Like a Dragon: Ishin Was Considered to Be Impossible to Localize; Will Not Feature English Dub

Like a Dragon: Ishin

Like a Dragon: Ishin has been long considered an impossible game to localize due to the setting and several other issues, but now developer Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio feels like the Western release of the remake could be the best version of the game.

Speaking with GameSpot, RGG Studio head Masayoshi Yokoyama revealed that the game was long considered to be impossible to localize. The original game was hard for Japanese people to understand due to certain concepts and philosophies as well as archaic Japanese terms, and it would be even worse in the West:

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"When we were first working on Ishin, we thought this game was impossible to localize. There was no way that the overseas team and the Asian team would be able to localize it. I don't think half the people would really understand what's going on. It's hard for Japanese people to understand, it's probably even harder for people overseas."

Thanks to modern localization and in-game systems, however, this is no longer a problem. The Western version of Like a Dragon: Ishin will have a system that will explain the meaning of the aforementioned archaic terms, and this is why the RGG Studio head feels that the Western release will be the best version of the game to date.

The used vocabulary is also one of the reasons why Like a Dragon: Ishin won't receive an English dub. As confirmed in an interview with Masayoshi Yokoyama, translated by The Tojo Dojo, the way people talked during the Bakumatus era, the 1860s, would make dubbed lines too long:

No they don’t really watch subtitled content. Especially in English speaking countries. That’s why they prefer to have voice overs. However, we didn’t do voice overs for Yakuza 0. It was subtitled. And despite that it was very popular. The fans overseas who’ve been playing since that era still play the games like that even now. In Japanese with English subtitles. They like Nakano and Kuroda’s voices so they want to hear their voices while they play. You can change it in the settings. There are a lot of people who play with the settings on Japanese voices and English subtitles. For the Ishin remake we’re using subtitles. We’re not dubbing voice overs. We’re translating the game into English, but the specialized vocabulary and the way people talked during the Bakumatsu era would make the lines incredibly long so it just wouldn’t work. So this time we’re doing subtitles.

Like a Dragon: Ishin launches on PC, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S and Xbox One in February 2023.

Products mentioned in this post

Xbox Series S
USD 288
Xbox Series X
USD 499
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