The Yakuza name is officially dead, Sega rebrands

Kazuma Kiryu

Screenshot: Sega

The first one Yakuza the game was released in 2006, and the brand was last used in the 2020s Yakuza: like a dragon. Across eight major releases and a number of spinoffs, the name has become synonymous with sharp costumes, hour-long cutscenes, and bikes smashed into guys’ faces. But as Sega prepares to welcome a whole new generation of games to the series, it’s also choosing this time to say goodbye to the name.

You may have noticed that the new games announced earlier this week, from historical spin-offs to modern spin-offs to the ninth entry in the main seriesall had something in common: Sega called them all ‘like a dragon‘, while they were still called ‘Yakuza.’ It was partly because old habits are hard to break, but also because we know that equally we call them again Yakuza games, most of you too (I even refer to the Judgement games like Yakuza titles, just because it helps).

I contacted Sega today to clarify this, however, and their response was clear: the Yakuza the name is no more. For these three games, and for each new title in the series to come, they will all bear the ‘like a dragon‘ instead, so that they, as I was told, “align more closely with the Japanese name”.

Japanese gamers will probably wonder what the problem is, because in the homeland of the series, the games themselves and the development studio behind them have still been called Ryū ga Gotoku/龍が如, which means in English…like a dragon. So in Japan, there won’t be any need for change, it’s just the western versions that will carry a new branding.

As you can now see, Yakuza 7 full title in the West—Yakuza: like a dragon– was actually a bit messy, but like the game itself seemed at the timeit was also the perfect way to say goodbye to the old Yakuza name, while dragging us all into a like a dragon coming.

Good-bye then, Yakuza, and thanks for all the memories. You were definitely smaller, snappier, and more fun to say than Like a dragon.