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Yakuza Designer: GTA Format Could Be "Dangerous"

You may not be familiar if you live outside of Japan, but Sega's Yakuza franchise is one of the most well received and popular franchises in the industry. You might have heard about comparisons between this series and Rockstar's Grand Theft Auto, though.

While none of the Yakuza titles give you the huge range of freedom and immense size of the environments, there's still an underlying theme of almost unlimited exploration within the city in question. Even so, Sega designer Toshihiro Nagoshi doesn't really like the comparison; even though he sees the benefit of player choice, he does think it might be borderline dangerous. According to Kotaku, Nagoshi was talking in a recent forum in regards to GTA, and referred to the experiences as allowing the player to "kill people or do whatever." But there are deeper issues at hand:

"This game [referring to GTA]...I thought one day someone is going to have to make something like this. Personally, because I think you must think about the influence games have on people, I would never think about wanting to make a game like this. However, because of this moral issues in this game, I think we should have a healthy debate.

In gaming, if you make a decision, there is a reaction, and it's the most stimulating form of media, I think. And thus, it can asked if it's the most dangerous media... Depending on what you make, perhaps."

Oh, there's no question that something like GTA has always been controversial. The only reason this controversy hasn't touched Yakuza is because you really don't have the option of killing whoever you see, or doing whatever you want. You can still go just about anywhere you wish, but your actions are limited so technically, it's less "dangerous." But the debate is bound to continue for years to come as games become more advanced, and players find themselves in the virtual driver's seat more than ever before.

10/19/2009 12:30:38 PM Ben Dutka

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Comments (21 posts)

Naga
Monday, October 19, 2009 @ 1:36:13 PM
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If only Yakuza was as big GTA, seeing how I don't see the need to kill freakin endless waves of cops LOL why liked how I can go into arcade and play that grab-a-toy thing-a-mer-jig to tone my skills in real life grab-a-toy thing-a-mer-jigs.
Shame it was a demo, great I seen loads in Gamestop Ireland though YAY!!

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A2K78
Monday, October 19, 2009 @ 1:37:55 PM
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Like Mortal Kombat, GTA is nothing but a fad/gimmick and like all fads/gimmicks there's an end.

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Killsignal
Monday, October 19, 2009 @ 1:56:57 PM

thats rather silly to say a2k78... that gimmick has been selling like hot cakes for over 10 years... i think it's risen above fad!

Agree with this comment 11 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

Naga
Tuesday, October 20, 2009 @ 3:35:54 AM

its still a dying series

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BTNwarrior
Monday, October 19, 2009 @ 1:58:35 PM
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It is kinda funny how most games that are open world and based in a city get bad reviews for being a "GTA clone", yet if a game is linear in any way it gets slamed for it.

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___________
Tuesday, October 20, 2009 @ 1:25:52 AM

yea your right, driver was better!
im still extremely pissed sony dropped that.
8 days, the getaway 3 and DRIVER.
could of been the best titles of this gen, of all time.
i guess it was not meant to be.

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bOnEs
Monday, October 19, 2009 @ 2:21:56 PM
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GTA created a whole new genre... if someone calls their game a clone, they should take it as a compliment... meaning, it's staying true to it's genre...

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Kangasfwa
Monday, October 19, 2009 @ 4:01:36 PM

FYI

The Driver series created open-world mission based gameplay. The first two GTAs were actually top-down 2D. GTA3 brought the style to the masses.

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A2K78
Monday, October 19, 2009 @ 4:19:50 PM

"GTA created a whole new genre... if someone calls their game a clone, they should take it as a compliment... meaning, it's staying true to it's genre..."

The whole GTA concept isn't really new as several arcade games have long done it before GTA. Some of examples being Chase HQ and NARC among others.

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bOnEs
Monday, October 19, 2009 @ 5:11:40 PM

OK fine GTA didn't create the genre, but GTA made the genre what it is today... i guess that's what i am trying to say... driver was hardly the success that GTA was...

if your game is compared to GTA, it should considered as a compliment... saints row 2 was called a GTA ripoff yet, look how fun it was... just because someone else did it before doesn't mean you can't do it yourself...

my god, if you couldn't copy ideas there would be no game market to even talk about... nor would there be a movie market... we'd all be stuck talking about the classics lol...

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Lotusflow3r
Monday, October 19, 2009 @ 2:38:11 PM
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i don't see the comparison.

Yakuza has many issues being tackled and is about honor and respect. Gameplay wise, i never thought of gta when playing Yakuza. Yakuza's too intelligent to be boxed with GTA. That's not a dig on gta either...its just that it isn't the most thought provoking game ever made is it.

Yakuza is not a GTA clone nor same genre.

Its born from a different genre...one the makers of Yakuza created themselves, the Shenmue style genre.

And if you ask me, THAT is a 100x a bigger compliment. To be hailed a spiritual successor to or to call it the same kinda game as Shenmue.

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Oxvial
Monday, October 19, 2009 @ 3:59:21 PM
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Yakuza>GTA

Agree with this comment 6 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Alienange
Monday, October 19, 2009 @ 5:59:52 PM

That's true, but North America doesn't know it.

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Banky A
Monday, October 19, 2009 @ 10:35:22 PM

Crap, that means I gotta' play some Yakuza.
Demo from PS2 was cool if I remember.

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Kangasfwa
Monday, October 19, 2009 @ 4:03:49 PM
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I would like to try the Yakuza games, but I can't find them anywhere. =/

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goodgamer
Monday, October 19, 2009 @ 4:47:00 PM
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that was a nice read,i like games so his words do seem inteligent for me.lol

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goodgamer
Monday, October 19, 2009 @ 4:50:51 PM
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they got make a choice ehter give them the good stuf or meke money ... moral choice

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Metal Head
Monday, October 19, 2009 @ 7:56:31 PM
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GTA is overrated period. GTA is about stupid violence that makes no sense. Yakuza has style and is about getting rid of your enemies in an elegant way.

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LowKey
Monday, October 19, 2009 @ 8:54:45 PM
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I agree, gta vice city was pretty good but the rest were pretty meh. And yes that format is dangerous, it has the potential to destroy any game that adopts or changes to that format, just look at red faction gurilla. THQ really did not need to change RFs format, it wasnt broke, so why fix it? Agree? Im in the middle of gurilla and Im finding it hard to hold my attention. Ill play gta for a few hours and get bored then start spawning in planes and fooling around in them before turning it off.

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Banky A
Monday, October 19, 2009 @ 10:36:43 PM
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/off topic

Well I think GTA (in general) and GTAIV still rock ^_^

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___________
Tuesday, October 20, 2009 @ 1:21:36 AM
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WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT!!!!!!!!!!!
this comming from a guy that names his games yakuza last time i checked thats the name for the Japanese mafia.
yea, nah hes not a hypocrite at all.
GOD! like we need more of these "political sensitive" type people.
if you dont like a certain thing in games thats fine.
1 dont name your game after a Japanese mafia.
2 dont try to take charge of everything and control it like the whole world has to agree with you.

violence in movies is fine and dandy, same extent to video games?
OOOOOO NO NO NO NO NO !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

i would love to see some one make a game of hostel or the hills have eyes.
and watch it get banned of the shelf faster than you can say shave and a hair cut.
i know couldent think of anything else.
point being, im sick to death of these political correct people who have to force everyone into liking and accepting what they do.
i dont like violence in my video games so im going to force the government to ban it.
he should go work for the OFLC, they would get along perfectly.
in fact michael aktinson has already paid for his flight down here ;)

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