For many years, Like a Dragon: Ishin has been the one Yakuza game that western fans have been unable to get their hands on unless they were willing to import a copy or learn another language so that they could navigate the PlayStation storefront of Japan. A Japan-exclusive released on PS3 and PS4 in 2013, Like a Dragon: Ishin finally makes its way to the West next year and is being rebuilt entirely in Unreal Engine 4.
Set in 1860s Kyo–a fictionalized version of Kyoto–Ishin’s focus on the fall of the Samurai during a turbulent part of Japan’s history was originally considered to be “impossible” to localize by Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio head Masayoshi Yokoyama. According to Yokoyama, this was largely due to anachronistic challenges.
“When we were first working on Ishin, we thought this game was impossible to localize,” Yokoyama explained. “There was no way that the overseas team and the Asian team would be able to localize it. I don’t think half the people would really understand what’s going on. It’s hard for Japanese people to understand, it’s probably even harder for people overseas.”