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Like A Dragon Franchise Needs To Keep Using Its Own Game Engine, Says Series Technical Director

The series technical director for Like A Dragon has stressed that it’s important for the franchise to continue using its bespoke Dragon Engine, although it’s important for Ryu Ga Gotoku staff to get acquainted with other options.

Speaking with Type, a Japanese publication, RGG’s Yutaka Ita stressed the important of the Dragon Engine for the Like A Dragon series, but noted how the team utilised the Unreal Engine for Like A Dragon: Ishin, which is a remake of the 2014 title Yakuza: Ishin originally released for PS4 and PS3.

One of them was the expression of light. In Like a Dragon: Ishin, Unreal Engine made it possible to show shininess in bright daytime environments, and beautifully advanced depth of field. Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth, on the other hand, was developed using the Dragon Engine, but after getting a request to incorporate the effects we were able to achieve in Ishin, we added new lighting features to the engine.

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We have to keep up with the changes in the games industry. Perhaps in the future, if a very good general-purpose game engine comes out, all the game companies in the world may start using it. If Dragon Studio can only use the Dragon Engine at that time, we may no longer be able to compete in this world.

We don’t know which direction the game industry and development environment will take in the future. That’s why when we train new employees at Ryu ga Gotoku Studio, we have them learn how to create games using three engines – Dragon Engine, Unreal Engine and Unity.

Ita-san was quick to note that there are no plans for RGG Studio to move to another engine such as Unreal or Unity, with the Dragon Engine remaining key to the Like A Dragon franchise going forward.