In a new interview, producer and writer of Yakuza: Like a Dragon, Masayoshi Yokoyama, has stated that the game was inspired by the popular anime and manga series, One Piece. Yokoyama also went on to detail how the game’s name was agreed upon as well as the future of the franchise. Yakuza: Like a Dragon was first released back in 2020 as a mainline entry that featured turn-based combat and focused on a protagonist named Inchiban Kasuga, who was apparently heavily inspired by Luffy from One Piece.

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Yakuza: Like a Dragon was the last game in the franchise to use the title “Yakuza” outside of Japan, before adopting “Like a Dragon” as the new series title in the West. Sega clarified the Yakuza franchise’s name change back in September. Given how popular the series has gotten around the world, it will likely be difficult to not refer to the series as “Yakuza,” and given how popular the One Piece franchise has gotten, it isn’t as much of a stretch for the manga to have been such a big influence on this unique entry in the franchise upon further examination.

RELATED: Like a Dragon: Gaiden Will Be A Smaller Scale Game Than Other Yakuza Games

In an interview with Crunchyroll, Yokoyama, looked back fondly on Yakuza: Like a Dragon, stating that writing the game was his take on a One Piece game. “I’ve never really talked about this before, so I’m not sure if I should just go for it now, but for Yakuza: Like a Dragon I was really, really inspired by One Piece. To me, Ichiban is basically Luffy. And around him there’s Zoro and Nami and basically the rest of the party, you know? One Piece’s party composition was on my mind so much during writing that it was a massive influence,” said Yokoyama. Yokoyama also stated that catch copy for Yakuza: Like a Dragon was something similar to “life is an adventure.” That phrase goes well with the One Piece series, as it focuses on pirates, journeys, and a grand sense of adventure.

In the same interview, Yokoyama also detailed the future of the Yakuza franchise (now Like a Dragon in the West). A remake of Like a Dragon: Ishin, which is getting a release in the West for the first time, is set to be released in February 2023, followed by Like a Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name in 2023, and Like a Dragon 8 in 2024. The Yakuza franchise has exploded in popularity in the West. The One Piece franchise also has numerous projects in development for it, in addition to the long-running anime.

One Piece is one of the highest-grossing media franchises of all time, so the fact that Yokoyama took inspiration for it for a game isn’t all that surprising. Much like One Piece, Yakuza: Like a Dragon has a colorful cast, an energetic feel, and a gripping story. With Like a Dragon 8 confirmed to have dual protagonists, the strong sense of adventure is sure to continue on.

Yakuza: Like a Dragon is available now on PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.

MORE: What Like a Dragon 8 Can Learn From Yakuza Zero’s Use of Dual Protagonists

Source: Crunchyroll

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