Like a Dragon: Ishin won't have an English dub

Like a Dragon: Ishin
(Image credit: Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio)

If you plan on checking out the upcoming Yakuza spinoff, Like a Dragon: Ishin, you should know the only language option is full Japanese with English subtitles.

Ryu Ga Gotoku's own Yakuza series producer, Masayoshi Yokoyama, confirmed as much during an interview at Tokyo Game Show 2022 (translated by PSU), explaining that the regional and historical dialect used in the game is too difficult to translate into English.

"There are a lot of people who play with the settings on Japanese voices and English subtitles," said Yokoyama. "For the Ishin remake we're using subtitles. We're not dubbing voiceovers."

None of the Yakuza games released before the most recent, 2020's Yakuza: Like a Dragon, had an English language option, so this isn't a huge surprise. However, it sounds like Ryu Ga Gotoku will consider different language options in future Yakuza games on a case-by-case basis.

"[We were] 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 is a remake of a Yakuza game that has previously only been available in Japan, and it tells a story featuring a brand new cast of characters and taking place hundreds of years prior to the events of the mainline series. Meanwhile, Yakuza 8, now titled Like a Dragon 8 and set to launch in 2024, stars dual Yakuza protagonists Kiryu and Ichiban, so it's safe to expect an English dub in that game.

Like a Dragon: Ishin launches on February 21, 2023.

That's not all! There's also a new Yakuza spin-off game following Kiryu and explaining his story between Yakuza 6 and Like a Dragon 8.

Jordan Gerblick

After scoring a degree in English from ASU, I worked as a copy editor while freelancing for places like SFX Magazine, Screen Rant, Game Revolution, and MMORPG on the side. Now, as GamesRadar's west coast Staff Writer, I'm responsible for managing the site's western regional executive branch, AKA my apartment, and writing about whatever horror game I'm too afraid to finish.