Like a Dragon 8 Announced: The Popularity of Japanese-Themed Games Continues


Sega has confirmed that they’re working on two new games in their Yazuka series of games, although the name has now been changed to Like a Dragon. What can we expect from the new game and how does it show us the continued popularity of games based in Japan?

The Details of the New Games

The first game is to be called Like A Dragon 8, and it’s the next installment in the main series which will be released in various formats in 2024. From what we can see in the trailer, it looks like Ichiban will no longer be alone, with Kiryu playing a leading role this time around. Classic bad guys Yu Nanba and Koichi Adach will be there, but the action is said to take place in a new setting.

As for the other new game from Sega, this is a spin-off called Like a Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name. This looks like filling in some of the plot gaps left between games in the main series and also bringing back the older style of combat that we saw in the earlier games.

In fact, these two new games are added to another title that was also announced recently. This one is called Like a Dragon, Ishin! and in this case, the action takes place in the 1860s and it’s based on the disappearance of the traditional samurai culture from Japan. Despite this, it still contains some of the familiar faces we’ve already seen in other games in this series.

The series began in 2005 when the game titled simply Yakuza debuted on the PlayStation 2. Set in a fictional neighborhood of Tokyo, it established the series as being based on crime dramas inside an action-adventure setting.

After this game was a success in Japan and then other parts of the world, several sequels were issued, and the series as a whole had sold over 14 million units by the end of 2020. It’s also led to books, music, and other media being released to appeal to its many fans.

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Why Are Japanese Games So Popular?

The trend for games set in Japan has been around for decades and shows no sign of slowing down, with new releases showing that the demand is still present. Since this Asian country has over 75 million gamers and a market worth more than $222 billion, it’s the world’s third-biggest gaming market, so it’s no surprise to see many developers catering their games to Japanese players.

However, players from other parts of the planet are also attracted to the exotic setting and the Japanese culture that is found in these games. That’s why games like Tokyo Jungle, Personal Royal 5, Steins; Gate, and Judgement have all been hugely successful among gamers both in Japan and elsewhere. The boom in popularity enjoyed by anime has helped to make this market more attractive.

Strategy games set in Japan are also popular, with Stronghold: Warlords, Yakuza Empire, and Ninja Village being some of the strategy games based in Japan, with the feudal period a particularly popular choice for developers creating this type of game.

Several online slot games are set in Japan or with Japanese culture included as seen on this list of free slots. They include Geisha by Aristocrat, which is listed as one of the free online slots here and has the sort of imagery you’d expect to see from a game based on this culture. Free slots are one way to try a game without paying anything. Besides that, the same developer has other Asian-themed slots listed, such as 5 Koi and 5 Dragons. To play these games without betting money, you need to register at an online casino that includes them and then choose the demo play option.

The popular game of pachinko has been described as being a Japanese version of pinball, with the difference that players can win balls that they then exchange for prizes. This game is best known for its land-based version, but it can also be played online now, as can the traditional dice game known as Sugoroku.

Given the success of the earlier games in the Yazuka series, we can expect the new games to be hits. Even if some fans take time to get used to the new game of Like a Dragon. Having a Japanese theme isn’t enough on its own to make a new game a success, but the fact that this setting is so well-loved is certainly a positive factor that should help it.