The Yakuza series will be called Like a Dragon in the future

Sega is officially killing the Yakuza name and will call the series Like a Dragon going forward. This means 2020’s Yakuza: Like a Dragon will, ironically and appropriately, be the last game with Yakuza in the name.

This follows the announcement of Like a Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name (opens in a new tab) and a preview of the Like a Dragon 8 trailer (opens in a new tab) this week at the Tokyo Games Show. The series was called Yakuza in English releases since 2006.

Clarification (opens in a new tab) was made by Sega to Kotaku’s Luke Plunkett, who told him that the name would “align more closely with the Japanese name”.

It’s logical: in Japan, the series has always been called Ryu Ga Gotoku, which means… Like a dragon. The studio that makes the series is also called Ryu Ga Gotoku. The brand therefore only changes in future Western releases. Still, expect to see the series called Yakuza on and off as we all get used to the swap.

However, no idea what all of us in gaming press are going to do about this change. Telling you his name was Ryu Ga Gotoku in Japan was always good for a free sentence in any article about the series.

The series formerly known as Yakuza has enjoyed unprecedented success in recent years, even selling 2.8 million copies. (opens in a new tab) on PC alone. It’s one that Sega hasn’t announced much in the West for the past few years, but has started to treat it as a big release. For the boss of Sega, it is because he is committed to his authentically Japanese vision. (opens in a new tab)

This Japanese vision is also probably why we’re getting a remake of Like a Dragon: Ishin! (opens in a new tab), the Yakuza spin-off from the samurai era. Also why it only gets subtitles not dubs (opens in a new tab): I have to stick to this vision.

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