At a recent event in Taipei, held to celebrate the Chinese launch of Yakuza 5, Team Yakuza producer Daisuke Sato mused on the possibilities of giving the "Kiwami" remake treatment to the Japan-only Yakuza Kenzantitles.
Speaking with Bahamut, Sato brought up the spin-off series when asked whether fans could expect further Kiwami titles in the future. "Personally, Yakuza Kenzan is quite suitable to get a ‘Kiwami’ makeover," began Sato. "Kenzan was the first Yakuzagame on the PlayStation 3, and only released in Japan. A lot of Western players mentioned that they want to play this game in English, and Asian players also want the game to release in Chinese."
Of course, this is no confirmation that such a project is underway, but it's pleasing to hear Sato so on-board with the possibility. The producer went on to further clarify how he would choose to upgrade the game's PS3 visuals, which almost reveals that the project is some he has at least addressed himself. "Kenzan was an early PS3 game, if it were to receive a simple HD remaster it would feel like it’s missing something, so in my opinion a ‘Kiwami’ version would be better... if we were to create a ‘Kiwami’ version, we could possibly find new actors to contract and swap the models out."
While many fans have been playing the Yakuza titles since their PS2 days, the inarguable truth is that Yakuza 0, followed by the Kiwami re-releases and Yakuza 6: The Song of Life, were the games that helped the franchise blow up with an entirely new community of players. A localisation of the Kenzanand Ishin spin-offs - which are set in feudal Japan - could prove fruitful. And given the success of recent period pieces such as FromSoft's Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, it feels like the time is right.
Yakuza producer says Yakuza Kenzan could get a Kiwami version [Siliconera / Bahamut]