Like a Dragon 8 will be a turn-based RPG, what about the future? In a new round-table interview attended by IGN, Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio [RGG Studio] and the series’ executive producer Masayoshi Yokoyama seem to have left the door open for a return to the franchise’s action roots… if that fits the plot.
Speaking before the official announcement of Like a Dragon 8, Yokoyama evasively spoke about its status, despite the fact that the creator of the series Toshihiro Nagoshi and producer Kazuki Hosokawa previously stated that Like a Dragon will remain a turn-based role-playing game in the future. It was later confirmed that Like a Dragon would indeed be a role-playing game.
As for the series as a whole, Yokoyama says Like a Dragon will use any game mechanics that enhance the story, even if it means turning the series into a “party game.”
“For us, when we make the game, the system itself, we don’t feel limited by it. Basically we develop our games, we use a system that best emphasizes the story we want to tell,” Yokoyama explained. “At Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio, our goal is to make a game with an interesting plot, so we’ll choose the system that best emphasizes this story… If we think a party game will make this story better, we’ll make a party game. And one of the really fun parts of making the game itself is that there are no rules in it… when you make a game, you set the rules. So in this case we would like to remain flexible.”
Released in 2020, Yakuza: Like a Dragon was the first game in the series to use turn-based role-playing mechanics. Yokoyama denied long-standing rumors that the system originated from an April Fool’s joke, saying that the studio had already decided to try turn-based battles long before that. In our review at the time, we wrote that the system “successfully manages to present a more tactical form of team street fighting without sacrificing any of the talents and unusual humor characteristic of the series.”
However, some criticized it for lengthy battles and sometimes unbalanced mechanics.
“[We are] well aware of both good and bad reviews, and we knew that we had a lot of places that we could improve, both technically and in terms of the feel of the game. So if, and this is very important, we are really doing another step-by-step series, we will definitely find things that can be improved. Once again, just clarifying the “if”, — said Yokoyama.
Yokoyama and RGG Studio are making several major announcements, including the official introduction of Like a Dragon 8 and a brand new side story featuring Kazuma Kiryu. Studio RGG also recently unveiled Like a Dragon: Ishin, a new samurai action game for the PlayStation 5, during Sony’s State of Play this week. You can find everything announced here.
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Kat Bailey is a senior news editor at IGN, as well as co—host of the Nintendo voice chat. Any advice? Send her a private message to @the_katbot.