The Yakuza name is no more, as Sega plans to officially rebrand the series of crime dramas under the franchise name “Like a Dragon” moving forward — a move that became apparent with the reveal of three new games prior to this year’s Tokyo Game Show. Speaking to Digital Trends, a Sega of America representative confirmed the reason for the name change.
“I can confirm the series will be known as “Like a Dragon” moving forward to more closely align with the Japanese name,” a representative for Sega of America tells Digital Trends.
In Japan, Sega has called the series Ryū ga Gotoku since its inception in 2005, and that phrase is even the namesake of developer RGG Studio. “Ryū ga Gotoku” translates to “like a dragon” in English, but Sega decided to call the series Yakuza when it brought the first game to the West in 2006. Now that the series is more popular than ever and largely moved on from telling stories directly focused on the Yakuza, it makes sense for Sega to give the series a similar title in all regions. Sega localization producer Scott Strichart pointed out on Twitter that 2020’s Yakuza: Like a Dragon foreshadowed the change by naming a chapter “Chapter 12: The End of Yakuza.” Strichart is not involved with the localization of upcoming Like a Dragon titles.
I don't know how we could have been any clearer pic.twitter.com/tc4WuU89OA— Scott Strichart (@TriggerRedd) September 14, 2022
Three Like a Dragon games are in the works for PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S. Like a Dragon: Ishin will be the first one of them to release, as it launches on February 23, 2023. Like a Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name follows later next year, while Like a Dragon 8 continues the mainline series in 2024.
- Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth will kick off a crowded 2024 for RPG lovers
- Where to find every substory in Like a Dragon: Ishin!
- Like a Dragon: Ishin! makes the traditional Yakuza format even better
- Yakuza 8 is now Like a Dragon 8 and it’s getting a Kiryu spinoff prequel
- Like a Dragon: Ishin brings a Yakuza spinoff to the West for the first time