news\ Nov 29, 2012 at 9:30 pm

Yakuza 5 is huge, but Sega's goal is for everyone to finish

Yakuza 5

The development team at Sega is beefing up Yakuza 5 more than any game before it in an effort to outdo previous games in the series.

"Honestly, six months ago, I was wondering, ‘Will we even be able to properly release a game with this much content?'" producer Masayoshi Yokoyama told Weekly Famitsu. "There was a time when I thought, ‘It might not all fit?' But thanks to the efforts of the staff, it all came together."

One focus is to greatly reduce load times, which would keep players better immersed. "Compared to other Yakuza games, you get a more dense play experience in the same amount of time," said Yokoyama.

Executive producer Toshihiro Nagoshi added, "Starting with load times, we paid the closest attention to the 'courtesy' to the user in the game's development."

The game is massive. Yokoyama's test run took 72 hours.

"More than anything else, I want people to experience the story to its conclusion," said Nagoshi. "I believe our true goal is to have 100 percent of players finish the game."

That's a ton of pressure considering how few gamers play any title through to completion these days — adults have to tend to life's responsibilities first, and the longer they step away from the game, the less invested they become. That includes games that are 15-hours long. Imagine how many people finish ones that are more than 70 hours.

Yakuza 5 releases in Japan on December 6. Sega has yet to confirm a Western release.

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Stephanie Carmichael Twitter: @wita
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