Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth

Sega "flatly rejected" the storyline of the first two original Yakuza titles

The publisher felt that this would not convince the mainstream audience.

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This year we have had what is probably the best game in the Yakuza series (renamed Like a Dragon in its new phase) in its entire history. Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth not only made us fall in love with it, it became the fastest selling title in the franchise and the most successful on platforms like Steam. But all this might not have happened if Sega had been more uncompromising in the early days of the series.

In an interview with Weekly Ochiai (translated by Automaton), Sega's former creative director Toshihiro Nagoshi explained that at the time he was thinking about releasing the first Yakuza game in the early 2000s, Sega was struggling to release games that would sell well worldwide, and they were not at all convinced that Yakuza fit that premise.

"Of course, it was rejected out of hand," he said. "After all, it was totally contrary to what I mentioned before about appealing to the masses. Children couldn't play it, and it wasn't aimed at women or foreign audiences. In that sense, there was no way it could be passed without resistance".

Nagoshi says he had to present the game at least three times before Sega relented and gave the green light for the first Yakuza game. The story of Kazuma Kiryu ultimately proved Ruy Ga Gotoku right, and has since become a mainstay of the publisher for more than two decades. Now that the series is placed on the shoulders of Ichiban Kasuga's character, it looks like we will have many more successes in the future for both Like a Dragon and Sega.

Can you imagine your gamer profile now without ever having heard of the Yakuza series?

Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth

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Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth

REVIEW. Written by Alberto Garrido

More mini-games, more battles, more drama and the return of the main characters of the series. Ichiban and Kiryu leave us with the best Yakuza (or Like a Dragon) ever.

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