SEGA has announced both new game releases and brand localisation information for the Like a Dragon series today, which has previously been localised as Yakuza in the west.
February 2023’s upcoming Like a Dragon: Ishin! remake will see the game series start to use a more direct translation of its Japanese namesake (Ryu Ga Gotoku: Ishin Kiwami) for worldwide releases, going by Like a Dragon, rather than the Yakuza moniker the series had previously adapted to better sell itself on the PS2 back in 2005 and make itself seem a bit more like the popular Grand Theft Auto franchise.
The new version of Ishin will be followed up with Like a Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name, a new title that will fill in the story gap between Yakuza 6 and Like a Dragon 8 for the series original main protagonist Kazuma Kiryu, before the next mainline game Like a Dragon 8 releases in 2024 and has him team up with new main character Ichiban Kusaga for an adventure in Kamurocho.
Previously, the only use of the Like a Dragon title in the west had been for Ryu Ga Gotoku 7, which left Japan as Yakuza: Like a Dragon, in a nod towards both its original title and it being a bit of a soft series reboot.
It is unknown at this time as to whether previous entries in the Like a Dragon series will be patched to unify the series’ naming under the current branding, or if the new-old name will be used exclusively for new releases, remakes and remasters going forward. Either way, it’s the end of an era.