Why Did Yakuza Change To Like A Dragon? – Name Change & Reasons Why

Why did this franchise change it's name?

by Shaun Cichacki
Yakuza 8 Like a Dragon Sequel

As gamers prepare for the release of Like A Dragon: Ishin!, the newest chapter in the storied Yakuza franchise, they may be wondering about the name change. While the Ryu ga Gotoku team is hard at work preparing the next few chapters of the story for all of the characters, the sudden change of name may be jarring to some.

Why, exactly, did they do away with this moniker, and what lead up to the change? Let’s dive into this process, and figure out what made this team ditch the title for something completely different, and if it’s been in the works for a while.

From Yakuza To Like A Dragon: Why Did The Name Change?


Following along with the story beats of the most recent entry, Yakuza 8: Like A Dragon, it was hinted at in the 12th chapter with a rather blunt title: The End Of Yakuza. Not only did this particular title already have the subtext of Like A Dragon, the story saw the newest protagonist, Ichiban, going through much more than he could have ever imagined. Rather than staying home and playing Dragon Quest, he helped bring down the biggest crime organization in the world.

While fans may not have thought much of it at the time, it seems that the title of Chapter 12 would have more implications than originally thought. As the game is starting to stray away from this crime family drama and towards a new direction with Like A Dragon 8, fans will just need to see what is in store with the franchise from this point forward.

Also, just a fun fact, Ryo ga Gotoku is Japanese for Like A Dragon, so it seems that the franchise is also aiming to push the franchise towards a singularity, as the Dragon of Dojima and The Rock Bottom Dragon will be teaming up in the upcoming Like A Dragon 8 for some mischief together. The Yakuza moniker was something that only really applied to the West, as the series has always used Ryo ga Gotoku in Asian countries.

With Like A Dragon: Ishin! being the official first title in the States to use the new title, it may take a while for players to fully adjust to the transition, but it will come naturally soon enough as more titles make their way down the pipeline.

Like A Dragon: Ishin! will be available on February 21, 2023, on PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, and PC.

- This article was updated on February 14th, 2023