GTA: San Andreas Released in Japan

By Chris | 29th Jan 2007 at 23:57 GMT in San Andreas | 9 Comments

We reported on San Andreas coming to Japan back in November, now we're a few days late here, but you can blame that on the fact we don't know anyone who speaks Japanese, and the fact there was no press release in the Western world. Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas was released in stores across Japan last week, on Thursday, 25th January to be precise, that's according to the official Japanese GTASA site itself. Rather surprisingly it seems to be doing quite well considering how previous iterations didn't prove to be particularly popular among the Japanese - German gaming site reported last Friday that first day sales figures show around 200,000 copies were shifted.

The official Japanese GTASA site has been carrying a few news updates in the past month, mainly to announce Capcom's promotional events and parties for the game, in addition to wallpapers and the official trailer release. There's no need to start digging around the Japanese site looking for new content though - the wallpapers and trailer are the exact same ones we were presented with 2 and a half years ago, albeit with Japanese subtitles.

The game is rated Z by CERO, the Japanese equivalent to the ESRB. This is the highest rating a game can achieve in Japan and is equal to the AO rating seen on American games, and basically means the game should only be played by persons aged 18 and older.

Link to official 'announcement': (On the News page - in Japanese)

Wheelman101's photo
Wheelman101 30th January, 2007 @ 00:11 - Permalink

lol wait untill GTA4 comes out, rated -Z lol

it took them long enough jeeze, and there the countrie with all of the new stuff (PS3,and other games)

Chalk's photo
Chalk 30th January, 2007 @ 00:15 - Permalink

Why so long after all the other counties? I thought they would have had it before or around the same time as Europe and Australia.

Chris's photo
Chris 30th January, 2007 @ 00:21 - Permalink

I would imagine the big problem was finding a company to "localize, publish and distribute" the game. Capcom have clearly done an excellent job here if those first day sales stats are accurate. The second problem would have been accurately translating the entire game script into Japanese, I'm not sure if there are any difficulties with the symbols and whatnot, but you can imagine what a laborious process this must be, of course this wouldn't take 2 years though...

I guess there was also some strategic planning to be done, to make sure the release doesn't coincide with any other huge games being released in close proximity - which of course could hurt San Andreas' sales out there.

Chalk's photo
Chalk 30th January, 2007 @ 00:41 - Permalink

I wouldn't think that it'd take 2 years to transfer into Japanese script. Maybe 6 months to completely convert it really. I'm thinking the major delay must have been getting a company to take on the distribution of the game like this in a country that is normally so respectful and where things like the events in GTA rarely happen.

Heat84's photo
Heat84 31st January, 2007 @ 02:55 - Permalink

I'm sure there were plenty of people in Japan playing it the same time we were. :wink:

Dazza's photo
Dazza 31st January, 2007 @ 11:12 - Permalink
I'm sure there were plenty of people in Japan playing it the same time we were. :wink:

Oh yeah, probully, they seem :innocent: but there not, well im happy for Japan, they now have 3 of 5 gta games (thats not including GTA, GTA 2)

Chris's photo
Chris 31st January, 2007 @ 21:14 - Permalink

Yeah well at least they can get a console version now eh? :P

And at least they can own a legit copy.

Dazza's photo
Dazza 1st February, 2007 @ 10:45 - Permalink

Yeah, thats true, yet they could-of just went to a different country to get it.

Stojko's photo
Stojko 2nd February, 2007 @ 00:49 - Permalink

Or eBay.