Skip to main content

Sega explains why it’s officially ditching the Yakuza name for Like a Dragon

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.

Tomas Franzese
Tomas Franzese is a Staff Writer at Digital Trends, where he reports on and reviews the latest releases and exciting…
Like a Dragon Gaiden will come with an Infinite Wealth demo
Kiryu and Ichiban speak in the Special Trial demo for Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth.

Sega announced that Like a Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name, which comes out this November, will contain a "Special Trial Version" demo of 2024's Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth.

Including a demo for an upcoming game with another game is a bit of an old-school tactic, with two of the more famous examples being Zone of the Enders containing one for Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty and Final Fantasy Type-0 HD coming with a Final Fantasy XV demo. A lot of new fans joined the Like a Dragon series with 2020's Yakuza: Like a Dragon, which Infinite Wealth is a sequel to, and this special trial version now gives them a reason to give The Man Who Erased His Name a shot even if they aren't as familiar with Kiryu's story.
This was all revealed in a new lengthy overview trailer for The Man Who Erased His Name featuring Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio Director Masayoshi Yokoyama. In it, Yokoyama gives an overview of the game's story, which serves as an interquel of sorts and explains what Kiryu was up to in between Yakuza 6: The Song of Life and Infinite Wealth, and its classic action-style gameplay. Then, he revealed the Infinite Wealth demo and teased that it will contain "special content like scenes not included in the main game" and that players will need to beat The Man Who Erased His Name to access it. 
Like a Dragon Gaiden | Overview Trailer & Developer Update
Like a Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name and this Infinite Wealth demo will release on November 9 across PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S. The full version of Like a Dragon Gaiden: Infinite Wealth will come to those same platforms sometime in early 2024.

Read more
Where to find every substory in Like a Dragon: Ishin!
Like a Dragon: Ishin Ryoma Sakamoto

The Like a Dragon series is mainly known for two things: deep, complex, and character-driven plots that feel like a full season of a high-budget drama, and outlandish substories. Like a Dragon: Ishin!, despite being set in the 1800s, doesn't shy away from including just as many of these wacky side activities as any other entry in the series. These bite-sized tales are often humorous, though occasionally heartfelt and genuine, serving as diversions from the main plot that are the perfect way to add some variety to your quest. If you love these little sidequests as much as we do, here are the locations for every substory in Like a Dragon: Ishin!
What are substories?

Substories are what sidequests are called in Like a Dragon: Ishin! Many will trigger just by approaching the right NPC at the right time and will see Ryoma get wrapped up in someone's bizarre problems that only he can solve. These usually take no more than a couple minutes, but are always worth doing.

Read more
Like a Dragon: Ishin! skills guide: skill tree explained and best skills
A samurai jumps on the air in Like a Dragon: Ishin!

Depending on which title you started with, Like a Dragon: Ishin! will either feel like a return to the original Like a Dragon (formerly known as Yakuza) gameplay style, or completely new. This remake was never released in the West, but has finally been given a worldwide release. While very different in setting from every other game in the series, Like a Dragon: Ishin! keeps the brawler-style of combat, along with different fighting styles to swap between and upgrade. This skill tree and upgrade system is a bit more complex than some other action RPGs out there. Before you get swept up in protagonist Ryoma's tale of class, politics, and blood, make sure you understand the basics of combat in Like a Dragon: Ishin!
How skill trees work

Ryoma, just like Kiryu in every Like a Dragon game (except for 7), will have four distinct combat styles. Set in the 1800s as opposed to more modern times like the other games, Like a Dragon: Ishin! features very different options from normal. These include stances like Brawler (hand-to-hand focused) Swordsman utilizes a katana), Gunman (gives you a pistol), and Wild Dancer (where Ryoma will wield his sword in one hand and handgun in the other). Each style has strengths and weaknesses, as well as its own individual skill tree that you can invest in.

Read more