Ghost of Tsushima Gave Sega Confidence to Release Like a Dragon: Ishin in the West
Yakuza Ishin was first released in 2014, but it isn't until 2023 that western audiences will finally get to play the Yakuza spinoff. That's because the positive reception surrounding Sucker Punch’s Ghost of Tsushima gave Ryu Ga Gotoku the confidence to finally release Like a Dragon: Ishin to international audiences.
In an interview with Fanbyte, executive producer Masayoshi Yokoyama said, “We saw how well Ghost of Tsushima did, and how it was about this very Japanese setting made by Americans, so that gave us confidence Ishin could do well in America too.”
Sony State of Play - Like a Dragon: Ishin
Yokoyama also noted that the success of Yakuza: Like a Dragon introduced the franchise to a new audience. The timing was just right as well. Many players never got to play the original version of Ishin back in 2014 when it was released on PlayStation 3 and 4 as it didn’t get localized outside of Japan.
The developers thought that the game’s traditional Japanese setting in the 1860s would’ve felt alien to international audiences, so they focused on localizing Yakuza 5 and Yakuza 0 instead. Ishin follows Sakamoto Ryoma, who is portrayed by series protagonist Kazuma Kiryu.
However, the Yakuza series, now going by the original Japanese title, Like a Dragon, has exploded in popularity, breathing new life into it. Due to Ghost of Tsushima’s success, Ryu Ga Gotoku decided to bring the Like a Dragon: Ishin remake to the west.
The game is set to release on February 21, 2023, for PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S.
George Yang is a freelance writer for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter @yinyangfooey
This story originally appeared on: IGN - Author:George Yang