If you’re planning on checking out the upcoming Yakuza spin-off, Like a Dragon: Ishin, you should know that the only language option is full Japanese with English subtitles.
Ryu Ga Gotoku’s own Yakuza series producer, Masayoshi Yokoyama, confirmed this during an interview. (opens in a new tab) at the Tokyo Game Show 2022 (translated by PSU (opens in a new tab)), explaining that the regional and historical dialect used in the game is too difficult to translate into English.
“There are a lot of people playing around with the settings on Japanese voices and English subtitles,” Yokoyama said. “For the Ishin remake, we use subtitles. We don’t dub the voiceovers.”
None of the Yakuza games released before the most recent, 2020’s Yakuza: Like a Dragon, had an English option, so that’s not a huge surprise. However, it looks like Ryu Ga Gotoku will consider different language options in future Yakuza games on a case-by-case basis.
“[We were] translating the game into English, but the specialized vocabulary and the way people spoke in the Bakumatsu era made the lines incredibly long, so that just wouldn’t work. So this time we’re doing subtitles.”
Like a Dragon: Ishin is a remake of a Yakuza game that was previously only available in Japan, and it tells a story featuring an all-new cast of characters and set hundreds of years before the events of the main series. Meanwhile, Yakuza 8, now titled Like a Dragon 8 and slated to launch in 2024, features Yakuza dual protagonists Kiryu and Ichiban, so it’s safe to expect an English dub in this game.
Like a Dragon: Ishin will be released on February 21, 2023.
That’s not all! There is also a new Yakuza spin-off game after Kiryu and explaining its history between Yakuza 6 and Like a Dragon 8.