Looks like Sega is going to completely abandon western Yakuza fans. For those not in the know a few months ago (Sep 30 2013) Operation Rainfall’s localization polls closed with the winner receiving a reduced cost localization by professional translation group Language Automation, Inc (LAI).
The proposal was written and submitted, but after months of waiting with no official word from both parties, Sega has formally rejected the proposal for localizing Yakuza 5 for western release.
LAI’s press release regarding the translation project:
OFFICIAL LAI UPDATE 05/01/2014:
Thank you all for your support in the Operation Rainfall initiative to convince Sega and Konami to bring specific games from Japan to the US (and in the best case scenario, to other markets as well).
We wanted to provide you with an update regarding the Operation Rainfall and LAI collaboration. We reached out to both SEGA and Konami, presenting the numbers from Operation Rainfall’s fan poll and letting them know of our interest in providing localization discounts for games targeted in this poll. We did our very best, however neither company has expressed interest in moving forward with localization at this time, but we will be sure to report back if we have any updates!
I’m afraid it’s not looking good for Yakuza fans in the west. With Yakuza 5 nearing the longest announcement of the numbered series (Yakuza 2 at 587 days) at 516 days so far. We’ll keep you up to date with any new developments on the localization front!