Keep in mind when the Xbox Collection 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 intently tied to PlayStation. However, no less than 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 in the present day, and it’s each sophisticated and foolish.
Again in November 2020, the Xbox Collection X/S and PlayStation 5 launched with a handful of exclusives and numerous ports. (It was principally ports…) One of many oddest next-gen exclusives on the time was Yakuza: Like a Dragon, which was out there at launch on PS4, Xbox One, and Xbox Collection X/S. A number of months later, this odd new entry within the common Yakuza collection lastly landed on PS5. On the time, of us on-line assumed Microsoft had minimize a take care of Sega to maintain the sport off the next-gen PlayStation. Others prompt the PS5 model had technical points that compelled it to be delayed. The true purpose? Sega signed just a few too many offers with too many firms.
As revealed in September 19’s large 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 players 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 will probably be out there on PS4 in addition to Xbox One and Xbox Collection 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 control of international gaming partnerships and improvement—laid out why Microsoft was going to have an unique next-gen port of Yakuza: Like a Dragon.
- Based on 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 achieved, Sony was unable to launch a PS5 port within the area.
In that very same e-mail, Baker shared the information that Sega had no plans to launch a PS5 model in america, 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 may promote that the following Yakuza sport was a next-gen unique on Collection X/S, including that it’s a “massive deal” and later saying that it “would possibly even be price some cash from us” if they will push that information in future advertising. Which occurred, with Microsoft posting blogs speaking about how the sport would make the most of the “next-gen” energy of the Collection 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 Collection X/S in Japan. The subsequent month, it launched on PS5 in Japan and all over the place else, ending one of many weirdest bits of company contractual silliness I’ve seen in an extended, very long time.