An April Fool’s joke meant that Like A Dragon was not an RPG
Sega released Yakuza, Like A Dragon 2020, to widespread critical acclaim. It also seemed to be a financial success. This title was a soft reboot of the series. It introduced a new protagonist and even a completely new battle system. Ichiban was a big fan of Square Enix RPG Dragon Quest and saw the world through turn-based battles. The game’s mechanics reflect that. This was a significant change for the series, which had been a brawler in six mainline games.
Toshihiro Nagoshi, the then-Chief creative officer of Sega and Yakuza producer, gave an interview suggesting the game was an RPG after receiving it as an April Fool’s Day joke. The game had been first described as a turn-based battle system.
Nagoshi stated, “At first, we spoke half-jokingly. How about we make an RPG.” “We made an April Fool joke video. Many assumed that we were already creating an RPG at this point. It was a joke created for April Fools Day. At the time, it was an action game. After the video was received well, we changed our direction. It was made into an RPG.
The video was released on April 1, which is also many businesses’ first day in the financial year. Japanese publishers release much information about big titles and tend to publish much of it.
It’s easy to believe that Nagoshi was lying, even though you don’t know Nagoshi. Anybody who was even remotely familiar with his interviews knew this was a joke. A game doesn’t change so much in its final year of development, no matter how experienced a studio is at sprinting. To clarify this, I was able to interview Masayoshi Yokoyama, RGG studio chief.
Through a translator, Yokoyama stated that “Of course, it was a joke.” “These things are decided before we even start to develop the game. It was not an unexpected decision.
Yokoyama also stressed that Yakuza: Like a Dragon was based on Ichiban and his friends having a party, so the RPG mechanics flowed naturally. Like A Dragon 8 will be the next instalment in the series. Yokoyama revealed last night.
Here we are. It is a good idea to be critical of everything you hear rather than accepting it as gospel.