SEGA pulling back on blockchain gaming saying play-to-earn games are boring

Cryptocurrency has taken a big hit in value, but when it was in its all time high, SEGA and other big publishers where quick to announce blockchain gaming projects across the board. SEGA was even one of the biggest supporters saying their next big ‘super game’ and successor to Phantasy Star Online 2 would feature NFTs. Now that the price and hype surrounding crypto has shifted into a bear market, it seems that SEGA is having second thoughts on the whole thing.

SEGA’s co-Chief Operating Officer Shuji Utsumi talked to Bloomberg News recently:

“The action in play-to-earn games is boring. What’s the point if games are no fun?”

As far as SEGA’s online multiplayer, high budget “Super Game” that is due to roll out in 2026, he had this to say:

“We’re looking into whether this technology is really going to take off in this industry, after all” 

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Kson wins the RGG hostess competition grand prize; will now appear in Like A Dragon 8

Back in April, I reported on Vshojo star Kson becoming a finalist in RGG Studio’s hostess grand prix and being awarded a hostess role in Like A Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name, alongside 4 other lucky women. Well, now that contest is finally over and Kson has taken home the grand prize, coming out just two points ahead of the runner up. She now gets the prestigious honor of not just being a hostess in Like A Dragon Gaiden, but also that upcoming game’s follow-up, Like A Dragon 8.

Moreover, the five finalists, including Kson, will be represented in Gaiden though live-action video footage, much like in the gravure photography mini-game from Yakuza Kiwami 2. Kson, as the grand prize winner, will have her real self recreated as a 3D model in Like A Dragon 8, like every other major hostess in the entire series. Look forward to seeing, and speaking to, her 3D representation in Like A Dragon 8, which does not yet have a firm release date as of this writing. Like A Dragon Gaiden is still on track to launch on PS5, PS4, Xbox, and PC within 2023.

To learn more about who Kson is and why her inclusion in the Like A Dragon series is so significant, check out my earlier article discussing her inclusion in Like A Dragon Gaiden. Tell us how hyped you are by this news in the comments too.

Special thanks, once again, goes to Sakura Ch. for their translation of the above clip from the official RGG livestream announcing the winner and detailing Kson’s new hostess role. Of course, I also heartily congratulate Kson on this milestone on behalf of SegaBits. (EDIT: Sakura Ch. deleted their clip from the livestream. I have replaced it with a screenshot of the tweet from VShojo congratulating Kson.)

Vtuber Kson confirmed to appear in Like A Dragon Gaiden as a hostess

Recently, RGG Studio revealed the five winners among a group of women who auditioned to appear as hostesses in the upcoming Like A Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name. This is something they have done many times for earlier Like A Dragon/Yakuza games, with the winners usually consisting of actual hostesses, gravure models, and even porn actresses. This time, one of the five finalists is especially significant. Well known Vshojo idol, and longtime Like A Dragon fan, Kson was ceremoniously confirmed to be among the new hostesses in Like A Dragon Gaiden, much to her excitement and the excitement of many diehard fans of hers.

Find out more about who Kson is after the break.

Special thanks to Sakura Ch. for their translation of the above clip from RGG Studio’s official livestream where the five wining actresses were revealed. (EDIT: Sakura Ch. has deleted their clip. I’ve replaced it with a tweet from the RGG Studios Japanese twitter showcasing the winners. Kson is on the top right.)

Launch Trailer – Like a Dragon: Ishin! sends Yakuza to 1860s Japan

2023 is certainly shaping up to be the year of the Like A Dragon franchise, formerly the Yakuza franchise, with Like a Dragon: Ishin! releasing this week. SEGA has provided fans with a launch trailer, which you can watch above.

Former SEGA Senior Director of International Product Development and Localization Sam Mullen, who had worked on a bulk of the Yakuza/Like A Dragon franchise as it released to the West, shared his thoughts on the road to Ishin! on Twitter which are well worth a read. Since Twitter is not a very good place for archiving information, we’ve screencaptured Sam’s thoughts. After the break, information about the release platforms and Digital Deluxe Edition content.

