Although Sega's brand new action game-Yakuza- is set to hit the shelves in the US next week, according to Gamasutra, the publisher has already set in motion development for a sequel in Japan. Sega went so far as to start the production of a movie adaptation to the original game. Specifically designed for the Japanese audience, this would make Yakuza the first action movie to be released following an action game in the country.
Also known as Ryu ga Gotoku ("Like a Dragon"), the game saw only moderate response from the Japanese public upon its December release. Despite its popularity issues, the title was met with critical acclaim by the media, praised for the realistic portrayal of yakuza's activities as a criminal organization. To this end, it appears every bit of the ¥2.4 billion ($20.7m) budget was justified, heralding the birth of a new Sega franchise. The sequel will use the same Yakuza engine and has been announced in Japan prior to the next week's US release.
The upcoming movie benefits the involvement of director Takashi Miike, one of the sacred monsters of recent Japanese filmography. Known for his violent titles, like Audition, Ichi the Killer, Full Metal Yakuza, Dead or Alive, he is expected to carry on the same feeling throughout the Yakuza movie. After all, the Japanese interlope cult is one of his recurrent themes. Anime adaptations of video game titles are common in Japan, yet it's the first time someone of Miike's caliber gets involved in a video game franchise translated into a movie. Miike has already produced several short films to promote the game, and further details of the release date and cast are yet to be revealed.