Ryū ga Gotoku, the series known in the West as Yakuza, will be known as Like A Dragon from now on. That’s according to a recent interview with a Sega of America representative at DigitalTrends.
“I can confirm the series will be known as “Like a Dragon” moving forward to more closely align with the Japanese name,” the representative told Digital Trends.
The change should have been fairly clear by now, with Sega announcing three new games in the series over the last two days, all bearing the Like A Dragon name.
Sega’s reason for renaming the series is a matter of practicality. The most direct translation of the series’ Japanese title, Ryū ga Gotoku, is “Like A Dragon”. Even the developer behind each game in the series is called Ryū ga Gotoku Studio. It’s an integral part of the series’ identity and speaks directly to the still-unfolding story of its lead characters. Before its Western launch in 2006, and perhaps hoping to capitalise on GTA-led crime games that were popular at the time, Sega decided to rename the franchise Yakuza.
In 2022, the series is beloved by audiences around the world. Because it is now publishing the series in so many territories, Sega is consolidating the title across all regions to make life a bit easier for itself. So, from now on, no matter where you go, the series will be called Like A Dragon.
2020’s Yakuza: Like A Dragon teased the change, using both titles for the first time as it transitioned to a design that embraced turn-based combat. Sega has this week announced three new Like A Dragon games are on the way to the West over the next couple of years. The period piece Like A Dragon: Ishin! will be the first to arrive, launching on February 23, 2023. Ishin! will be followed by a shorter, interstitial game about series hero Kazuma Kiryu called Like A Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name in 2023. Like A Dragon 8 will resume the mainline series in 2024.