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Yakuza / Like A Dragon Developer RGG Studio Interested In Online Games-As-A-Service, Says Producer Masayoshi Yokoyama

During the week of Tokyo Game Show 2022, the Like a Dragon (formerly Yakuza) franchise had a big week with three new games announced: Like a Dragon: Ishin!, Like A Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name, and Like A Dragon 8. With so many projects in development, the series future is looking bright and active. What could be next following those projects?

In a round table interview I attended with Masayoshi Yokoyama, the Like A Dragon producer talked about his thoughts on DLC and taking the series to other genres. Yokoyama mentioned that the team is quite interested in story DLC to add longevity to a game. He expressed a desire to make a game that has a continuation aspect, for players to be able to keep playing and enjoying.

On that note, I asked if the studio has had any thoughts on doing an online games-as-a-service project. Not necessarily an MMORPG but maybe something similar to Grand Theft Auto Online where there are updates to the world and additional story.

“Yes, personally, I’d like to try it. It would be something really interesting to do,” Yokoyama replied. “But, to be honest, I don’t think our studio alone has the capacity and ability to handle that. And so if we wanted to do that, we would have to team up and collaborate with someone who really knows how to build those sorts of games. That would be the only way we’d be able to do it.”

“We as a team have focused entirely on not online games but console games, making these kinds of [single player] experiences,” he explained. “Because that sort of (games-as-a-service) product would be so different from what we usually do, it would take years and years for us to be able to do that. Or we would have to team up with someone who would be able to provide those skills. In a nutshell, we’d like to try it, but it would be challenging.”

More Spin-Offs Like Ishin?

Lastly, I asked, “With Ishin, it takes characters from the franchise and puts them in the Edo period in Japan. Are there any other time periods or settings the team would like to put the characters in?”

“So I’ve said before I’d love to do a Three Kingdoms sort-of thing. That being said, anything that I seriously want to do I probably won’t say because I want to keep it close to my vest,” Yokoyama answered with a chuckle. “But, yeah, there is tons of stuff I think would be really cool to do.”

Thank you to SEGA for inviting me to a round table interview with Masayoshi Yokoyama at Tokyo Game Show 2022.