RGG Studio Boss Explains Why Yakuza Series Has been Retitled Like a Dragon in the West

Yakuza is a identify that has change into well-known in western territories like the U.S., however in Japan it has historically been titled Ryu Ga Gotoku, which roughly interprets to “Like a Dragon.” Now, with the announcement of three new Like a Dragon video games, it seems that the Yakuza identify is being retired for good.

In a current roundtable interview attended by IGN, RGG Studio boss Masayoshi Yokoyama mentioned the transfer away from the Yakuza moniker, explaining that the transfer was basically trialed with Yakuza: Like a Dragon.

“In [Yakuza 7], it was Yakuza: Like A Dragon, and so we figured if we release this game suddenly out of nowhere with no Yakuza in it, people would be like, ‘What’s this game? What’s going on with this?’… The response to the Like A Dragon name seemed pretty good, so it gave us the confidence to take out “Yakuza” and simply go straight on with Like A Dragon,” Yokoyama stated.

Asked if there was a thematic purpose behind the change, Yokoyama replied that the identify doesn’t actually make sense with video games like Ishin, which is about in the Nineteenth century.

“[S]tory-wise too, we are talking about criminal underworld, but we’re not talking about Yakuza, really,” Yokoyama stated. “So it just makes sense for us not to include them in the name. If we carry through the accent, we’d be Yakuza: Ishin! It’s not Yakuza: Ishin! That’s not what it’s about. So Like A Dragon: Ishin! makes more sense.”

The Yakuza identify is a holdover from when the PS2 model of the sequence first arrived in the U.S. Billed as “GTA in Japan,” it was initially a flop, however later discovered reputation because of Yakuza 0. To many followers, the Yakuza identify had lengthy ceased to be related, however it was entrenched sufficient that it managed to stay round.

The identify change coincides with the daybreak of a new period for RGG Studio as effectively, which lately noticed the departure of Toshihiro Nagoshi and a number of other senior leaders. With Yokoyama now absolutely in cost, RGG Studio is getting ready to launch three new video games in the sequence, together with Like a Dragon 8 and a Kazuma Kiryu-focused spin-off titled Like a Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name. In addition to the identify change, RGG Studio can be trying into the chance of shifting the sequence to Unreal Engine 5.

The subsequent recreation due out for the sequence is Like a Dragon: Ishin, a samurai-themed remake of the spin-off set in Nineteenth-century Japan. You can learn our full impressions of the Like a Drago: Ishin right here, with a launch date set for February 2023.


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