Yakuza Studio is Researching Unreal Engine 5 for Future Games

Series executive producer Masayoshi Yokoyama has spoken about how the studio has been researching new engines, including Unreal Engine 5.

Posted By | On 16th, Sep. 2022

Yakuza-Like-a-Dragon-3

Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio is considering moving its critically-acclaimed Yakuza/Like a Dragon franchise to Unreal Engine from its currently-used Dragon Engine. Series executive producer Masayoshi Yokoyama spoke to IGN about how the studio believes that it might be time for a major update.

Yokoyama acknowledges that its long-running Dragon Engine has begun showing its age. While the studio has updated it over the years, adding new features when needed, the engine hasn’t really seen any major updates.

“The Dragon Engine at this point is kind of a bit of an old engine,” said Yokoyama. “We have made a lot of minor updates over the years for it, or we’ve made a lot of minor updates over it, but we haven’t made any major updates. So probably next what’s coming for would be a major update if we had to do anything.”

The studio is currently researching Unreal Engine 5, according to Yokoyama. Dragon Engine has proven itself quite capable at showing off Japanese cities in a night time setting, and the studio is looking into whether Unreal Engine 5 can work for future titles.

“We are kind of looking at it and saying, what are the merits of each? What’s the merit of the Dragon Engine? What’s the merit of the Unreal Engine? And when it comes down to it, the Dragon Engine…it’s really perfectly designed to represent a city at night. The nighttime city. Whereas Unreal, it’s better at showing nature and daytime and that sort of feel.”

Yokoyama also spoke about how graphical fidelity isn’t really much of a concern anymore. Rather, the studio is affected by the number of platforms there are to release games on.

“[R]ather than adjusting in terms of the challenge of adjusting to a new generation, much stronger technology, the main challenge is that now, we have so many platforms,” Yokoyama says. “We have PC, we have Steam, we have Xbox, we have all sorts of things from which our game can be a part of, and so making a game that can be on all these platforms and using the chance to share our game with people all around the world is the major challenge that we think we want to face going forward. And because of all these different pieces of technology, we want to maybe try doing something unique as well. Whether or not we’re doing it is a little bit of a secret though.”

Ryu Ga Gotoku recently unveiled three new games in the Yakuza franchise: Like a Dragon 8, Like a Dragon: Ishin!, and Like a Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name.


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