Yakuza Has Growing Female Fanbase, But Director Won’t Feminize Yakuza 6
(Last Updated On: May 26, 2016)

20% of the audience of the Yakuza series happens to be females. This was revealed recently in an interview that the series’ director, Toshihiro Nagoshi, revealed to Famitsu in an interview.

Siliconera translated the relevant parts, where Nagoshi reveals that a fifth of the fanbase are females but that doesn’t mean that they will be catering to that group, explaining that over the course of a decade they’ve had a growing number of hardcore fans…

“[Yakuza is] a title with impact, so I believed that those who would follow would continue doing so. Other than that, I also believed that those who followed with it would quickly become hardcore fans. That’s a tendency that still hasn’t changed much. What was unexpected was that the number of female players has increased. Currently, about 20% are female players.”


“While that is something to be happy for, Yakuza is something that is made for male players, so we will be careful not to be too conscious of the female users and derail from what we want to make. Lately, there’s been a lot more players from Asia as well. That means we need to appeal more to Asia, but not focus too much on that, too.”

It’s a very different approach that they’re taking compared to American studios, who have tried bending over backwards to any sort of “problematic” content brought up by some feminists. A lot of games have undergone or are undergoing feminization in an attempt to appeal to those who claim that making games more feminist-friendly will increase their sales.

Increased sales have not always been the case for games that have attempted to appeal to their non-fandom; so far, games like Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate, Remember Me and Bombshell under-performed despite focusing on feminist ideals within an action game space.

It was previously revealed by DeltaDNA in a market research report that many female gamers just aren’t into action games like male gamers, and despite gender neutral marketing, there was still 75% more males playing action games compared to females, and 82% more females who preferred puzzle games over males. So changing up formulas doesn’t always result in gaining a new demographic.

In this case, Nagoshi wants to keep the core of the Yakuza games centered on what made them popular in the first place, as opposed to trying to change things around to appeal to Western audiences or a specific sect of their demographic.

Usually games and brands perform better over the long haul if they stay true to what made them popular in the first place, as opposed to constantly kowtowing to the demands of a select few within the fandom, a problem that the show Arrow has suffered from and paid for dearly with sloppy writing, poor characterizations and a generally declining plot that lacks direction.

Some games in the pipeline are doing the opposite of what Nagoshi are doing, so we’ll see how well they fare on the market. Yakuza 6 is scheduled to release later this year for the PlayStation 4. I’m sure many hardcore fans are happy to find out that the developers aren’t sacrificing their vision in an attempt to be more “broadly appealing”.

(Main image courtesy of Giuseppe Nelva)

Ads (learn more about our advertising policies here)


Billy has been rustling Jimmies for years covering video games, technology and digital trends within the electronics entertainment space. The GJP cried and their tears became his milkshake. Need to get in touch? Try the Contact Page.

  • LurkerJK

    I don’t understand this kind of thinking, why would they need to change ?
    the 20% female demographic is obviously there because they like the game as it is.

  • Bitterbear

    Hmm, you can tell if a product is targeting a female audience when the male lead has a skinnyfit body.

    • C G Saturation

      They usually like female characters to be skinny too.

    • Mr.Towel

      Heh, and feminists say that men are all pedophiles for liking younger women.

      Both, west and east, show a preference for boyish men when creating males to appeal to women. I mean, I don’t see any teenage girl hanging Arnold Schwarzenegger posters on their walls…

      • Bitterbear

        I notice that in urban environments. In rural areas though, they go for the bear mode.

        • Mr.Towel

          hahahaha, spot on!

  • scemar

    definitely the right call, if there were females that enjoyed the game, they probably enjoyed it due to the game’s nature, not despite it

    and changing that would merely take that away from everyone

    chasing demographics does make sense but like many things in life the devil is in the details, the execution

    well executed demographic broadening, DOA with marie rose’s introduction
    the game is still the same but now they have another type of girl for different tastes without changing anything else that worked

    • C G Saturation

      You could probably argue that Marie Rose prevented characters like Lei Fang from making the XVB cut. I know someone who won’t buy XVB3 because their favorite girl isn’t in it.

      Although XVB3 isn’t that great anyway. I kinda regret buying it. At least I will still play it occasionally for that “vacation” feel.

  • C G Saturation

    They should just make the game how they want, not for specific audiences. I know I personally don’t like stuff that was made by people who were trying to specifically get me to throw money at them.

    • C G Saturation

      To elaborate further… if they have that many female fans now, then what they’re doing is already appealing to females. Attempting to appeal to more females would likely drive away their current fans.

      • Mr.Towel

        I was going to say exactly that. If they have a female fanbase, that fanbase exists exactly because they like the series for what it is, not for what is not.

        On a side note, for what I know about the Yakuza series, they seemed more geared towards drama, violent drama but drama nonetheless, than dumb explosive action. Game of Thrones fits on the same category and also has a large female following. It’s this aspect that attracts females to the Yakuza series (that and the fact that for some weird reason consoles themselves have a large female following in japan…). Yakuza dramas were also very popular with japanese housewives in the 80s and 90s, in which they are very similar to a “male-oriented soap opera”. Women don’t care, drama is drama and it will always be interesting for them, even if it does have lot of blood, blades, knuckles and gunpowder inside.

  • The concept of catering to female players is fine, no problems with that – as long as existing material that caters to male players is KEPT intact and continued, and not compromised in any way.

    As we all know by now, the problem with the Western hipster SJWs/feminists is that they’re removing anything that is catered towards straight male players to “diversify”, be “inclusive” and end so-called “sexism” to cater to women. So it’s basically removing something (i.e. boobs) that a certain demographic once enjoyed before just to make it “comfortable” for women. That is unacceptable because it means one demographic has to lose out. And you know some feminists are doing it because they have a personal axe to grind.

    Still, it’s great to see that the Yakuza series will still continue to be made with a male demographic/audience in mind. Nice to see some developers still care about “sexist, misogynist, rape-culture promoting, woman-hating basement dwellers” like me. =)

    • scemar

      what the feminist narrative demands off games to “allegedly” appeal to women is for games to remove everything that the mostly but not entirely male audience likes (and I say allegedly because obviously, it is not true, it is just what they claim)

      and this coming from the same crowd that has been dismantling other hobbies where men are the majority, and the same crowd that opposes porn that males like, it’s all consistently fueled by the same motivation: hate of men, just classic feminism

      • You got it.

        “think of the children”
        “harmful to women”
        “promotes rape culture”
        “idealizes women as sex objects”
        “sexual objectification”

        The above has always been the classic bullshit excuses feminists use to remove/ban/censor any material that is catered to men. All fuelled by bitterness, hatefulness, jealousy and plan spitefulness. And some who are dumb enough to believe it.

        But yet, the same retards that complain are flicking themselves silly over Twilight and Justin Bieber’s abs. Or Cloud Strife and topless Dante.

        It’s only sexist if men do it. You have to laugh.

      • C G Saturation

        Yeah, but I am absolutely certain that what Japanese/Asian female gamers want, and Western white knights/SJWs/feminists want is completely different.

        • Mr.Towel


          Fujioshis are monstrous urban legends in the mind of SJW.