For a while now, the Yakuza series has not only been successful in Japan, the franchise has also started to attract a global audience in recent years. One of the consequences of that is that recent releases in the franchise, Yakuza: Like a Dragon and both Judgment spin-offs, have been released with English dubs in the West, where previous entries were entirely in Japanese with subtitles. in English.
There are plenty more games in the franchise in the years to come, but one of them won’t feature English voiceovers. the developer Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio has confirmed (via The Tojo Dojo) that the next Like a Dragon: Was!, the remake of the 2014 spin-off Yakuza Ishin, which was only released in Japan, will not have an English dub, and will instead feature English subtitles with Japanese dialogue, and most likely Spanish text. According to the developers, this is for the sake of authenticity.
“For the Ishin remake we are using subtitles. We are not dubbing voiceovers. We are translating the game into English, but the specialized vocabulary and the way people spoke during the Bakumatsu era would make the lines incredibly long, so it just wouldn’t work. So this time we are doing subtitles.”
Like a Dragon: Ishin! is, of course, set in Japan in the late Edo period, so given its setting from that period, the developer’s reasoning definitely makes sense. Of course, other upcoming games in the series, Like a Dragon 8 and Like a Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name, are likely to be released in the West with full dubs.
Like a Dragon: Ishin! It will be released on February 21, 2023 for PS5, Xbox Series X/S, PS4, Xbox One, and PC.