Sega’s Yakuza is one of the most distinctive and endearing plotline action-adventure franchises out there. At first glance, the series is largely appearing to be a simple action-crime drama.
However, each game fuses beat ’em up combat, gripping narratives with unexpected turns, lovable characters, absurdist humor, and a vibrant world to explore.
Yakuza includes a total of seven games, two of which, including the infamous Yakuza Ishin, were never released outside of Japan. The second was Yakuza Kanzen, which came out a few years before Ishin but was never made available internationally.
All of that will change in 2023 when Like a Dragon: Ishin, a comprehensive recreation of the original Ishin, is released globally.
Yakuza executive producer Masayoshi Yokoyama and chief producer Hiroyuki Sakamoto recently discussed the reasoning for choosing to remake Ishin over Kenzan with OneMoreGame while at Tokyo Game Show.
“According to all of the fan comments we have gotten, more fans preferred an Ishin remake than a Kenzan remake”, the duo told the publication.
We also thought Ishin was more well-liked, and if we were to incorporate the Kenzan remake, we would have to slightly alter the plot, which would take a lot of effort and money. For us to seriously explore a remake of Kenzan, the time must be ideal.”
That is quite baffling because it seems like every English remark we’ve seen on tweets from Japanese RGG Studios in recent years has requested both of those games.
Further, Yokoyama has been seen denying the remake of Kenzan in couple more past interviews. He said even if they did make it, it won’t be the original Kenzan Kiwami anymore as it has to be redeveloped from the scratch.
We have gotten a translation piece from a trustworthy Japanese translation website.
Fans also noticed the reason they played Kenzan during their 24-hour live webcast to commemorate the Ryu ga Gotoku series anniversary last year was that they had already decided to produce Ishin over Kenzan. To confirm that, Yokoyama himself made it clear in the interview.
The fact that the overseas fanbase now accounts for around 70% already of the total is particularly noteworthy. Since Ishin was never distributed outside of Japan and the fans had been clamoring for a remake ever since it first came out nine years ago, the fandom abroad was another important consideration in the decision to remake Ishin and not Kenzan.
Yokoyama and Sakamoto continue to claim they have no concept of equal popularity of Kenzan among overseas fans which sounds surprising since tweets have always been asking for the remake of both games.
The PS4 and PS5 versions of Like a Dragon: Ishin will be released on February 21 of 2023. But unlike recent Yakuza games, the new version won’t have an English dub. The only language option is full Japanese with English subtitles Yokoyama, confirmed that during an interview at Tokyo Game Show 2022.
Furthermore, Yakuza 8 is set to be released in 2024, developers already made the announcement.
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