Despite previous assurances that us Westerners would have to settle for the original Japanese voices and some handy English subtitles, Yakuza 3 will have English voice work when it launches in March outside of Japan. Speaking on a 1UP podcast, Sega’s Constantine Hantzopoulos explains how the true cost behind localising games is that whole pesky paying the actors part.
With Yakuza 3 having a huge amount of Japanese dialogue along with a large cast of characters, it’s no surprise that there is a large effort involved re-recording all the voice work for the English market. $700,000 worth of effort in fact. Constantin also reveals that Sega literally had no intention of releasing the game outside of its home market but, after listening to the fans, decided to put the effort in to bring it to our shores.
Though Michael Madsen featured in Yakuza 2, no news at the moment on who will be lending their voices to the series’ third episode. Check out the podcast for more news about various Sega games coming this year. From Bayonetta to the complex story and intricate morality system of Alpha Protocol, Constantin definitely seems pumped about the games Sega have coming out this quarter. Of course, if he wasn’t, we’d be a bit worried about the prospects of him keeping his job.
Update: It looks like someone over at Sega are getting their wires crossed. Either that or we’re guilty of assuming something that may not be the case. VG247 are now stating that Yakuza 3 will not have English voice-overs. At least, the European version won’t. It’s plausible that Sega’s Constantin Hantzopoulos was only referring to the North American version. After all, he is a part of Sega America. Could the European version be Japanese with subtitle only, and the North American dual voiced? We’re looking into it.