Yakuza: Of The End was ... unexpected. Not in that it's another Yakuza sequel -- we can pretty much count on those being at least annual -- but in that it's a zombie shooting game. Why would Sega take a series built around realistic criminal organizations, known for its accurate (if fictionalized) representation of Tokyo, and fill its latest entry with zombies? Where do people even find all those guns in Japan?

At TGS, we asked producer Masayoshi Kikuchi about this seemingly inexplicable decision. "We want to essentially use the Yakuza universe to try our hand at different genres of games," he said. "In that effort, one of the games that hasn't been released [outside of Japan] yet, but that we've done, is a samurai-based game called Kenzan. That is our foray into utilizing the mythology and universe of Yakuza to branch out into different gameplay. The other one, obviously, is Of The End."

"For us, it's a way to hopefully attract more fans to the Yakuza franchise by widening the gameplay styles that we create," Kikuchi added. In other words, Of The End hopes to attract people who love zombie shooters, and who might then discover there are other Yakuza games; albeit ones about punching street punks and running orphanages. But what about the people who already love Yakuza? Are they to simply stare at this spinoff in disbelief?

"From my point of view," Kikuchi told us, "I feel that -- if you have 100 Yakuza fans, it's not going to be the case where all 100 of them will be receptive to the new direction. But however, we feel that by making something that is very enjoyable, we will be able to capture as many of the existing fan base who enjoy the games we create."

[Pictured: Yakuza: Of The End TGS booth models]

This article was originally published on Joystiq.

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