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Mere hours after Sega released the Yakuza 6 demo, reports surfaced that they had accidentally released the full game, and Sega pulled the demo hours later. Users on Twitter and beyond reported that an apparent glitch let players see beyond Chapter 1 of Yakuza 6, which is where the demo should end. There are unconfirmed reports that this mix-up only occurred on the North American PlayStation Network (in particular, reports of European and Australian ones being fine have been seen). Sega later apologized on Twitter, roughly six hours after the original announcement was made. Despite the issue reportedly being contained to the US PSN, other versions of the demo were pulled in other regions, for safekeeping after the initial pull was done.

When asked for a response, Sega directed us to their Twitter feeds. Should we get a substantial answer, we will update the story further. As of writing, if you’ve already started your download of the demo, you’re able to continue downloading.

This unfortunate occurrence happens just weeks after Sega announced a delay for Yakuza 6 in the West. A delay, some noted, now seems strange, if the full English version is available on PSN. If that weren’t enough, import retailers are offering the English-language Asian regional version of Yakuza 6 on March 20th. Some have argued the reason for the delay was to push Yakuza 6‘s release into the next financial year. Indeed, the end of Sega’s fiscal year does come on March 31st. Considering Yakuza 0‘s relative popularity in the West, it’s not out of the question that Sega would want to start a new year off right. Alternatively, localization could want another pass, a delay in the retail process, or a bug was spotted that needed a patch that will take a bit of time to prepare a patch for are all possible reasons.

Still, the Yakuza 6 demo was envisioned as a way to tide over fans hungry for the end of Kiryu Kazuma’s saga. Just…not quite the entire game, several weeks before release. It’s unclear what, if any steps Sega will take to those who found themselves in possession of the full game. Sega could adopt a similar strategy as did SIE when Knack 2 was accidentally free on release, or when Killzone: Shadow Fall was under £1. In both of those cases, Sony did not revoke the licenses for the games, perhaps because it might be impossible to distinguish those who abused the glitch from legitimate purchases. Worth noting here though is that Sony of course is the platform holder.

Of course, both of those cases came after their respective games were released. Again, we’ve reached out to Sega, and will update this story, should any new developments arise. With the demo likely making a reappearance sometime soon, Yakuza fans around the world will be able to get their hands on an early look at The Song of Life… this time, the way Sega intended. Yakuza 6: The Song of Life releases on April 17th, 2018.

Did you get your hands on Yakuza 6‘s demo? What do you think Sega should, or will do next? Let us know in the comments below!

Kyle Johnson

Japanese Gaming Specialist

Professional painter. Semi-professional weeb. I've played hundreds of games, but finished very few. I speak Chinese and Minnesotan.