I would like to talk about a gaming trend that has became more and more prevalent over the years, digital distribution of games. Some say it will spell the end for brick and mortar game shops eventually though maybe not in Japan where they still love their game box arts and so fore.
The reason I'm bringing this up is because it's starting to affect me, several of my favorite series have recently announced digital-only distribution of their new releases. Unlike some other fanboys, I don't feel less ownership of the game if it's digital, it's just I would like to have some tangible to add in my proud collection. I do enjoy the convenience of not having to get up and swap discs when it's digital but to me, it's just a minor annoyance I would gladly put up with to own the physical copy.
Now developing games are becoming more costly and putting out a physical copy isn't as cheap as one may think, there are logistics involved and not just the mere cost of writing the actual disc. I get all that but I really wonder for the case of Yakuza 5, is Sega allowing the fate of the series to continue down this road? It's really a chicken and egg dilemma, are you going to able to foster new fanbase if you don't spend the money to put physical copies in stores and promote the game? Rebirth HD and Revelations 2 will sell on their own even if it's digital only as the Resident Evil franchise is huge so in Capcom's case, it's just a matter of Capcom trying to save some bucks by going this route (to be fair, Capcom did distribute Rebirth on disc in Asia region and also give a significant discount for the digital version of Revelations 2).
Yakuza is a series on its last legs in the West, each sequel has seen diminishing sales so it's almost like Sega is doing this just for the fans and not hoping to reach out to new fans. While I applaud Sega (and Sony) for doing this, I'm also sad that Sega is no longer interested in investing in this franchise overseas though it's probably been that way for some time now. Well I guess I will always have my Asian copies and now not have to worry about ugly box art on the western version anymore.