One year ago today, on April Fool's Day 2019, SEGA's Yakuza series development team released an off-screen gameplay video of its next title. The footage showed Yakuza: Like a Dragon in action, except it had... Turn based combat? In a Yakuza game?
At the time, we all thought it was just a joke. After all, it was the 1st April -- why would we ever take it seriously? Fast forward a few months to August 2019, and it was made official: the next Yakuza game would be a turn based RPG. What?!
Yakuza: Like a Dragon -- or Yakuza 7, as it's also known -- launched in Japan back in January of this year, and it went on to post some very respectable sales numbers. By all accounts, it's a really good game -- and it's coming West later in 2020 -- but that just makes remembering the original "April Fool's" video even weirder.
Anyway, we've compiled some choice comments from the initial article for a laugh. Here's what we had to say on the subject: "[The video is] clearly an April Fool's gag, but it's still pretty funny and well worth a quick watch. That said, it's so well made that we wonder whether this will actually turn out to be some kind of minigame in next Yakuza title. It wouldn't surprise us in the least." We almost believed.
Meanwhile, in the comments section, crimsontadpoles wrote: "It may be a joke, but I'd play it."
ApostateMage agreed: "I would totally love a Yakuza game with turn based combat."
Not everyone was overjoyed at the thought of turn based Yakuza, though, even if it was thought to be a joke at the time. Gamer83 said: "As one of the few here who doesn't care for turn based gameplay (at all), I admit I'd have been quite a**-hurt if this wasn't an April Fool's joke." Uh oh.
Interesting stuff, although looking back on it now, it was a really strange way to introduce the world to a turn based Yakuza title. Guess we can't write every April Fool's announcement off as a joke, eh?