The Yakuza series was designed specifically to be unlike other games on the market, its producer has said.
Toshihiro Nagoshi told Siliconera that Yakuza's conceptual process was guided by steering away from other titles, not toward them. The team set out to "create a game belonging to a genre most rare."
"At the time, in Japan there were already set notions as to what kinds of games would sell, and what kinds wouldn't, and so what we wanted to do was to prove that it was possible to create something different, something fresh, and still do well," Nagoshi said. "It was with those thoughts that we began the Yakuza game project."
Nagoshi said it was a gamble despite his experience in the medium, but "if you work on games with passion, it is possible to create interesting titles aimed at new markets."
The Yakuza series began on PlayStation 2 in 2005. Since then it has expanded into five main entries, a zombie apocalypse spinoff called Yakuza: Dead Souls, and a Meiji-era spinoff called Yakuza Restoration.