Yakuza: Like a Dragon Producer On Audience Reactions, Why Yokohama, And More Dragon Quest Elements

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A recent interview with Yakuza: Like a Dragon’s producer Daisuke Sato talks a bit more about how he felt about audience reactions to Yakuza: Like a Dragon, explain why they chose Yokohama, and more. [Thanks, Bahamut!]


Here are the highlights:

  • For producer Sato, he’s been able to breathe out and relax after the mixed reactions to the initial announcement, and subsequent cautious optimism after the gameplay reveal at TGS 2019. He even wants to say, “See! I told you it would be fun”


  • While they’ve been able to ease players into what sort of character Kasuga Ichiban will be like in Japan thanks to Yakuza Online, he’s still not sure how other audiences from other regions will react, as the game isn’t out in other regions.


  • They felt a new city was needed to accompany the shift in protagonist. As for why Yokohama, it’s because they had several factors to consider – firstly, it had to be a Kanto place near Tokyo, like Chiba and Yokohama; secondly, it had to be a place Western players would know too. Thus, Yokohama was the best bet.


  • Of course, Yokohama also used to have a more seedy reputation, although now it’s very much a modern city. Before, it was dirty, with many old places. Besides this, setting the game in Yokohama provides the game with beautiful sea views. All these aspects, especially its seedy history, befitted Kasuga, who grew up at a soapland without any knowledge of his biological parents.


  • The subtitle in Japanese and Chinese, ‘The whereabouts of light and darkness’, is as you might expect related to a core aspect of the plot, but originally when the subtitle was conceptualized, they did make sure to make it sound very ‘Dragon Quest-y’.


  • When asked whether Kasuga, as the ‘Hero’, will have a special bloodline or holy commandment to go forth like a Hero in Dragon Quest would, Sato stifled his laughter, and said that, while he couldn’t really reply as it would constitute spoilers, this was a very sharp question.


  • Each playable character has their own unique class that they start off as, such as Kasuga’s ‘Hero’ class. The following classes are split into Male-only and Female-only classes. Sadly, Politician (as a politician is seen in the trailer) is not a playable class.


Yakuza: Like A Dragon releases for PlayStation 4 in Japan on January 16, 2020. The game releases in 2020 for North America and Europe. Check out the Fortuneteller, Riot Police, and Idol job classes in our previous report here.

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Alistair Wong
Very avid gamer with writing tendencies. Fan of Rockman and Pokémon and lots more!