Keep in mind when the Xbox Sequence X and S launched with a Yakuza sport, however the PS5 didn’t? That was bizarre, proper? For such a very long time the Yakuza franchise had been carefully tied to PlayStation. However, at the least for just a few months, the then-latest sport within the collection skipped Sony’s next-gen machine for Xbox’s fancy console. Why? The reply simply got here to gentle at present, and it’s each difficult and foolish.
Again in November 2020, the Xbox Sequence X/S and PlayStation 5 launched with a handful of exclusives and a number of ports. (It was largely ports…) One of many oddest next-gen exclusives on the time was Yakuza: Like a Dragon, which was obtainable at launch on PS4, Xbox One, and Xbox Sequence X/S. A number of months later, this odd new entry within the standard Yakuza collection lastly landed on PS5. On the time, of us on-line assumed Microsoft had reduce a take care of Sega to maintain the sport off the next-gen PlayStation. Others recommended the PS5 model had technical points that pressured it to be delayed. The actual motive? Sega signed just a few too many offers with too many corporations.
As revealed in September 19’s huge Xbox leak, which included a load of emails and personal paperwork from inside Microsoft, it appears Xbox boss Phil Spencer was simply as stunned as avid gamers when he realized there wasn’t going to be a PS5 port of Like a Dragon.
In leaked emails from June 2020, Spencer is seen sharing this IGN tweet and asking if the sport was “next-gen unique.” One other exec responds by telling Spencer that it isn’t, and that it is going to be obtainable on PS4 in addition to Xbox One and Xbox Sequence X/S. Spencer then replies the way it’s “humorous” that Sega doesn’t even record the PS5 on its web site.
How two separate offers delayed the PS5 port
After some additional chatter about probably doing a Sega-themed Xbox in Japan, Damon Baker—then in command of international gaming partnerships and improvement—laid out why Microsoft was going to have an unique next-gen port of Yakuza: Like a Dragon.
- In response to him, Sony had a 12-month exclusivity take care of Sega for the PlayStation launch of the sport in Japan and Asia.
- This meant Microsoft couldn’t launch an Xbox model of the sport in Japan till that deal ended.
- Nonetheless, Microsoft additionally had a contract with Sega that included a parity clause that prevented Sony from releasing a next-gen SKU of Like a Dragon in Japan till Xbox did, too.
- And since Xbox couldn’t launch any model of the sport in Japan till the PlayStation deal was performed, Sony was unable to launch a PS5 port within the area.
In that very same electronic mail, Baker shared the information that Sega had no plans to launch a PS5 model in the USA, including: “Feels like we now have a timed exclusivity for next-gen.”
At this level, after declaring that Microsoft had the rights to market the sport outdoors of Japan, Spencer questioned if Xbox might promote that the following Yakuza sport was a next-gen unique on Sequence X/S, including that it’s a “large deal” and later saying that it “would possibly even be price some cash from us” if they will push that information in future advertising and marketing. Which occurred, with Microsoft posting blogs speaking about how the sport would make the most of the “next-gen” energy of the Sequence X/S and hyping up the sport’s launch on its consoles.
In February 2021, about three months later, the Sony exclusivity deal in Japan expired, and Yakuza: Like a Dragon lastly launched on Xbox One and Xbox Sequence X/S in Japan. The following month, it launched on PS5 in Japan and in all places else, ending one of many weirdest bits of company contractual silliness I’ve seen in an extended, very long time.