Have you picked up Like a Dragon: Ishin!? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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SEGA News Bits Live: Like a Dragon 8 & Sonic Frontiers reveals Super Sonic

On this News Bits Live, Barry reacts to the news of three new Yakuza titles as well as… wait, they’re not Yakuza games anymore? Okay, let’s talk about that too. Also, Super Sonic and a new island is revealed for Sonic Frontiers! All this and the past week’s news on SEGA News Bits Live!

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Like a Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name releasing 2023 to Xbox, PlayStation and PC platforms

In another surprise at the RGG Summit, a new game was announced for 2023: Like a Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name. The game stars Kazuma Kiryu in a story that takes place between Yakuza 6 and 7 with classic gameplay elements returning. The game is said to be smaller, about half the size of a mainline Yakuza/Like a Dragon title.

The game will release in 2023 to PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series and PC platforms.

Like a Dragon 8 announced for 2024, releasing to Xbox, PlayStation and PC platforms

In the early morning hours, at least here in the USA, SEGA of America dropped the trailer for the eighth game in the Yakuza franchise: Like a Dragon 8. The news dropped at Japan’s RGG summit event. Due out in 2024, the game will release globally to PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series and PC platforms. Ichiban Kasuga returns, and he brought a friend with him. Wait, it’s Kazuma Kiryu with a new haircut! Also, notably, the game drops the Yakuza name, which we also noted yesterday with the Like a Dragon: Ishin! reveal. It looks like the Yakuza franchise is now the Like a Dragon franchise!

What are your thoughts on the trailer? Did Kazuma get a haircut?

Yakuza and Judgment series localization producer Scott Strichart steps down

For all the wonderful writing that is in the Yakuza and Judgment franchise, it isn’t hard to notice that it comes straight from a Japanese company, mainly for a Japanese audience. And sometimes the transition is rocky when providing it for different languages. The team of RGG’s English localization team doesn’t give enough credit for the way they provide and translate the stories, characters, and events of the games and Scott Strichart (senior localization producer) has stepped down.

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Yakuza Collaboration DLC Pack coming to Virtua Fighter 5 Ultimate Showdown on December 8th

On the recent Virtua Fighter esports Official Broadcast, Seiji Aoki provided new information on the next upcoming downloadable content for Virtua Fighter 5 Ultimate Showdown.

The upcoming downloadable content will be collaborating with the Yakuza series celebrating the series 16th anniversary featuring 650 items, 19 costume types, 19 costumes of the iconic characters from the Yakuza franchise such as Akira Yuki with Kazuma Kiryu clothes. The DLC will also feature 20 BGM from the Yakuza series, 20 Virtua Fighter 3 BGM (Arranged), and new 40 stamps.

The Yakuza Collaboration DLC pack for Virtua Fighter 5 Ultimate Showdown will be released on December 8th for $10.

 

Jet Set Radio’s Art Director Ryuta Ueda Working at SEGA Again!


SEGA’s Ryuta Ueda left SEGA back in 2014, we even did a post. Back then he worked at SEGA for 19 years being the chief ard designer for Jet Set Radio, doing enemy art for Panzer Dragoon Orta and also directing the first two Yakuza games on PlayStation 2! At the time, he left the company to work at Yahoo, but according to Ueda’s Facebook page, he has been back at SEGA since May of this year:

“I have decided to resign from Yahoo Japan and return to my old company, Sega. I am very grateful for the many people I met and the many lessons I learned through various projects at Yahoo!

From now on, I will focus on making games again. Not only do I feel the excitement of making things, but I am also smiling a little at the thought of seeing old friends and meeting new people. I would like to fully demonstrate what I have cultivated through experience.

PS: I’m going to try to update my Facebook page a bit more. Oh, and if you are going to ask what I’m making, I can’t answer that.

What is Ryuta Ueda working on now? I guess we don’t know, maybe he will rejoin Ryu Ga Gotoku Studios on upcoming projects? As of right now, that remains a mystery!

