The executive producer and creative director of Like a Dragon: Ishin revealed that all hope is not lost for the remake of the once Japan-exclusive Like a Dragon: Kenzan.
Sega has made a statement about the possibility of a remake of Like a Dragon: Kenzan. They claim that the likelihood of this depends on the success of the upcoming remake of Ishin. According to the announcement, Ishin was a big surprise to fans during the Tokyo Game Show. Many had long since given up hope that Sega would localize the previously Japan-exclusive historical Like a Dragon (or Yakuza) games. Although only one of the games has been confirmed, there seems to be some chance of a remake of the other title.
Like a Dragon: Ishin was first announced at PlayStation’s State of Play presentation ahead of Tokyo Game Show 2022.
The game is a remake of a 2014 Japan-exclusive game of the same title released for PS4 and PS3. The game is set in Japan’s Edo period and is inspired by actual events in Japanese history. Popular characters from the Yakuza series fill the roles of historical figures, such as the main character Kazuma Kiryu, who plays Sakamoto Ryoma.
The original release of Like a Dragon: Ishin in 2013 was not Ryu Ga Gotoku Studios’ first attempt to combine the Yakuza series with historical Japanese history and setting. The first in a series of spin-offs was Like a Dragon: Kenzan in 2008. In it, Kiryu played the role of Miyamoto Musashi in 1605. There was much debate about why Sega decided to remake the latter of the two titles. Some fans believe that Sega chose Ishin because of the more questionable underage content of Kenzan. Regardless, the executive producer at RGG Studios has hinted that there is still a chance that Kenzan will get the same love as Ishin.
Speaking to Ungeek, RGG Studios executive producer Masayoshi Yokoyama and lead director Hiroyuki Sakamoto said that the main thing holding the studio back from remaking Kenzan is the game’s age.
Yokoyama claimed that the team desires to recreate Kenzan but would require much more work than Ishin. Mainly because of the age of the game’s combat system. He later added that for the team to consider such a remake, Ishin would first need to be a proven success.
So, all in all, a remake of Like a Dragon: Kenzan still has a pretty good chance if Ishin is successful. Given the success of the series in recent years and other games set in historical Japan, such as Ghost of Tsushima and Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, this possibility doesn’t seem as remote as it did in 2013.