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Yakuza Creator Explains Why He's Hesitant to Include Kiryu in Fighting Games

posted on by Kim Morrissy
'Fighting games generally have female characters, and personally I don't really want to see Kiryu beating up women.'

In an interview with Red Bull France, the Yakuza game series director Toshihiro Nagoshi expressed personal reservations about including protagonist Kazuma Kiryu as a guest character in fighting games. According to an English translation of the article written by the interviewer, Nagoshi said: "We do get this request a lot. Of course there are exceptions, but fighting games generally have female characters, and personally I don't really want to see Kiryu beating up women."

Nagoshi has previously commented on the masculine ideals embodied by the Yakuza characters, describing Kiryu as "the kind of man that every boy wants to be." He has also said that he is careful to depict Kiryu as the kind of character who will never start a fight by himself, instead only accepting fights that come to him. "I think basing your game in reality and forcing responsibility brings your experience closer to the real world," he said. "If anyone was to ever kill someone because of a game I made, I'd stop making games on the spot. I'd be devastated."

Yakuza: Like a Dragon (Ryū ga Gotoku 7: Hikari to Yami no Yukue), the most recent installment of the Yakuza franchise, shipped in the West for Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Windows 10 and PC via Steam on November 10. The game will debut for the PlayStation 5 on March 2, 2021. People who purchase the PS4 version will be able to receive the PS5 version at no additional cost.

The game takes place in Isezaki Ijincho in Yokohama. The story follows the new protagonist Ichiban Kasuga, who belongs to the Arakawa Family, the third generation family of the Tojo Clan. Previous games focused on Kazuma Kiryu, a tough yet honorable yakuza member.

Sega released the game for PS4 in Japan as Ryū ga Gotoku 7: Hikari to Yami no Yukue (Yakuza 7: The Direction of Light and Dark) on January 16. "Like a Dragon" in the Western title Yakuza: Like a Dragon is the translation of the series' Japanese title Ryū ga Gotoku.

Sources: Red Bull France (Grégory de Meyer), Resetera via Kotaku (Ian Walker)

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