SEGA announces Yakuza games will be published as Like a Dragon outside of Japan going forward

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.

About Vince Pavey

Vince is a writer from the North-East of England who has worked on comics for The Beano and Doctor Who. He likes to play video games and eat good food. Sometimes he does both at the same time, but he probably shouldn’t.

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