’t have a choice, and stop it with the fucking apologetics.”

    Read what I said above. I’m not apologizing at all, in fact I despise any spineless developer who even panders 0.01% to the SJW pricks and I always call them out.

  79. GamesGoodMeGood
    GamesGoodMeGood
    May 26, 2016 at 10:31 am

    “don’t forget handsome and good with kids”

    Assuming you’re a female…

    I can just picture the Western games media if you said that out loud to them. You’ll be completely praised for it, heralded as a saint, a saviour for women and justice for women. And promoting ‘Girl Power!’ too.

    Now reverse the gender roles:

    If I said that I liked Nouhime from Samurai Warriors because she is beautiful and a strong fighter, I would be strung up and burnt at the stake for advocating “sexism” and “misogyny”.

    This is not just in video games, but in real life as well. What an absolute shit-stain of a society men live in.

  80. Random Dude
    Random Dude
    May 26, 2016 at 10:46 am

    Probably referring to Boy Band Fantasy XV.

  81. PixelBuff
    PixelBuff
    May 26, 2016 at 11:27 am

    Toxic masculinity prevails!

    I’d love to get into this series but don’t know where to start, are they all available in North America? I wish they would do a nice ‘Collection’ or something.

  82. shuragidyne
    shuragidyne
    May 26, 2016 at 1:19 pm

    Well yeah I’m female, but I’ve gotten flak for defending sexualized female characters. Not from my friends (all female), but from Tumblr (of course). Plus my friends and I have nothing but disdain for Western game media and especially the bullshit that happens within Western fandoms. We also side-eye people who get agitated by the mere presence of fujo-oriented fanservice.

    In any case, a friend of mine got me into Yakuza, and I got two friends of mine into Yakuza as well. The common thread among this is that the series has men who are our type(s) and who, uh, interact with each other.

  83. Bon Babab
    Bon Babab
    May 26, 2016 at 1:29 pm

    How’s that yaoifest, though? Let’s not also forget when those characters were designed in the first place. Only recently has it seemingly become an issue for people to latch on.

  84. Random Dude
    Random Dude
    May 26, 2016 at 1:37 pm

    FF has always been yaoi bait since 7 (not necessarily yaoifest, that depends on where you lurk), making all playable character as male is just like hanging a blodied meat over a pool of sharks. As for issue; I meant that in tongue-in-cheek way, the real issue about that game is the strings of delay and somewhat lacking combat IMO.

  85. tccboss
    tccboss
    May 26, 2016 at 3:20 pm

    Director confirmed for shitlord

  86. Lezard Valeth
    Lezard Valeth
    May 26, 2016 at 5:55 pm

    Well yeah why change it? They are Fans because of the way it is. a lot of Directors or devlopper tend to forget this simple Truth recently….
    I blame Feminist and SJW.

  87. Derek
    Derek
    May 26, 2016 at 6:08 pm

    It means no blatant catering to fujoshi. Kiryu, Majima, Saejima, Shinada and Akiyama will stay red blooded men who beats up other men, flirt with women and eat like a foodie.

    Of course going into hyperbole is Niches specialty

  88. Derek
    Derek
    May 26, 2016 at 6:09 pm

    Fujoshis you faggot. There is a lot of girls in it for Kiryu the Bara

  89. Derek
    Derek
    May 26, 2016 at 6:10 pm

    There is a fetish for that. Its called Bara

  90. Derek
    Derek
    May 26, 2016 at 6:11 pm

    Sankaku is the other way.

  91. Kiryu
    Kiryu
    May 26, 2016 at 7:25 pm

    Got it faggot.

  92. Derek
    Derek
    May 27, 2016 at 12:42 am

    So says the cuck with the anime girl avatar.

  93. RetroGamer
    RetroGamer
    May 27, 2016 at 12:54 am

    The women who play it probably love Kiryu’s manly machismo!

  94. GamesGoodMeGood
    GamesGoodMeGood
    May 27, 2016 at 3:34 am

    Spotted the butthurt SJW feminist cuck. Kotaku is that way son.

  95. SiliconNooB
    SiliconNooB
    May 27, 2016 at 5:22 am

    The thing is that a large portion of that female 20% probably enjoys that machismo, and likes playing as hotblooded guys.

    You’d have to be an idiot to change your winning formula because of superficial demographic changes – when those demographic changes don’t necessarily signal a change in tastes.

    If this was Square Enix they would have changed EVERYTHING.