The Dragon of Dojima, Kazuma Kiryu from Yakuza, rolls into Super Monkey Ball: Banana Mania

From the streets of Kamurocho to the slopes of Jungle Island, Kazuma Kiryu from the Yakuza series rolls into Super Monkey Ball Banana Mania! Instead of collecting bananas, Kazuma Kiryu can collect Stamina X bottles (a item he uses to recover his health gauge in the Yakuza games) as he progresses through numerous puzzling worlds. This would have to be one of the greatest SEGA crossovers so far as RGG Studio, formerly known as Amusement Vision, worked on the Super Monkey Ball series and then became CS1 R&D (RGG Studio) later to develop the Yakuza series.

Kazuma Kiryu will be free and unlockable on all platforms when Super Monkey Ball Banana Mania launches for Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Steam, Xbox One, and Xbox Series S|X on October 5, 2021!

PRE-ORDER

Steam | PlayStation 4 | Xbox One | Nintendo Switch | PlayStation 5 | Xbox Series X/S

 

 

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Yakuza 0 Vinyl Pre-Orders Open, Including a Double Deluxe LP and a Six Record Limited Edition

Looks like Laced Records has opened up pre-orders fro the Yakuza 0 vinyl soundtrack. The company is set to ship the records in October 2021 and this will include:

The cheaper, deluxe record is set to include 27 songs, with on record being green and the other light blue. It will also including songs like “Fever ☆ Time,” “Ignite Your Spirit,” “Koi no Disco Queen,” “One-Eyed Slugger,” and “Setsuna No Ningyohime〜Heart break​ mermaid〜【Full Spec Edition】.”

Now the Limited Edition Six Record Set will offer 90 songs with each record getting its own sleeve and its own ‘color-in-color’ design. If you want “Bakamitai”, you gonna have to spend more money on this edition.

[Via: Siliconera]

RGG Studio to host Yakuza 15th Anniversary Live Stream; Covering the History of Yakuza and Future Developments

A special live broadcast for Yakuza’s 15th Anniversary will be held on Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio official YouTube channel on Tuesday, December 8th at 20:00 JST. The live stream will feature Takaya Kuroda (Kazuma Kiryu) and Kazuhiro Nakaya (Ichiban Kasuga) as special guests.

The stream will also cover the history of the Yakuza series for the past 15 years and will make announcements on future developments on the series. Click here to set a reminder for the upcoming live stream.

Yakuza Producer, Daisuke Sato, wants to take on developing a Sonic the Hedgehog Game

 

In the latest video interview of SEGA 60th Anniversary by SEGA Europe, Yakuza series producer, Daisuke Sato, was asked which SEGA IP would he be interested in developing that he hasn’t had a chance to be involved with. He responded that he would be interested in taking on the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise with a different direction. Here is a quote from the the interview:

“It’s an IP that I haven’t come to before. In the sense that I want to try it,… well, Sonic. After all, when you hear SEGA you think Sonic. I’d like to get involved once at least. But for me, the so call Sonic, is well, if I were to do it, I wouldn’t do Sonic as it was. I would like to make a completely different Sonic.” – Daisuke Sato

While this doesn’t confirm that he is working on a Sonic title at the moment, what are your thoughts on this take? Would you be interested in seeing a Sonic game developed by RGG Studio in the near future. I feel that this would be a interesting project for SEGA to tackle and I would love to see another Sonic fighting game spin-off or perhaps a SEGA All-Stars crossover game using past Yakuza engines.

Yakuza Creator Doesn’t Want Kazuma Kiryu in Fighting Games Because He Doesn’t Want Him ‘Beating Up Women’

While Kazuma Kiryu is a big, strong Japanese man that has slapped children and even killed a few people. It seems that series Creator and Producer Toshihiro Nagoshi doesn’t want his leading hero in fighting games because, he doesn’t want  him hitting women. According to a recent Red Bull France interview:

“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.”

Its understandable to feel this way since Kazuma Kiryu is a old school type and wouldn’t make sense for a character like him to assault women. I don’t disagree with him, but fighting games aren’t considered canon or real. Its like, are we really gonna say Mario is out there hitting women and knocking them into a internal abyss when he ring outs them? I think you guys all agree that Kazuma Kiryu joining a game like Tekken 7 or even a new Virtua Fighter won’t ruin his character?