Games Technology

The Foolish Story Behind The Weirdest Xbox Unique


Keep in mind when the Xbox Sequence X and S launched with a Yakuza recreation, however the PS5 didn’t? That was weird, right? For such a very long time the Yakuza franchise had been intently tied to PlayStation. However, a minimum of for just a few months, the then-latest recreation within the collection skipped Sony’s next-gen machine for Xbox’s fancy console. Why? The reply simply got here to mild right this moment, and it’s each difficult and foolish.

Again in November 2020, the Xbox Sequence X/S and PlayStation 5 launched with a handful of exclusives and lots of ports. (It was largely 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 Sequence X/S. A couple of months later, this odd new entry within the in style Yakuza collection lastly landed on PS5. On the time, of us on-line assumed Microsoft had minimize a cope with Sega to maintain the sport off the next-gen PlayStation. Others recommended the PS5 model had technical points that pressured it to be delayed. The actual motive? Sega signed just a few too many offers with too many corporations.

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 shocked as avid gamers 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 Sequence X/S. Spencer then replies the way it’s “humorous” that Sega doesn’t even listing the PS5 on its web site.

A screenshot shows Xbox execs talking about Yakuza.

Screenshot: Kotaku

How two separate offers delayed the PS5 port

After some additional chatter about presumably doing a Sega-themed Xbox in Japan, Damon Baker—then accountable for international gaming partnerships and improvement—laid out why Microsoft was going to have an unique next-gen port of Yakuza: Like a Dragon.

  • In accordance with him, Sony had a 12-month exclusivity cope with 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 performed, Sony was unable to launch a PS5 port within the area.

In that very same electronic mail, Baker shared the information that Sega had no plans to launch a PS5 model in the US, including: “Feels like we now have a timed exclusivity for next-gen.”

A screenshot shows Xbox execs talking about Yakuza.

Screenshot: Kotaku

At this level, after mentioning that Microsoft had the rights to market the sport exterior of Japan, Spencer puzzled if Xbox may promote that the subsequent Yakuza recreation was a next-gen unique on Sequence X/S, including that it’s a “large deal” and later saying that it “would possibly even be price some cash from us” if they’ll push that information in future advertising and marketing. Which occurred, with Microsoft posting blogs speaking about how the sport would utilize the “next-gen” power of the Series 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 Sequence 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 a protracted, very long time.