Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio Director and Executive Producer Masayoshi Yokoyama in an interview fanbytes tells what convinced Sega to release the historic action Yakuza Ishin in the West.
Remember that the Japanese version of Yakuza Ishin debuted on PS3 and PS4 eight years ago, but due to its specificity (19th century Japan) and its age, the game was in no hurry outside its native region, despite Sega’s interest.
According to Yokoyama, one of the key factors in the decision to expand Ishin’s geography was the success of the samurai action film Ghost of Tsushima, also set in Japan in the past.
“We saw how well Ghost of Tsushima (9.7 million copies sold – approx.) did – a game in a very Japanese American entourage – and that convinced us Ishin could do well in America.”said Yokoyama.
Besides Ghost of Tsushima, the popularity of the latest Yakuza (Like a Dragon) – Yakuza: Like a Dragon – also influenced the decision to translate Ishin, bringing the series to a new audience.
The timing was right: many fans, including those introduced to the franchise through Yakuza: Like a Dragon, were unable to play the original Yakuza Ishin due to territory or platform restrictions.
Yakuza Ishin will be released in the West on February 21, 2023 as a remake – Like a Dragon: Ishin! (that’s the name of the updated version) is being developed for PC (Steam, Microsoft Store), PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X and S.