ryu.jpg A report over at eagle-eyed news site GameGossip earlier points out that "this morning Sega made a filing on the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) website, one showing that they filed for the name "Yakuza." Marked with a goods and services listing of home video game software, computer game programs and such, the filing was made on January 27th, 2006."

This is interesting, at least to the GSW geeks, because the mob-related PlayStation 2 Sega title Ryu Ga Gotoku, handily import-previewed by GameSpot back in December, involves, well, yakuza, as GameSpot explains: "This is a crime epic in which players assume the role of Kiryu Kazuma, a soft-spoken but tough and intimidating yakuza (a Japanese mafioso) who's back on the scene after a long hiatus. As Kiryu, you're free to explore Japan's night life, engaging in some side missions to earn a little extra cash while also taking on story missions."

Does that mean that the title, which is also getting a live-action prequel directed by Takashi Miike, and notably received a 37/40 score in the difficult-to-please Famitsu when released in Japan late last year, is heading to the West? We hope so, at least. Of course, it could just be Sonic undergoing a major finger-choppin'-related name change?