Yakuza developer RGG Studio has released a statement to clear up confusion over the title of the next mainline game in the series.
When Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth was revealed at last week’s Xbox Games Showcase, many (myself included) believed it was a completely new game being announced in the series, and not the sequel to 2020’s Yakuza: Like a Dragon.
However, following subtle rewording of its marketing for the game, RGG Studio and publisher Sega explained that Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth is actually the title for Like a Dragon 8, which was initially announced under that name in September last year.
The new statement from RGG Studio director Masayoshi Yokoyama explained the game will be sold in Japan as Ryu Ga Gotoku 8 (literal translation Like a Dragon 8), whilst in the West the game will be sold as Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth.
So, not much has changed for the title of the game in Japan, which has seen all of the main Yakuza games released as Ryu Ga Gotoku plus a number. Overseas, the Yakuza brand name has been dropped in favour of Like a Dragon to “more closely align with the Japanese name”.
It feels a bit hypocritical, then, that Like a Dragon 8 is still being sold in different regions under different names. Yokoyama said the difference in titles between the game’s Japanese and Western release is because the studio has “determined the messages and themes of this latest game could be perceived differently by fans in Japan and Asia versus those in the West who started the franchise from Yakuza: Like a Dragon”.
Yokoyama continued, explaining Japanese players are free to add whatever subtitle they feel most suits the game as the developer “felt one subtitle simply isn’t enough for Ryu Ga Gotoku 8 in Japan”.
In the West, he continued, the subtitle Infinite Wealth is “for fans who started their Like a Dragon experience with [Yakuza: Like a Dragon protagonist] Kasuga Ichiban’s story”. The infinity symbol, which looks like the figure 8 lying on its side, is “deeply tied” to the themes of Like a Dragon 8, Yokoyama said, and it featured towards the end of the game’s initial announcement trailer nine months ago.
It’s a shame that RGG Studio feels a need to treat its Japanese and Western audiences differently, especially after the developer finally brought the long-awaited Japan only title Like a Dragon: Ishin to overseas fans. It doesn’t help that the Infinite Wealth trailer shown at the weekend didn’t make it clear it was for the same game as what we were then calling Like a Dragon 8 overseas.
And if you’re still confused, same. Despite how RGG Studio wants me to perceive Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth, it’ll still be Yakuza 8 to me.
We’d like to share a message from Masayoshi Yokoyama, Director of Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio.
Thank you for your continued support of the Like a Dragon franchise!
— RGG Studio (@RGGStudio) June 15, 2023