It is safe to say that in the past several years the Yakuza series has become a prominent franchise for Sega. Partly in the fact of being brought to more platforms and the support from Xbox and Xbox Gamepass promotions. But it seems that there may be hope for a remake of Yakuza Kenzan and Ishin.
In a recent interview with Jpgames.de Sato Daisuke-san, the Series Producer for the Yakuza franchise was asked about localization for the Kenzan and Ishin titles:
“JPGAMES: Fans still hope that “Ishin” and “Kenzan” will be localized. Under what circumstances would you consider localization?
Sato: Personally, I would like to see these titles localized so that Western fans can enjoy them. In the past, we prioritized trying to regain a foothold in the west with Yakuza 0. Time quickly flew by without a good time to publish these titles. In my opinion, the action in “Ishin” and “Kenzan” is some of the best in the series. So I would like to localize the titles if there is a chance. However, they are already seven years old. So it would take additional work to produce remakes instead of simple ports. That makes the decision a little more complicated.”
With seeing the success the series has had with revitalizing the franchise now would be a great time to bring these long-requested titles. And with the Dragon Engine, the engine created for Yakuza 6: Song of Life, was the same engine that was used for the Kiwami and Kiwami 2 remakes of the PS2 originals.
While this is the furthest thing from confirmation the fact that there is an interest from the Series Producer does show good faith. Now it all depends on if Sega is willing to greenlight a full remake of these Historical Set pieces.
With revitalized interest in Japanese history, thanks to the success of Ghost of Tsushima and Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice; The unique Combat of these titles would be great to play in a modern engine. Seeing that these were held back by the hardware of the time, it would be amazing to see them update with a modernized new engine.
If these get remade that leaves only the Yakuza: Dead Souls spin-off to be remade. And I think a fun remake of a Zombie Shooter romp in the Yakuza universe would be happily accepted. But for the time being that isn’t even being considered, but maybe one day.
Till then I think everyone would be more than happy for a remake of Yakuza Kenzan and Ishin. For now, we will wait for an official confirmation.