Released on January 16, the eighth game in the mainline Yakuza series, Yakuza: Like A Dragon has recently sold over 400,000 units in Japan and Asia. It’s worth noting that the game hasn’t seen a worldwide release as of yet and neither does it have a release date. To celebrate this achievement, Sony is selling the game on the Japanese PlayStation Store for 6,460 yen (around $60) compared to its original price of 9229 yen (around $85).
For the first time in a mainline Yakuza game, the character, Kazuma Kiryu who’s story concluded with Yakuza 6: The Song of Life does not serve as the game’s protagonist but does feature as an additional character. You play as an entirely new character called, Ichiban Kasuga. That’s not the only big departure that Yakuza fans have to deal with however as Like a Dragon focuses on a new RPG system for battles, rather than the tried and trusted beat ’em up gameplay style that fans have grown used to.
In an interview with the Developer, ‘Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio’ they gave a few reasons as to why the change: “Unlike Kazuma Kiryu, Ichiban Kasuga is not a man of immense strength who can march into enemy territory by himself. He fights alongside his friends, and the game system that best expresses this fact is an RPG.” and “We want to prove that Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio can properly create something other than an action-adventure game.” It seems like it boils down to that the Developers felt that the game made much more sense taking an RPG approach to the combat and that they just wanted to try something new after being attached to the Yakuza series since 2012 with Yakuza 5.
It looks like fans of the series won’t have to wait as long as they used to, to play Yakuza: Like a Dragon. While it doesn’t have an exact release date for the rest of the world, we have been given a rough estimate of it releasing in the second half of 2020.