Like a dragon: Ishin! May lead to the next remake of Yakuza: Dead Souls

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Yakuza is becoming a huge franchise. Since its modest appearance on the PS2, the semi-open action movie has become a household name in Japan and is steadily growing in the West after the release of Yakuza 0 in 2017. At its recent presentation, developer Yakuza Ryu Ga Gotuku Studio (RGGS) three new games in the series: a spin-off, which takes place between Yakuza 6 and Yakuza: Like a Dragon, the eighth part of the main series, and a remake of the previously exclusive Japanese samurai spin-off Like a Dragon: Ishin!

Like a dragon: Ishin! to the west is a stark contrast to how RGG and Sega approached this series just 10 years ago. Previously Japan-exclusive remakes of Yakuza Kiwami and Yakuza Kiwami 2 hit the States, and the recent crossover of Rainbow Six and Yakuza hints at a desire to expand its presence in the west. It seems that RGG Studio intends to release its full catalog, but one entry is still missing — Yakuza: Dead Souls.

Like a dragon: Ishin! Gets a Western release

How the dragon goes west

The choice to remake Like a Dragon: Ishin! It was a huge surprise, which many did not expect, considering that the original game was released in 2014 exclusively for PS3 and PS4 in Japan. It is a non-canonical by-product set in the Samurai era, starring the main character of the series Kazuma Kiryu. The decision to remake it demonstrates a newfound sense of confidence in the power of intellectual property, which could be great news for remaking other non-canonical by-products, such as the zombie-destroying third-person shooter Yakuza: Dead Souls.

The recent name change from Yakuza to Like a Dragon shows that Sega and RGG are committed to developing uniqueness between the global releases of the franchise. Dead Souls was not a particularly successful game, either commercially or critically, when it debuted on the PS3 in 2011. Many felt that the controls were clunky, and the concept of a zombie spin-off in the Yakuza universe was a strange choice. For a series known for its beat em’ up brawls, equipping four playable characters with weapons was a sharp deviation that did not suit.

However, if Like a Dragon: Ishin! As successful as Sega and RGG hope, there’s practically no reason not to do a remake of Dead Souls. If the remake is Like a Dragon Ishin! Ghost of Tsushima was motivated, of course, the remake of Dead Souls could be motivated by games like Back 4 Blood or Dead Rising. This could be RGG’s big push for multiplayer content, allowing fans to explore the Like a Dragon universe in a whole new way, shooting zombies with their friends as they explore the ruined streets of Kamurocho. Sales figures showed that viewers in the west have an interest in the Yakuza series and like to destroy hordes of zombies, so this would be a suitable project.

RGG Studio knows that Yakuza fans like to play for Kiryu, so giving people another chance without worrying about franchise knowledge is another victory. Since all the main games in the series can now be played in the West, and a spin-off, previously exclusive to Japan, will soon debut, we can assume that if Like a Dragon: Ishin! Having been a commercial and critical success, Yakuza: Dead Souls can finally get its proper moment in the spotlight.

Like a dragon: Ishin! Released on February 21, 2023 for PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S.

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