Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth will be the longest Yakuza game to date, with the boss of developer Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio saying “if you go at it continuously, you’ll get sick”.
As reported by Japanese outlet Game Watch and translated by Automaton, RGG studio head Masayoshi Yokoyama said Infinite Wealth, essentially Yakuza 8, is a “monster class” video game.
“The games take a long time to clear, don’t they? [Like a Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name] not so much, but Infinite Wealth is a monster-class game longer than anything we’ve made so far,” Yokoyama said.
“If you go at it continuously, you’ll get sick, and it won’t end with just one or two all-nighters. This means that a lot of people are going to hesitate to play the game or will end up having it wait on their shelves. I found the possibility of that kind of outcome sad, so I thought, we have to get everyone hyped up enough to play it.”
Yokoyama, as the boss of a studio known for its colourful statements, therefore said RGG had to create a “festival-like atmosphere” around Infinite Wealth so people are excited to play through it as quick as possible, “even at the cost of their health.”
He continued: “We have to get people to play the game in about a week or a month, even at the cost of their health, which is why it’s our duty as creators to generate enough to be excited about. I’ve thought this way for the past year or two. For a game like Infinite Wealth, we have to get a festival going on. It would feel kind of rude to just drop such a long game and be done with it.”
The Yakuza games, now titled Like a Dragon, are notoriously difficult for completionists looking to do everything, as ticking every box can take three or four times as long as doing just the main story and some side content.
Yakuza 5, for example, takes around 37 hours to complete the main story, 65 hours to do the side stories too, but 156 hours to reach 100% completion. Yakuza: Like a Dragon, which saw the series switch to its new turn-based role-playing game combat, balanced things a little with a 46-hour completion time for the main story, 68 hours for the side stories too, and 103 hours to do everything.
As Infinite Wealth continues the slower RPG gameplay it will likely fall more in line with Like a Dragon’s ratios, but given Yokoyama’s comments about it being even longer, fans could easily be in store for a main story of 50 hours or more and 160 hours to do everything, since it exceeds Yakuza 5 too.
This comes in contrast to RGG’s latest release, Like a Dragon Gaiden, which is a lower-priced spin-off to the series that connects the events of Yakuza 6 and Infinite Wealth from a different character’s perspective. It just takes 10 hours to finish this entry’s main story, 19 hours to add all the side content, and 31 hours to do everything.
Infinite Wealth launching on January 26, just around two months after Like a Dragon Gaiden launched on November 9, has some fans a little conflicted about Yokoyama’s comments on its length.
“I am feeling extremely cynical about this,” said potato_nugget1 on Reddit. “Gaiden’s story worked because of how short it was, it was focused on one story line instead of throwing in 50 different plot points that contradict each other, make no sense, or get forgotten about; which is exactly what happened in Yakuza 5, and now they’re saying this is even longer than 5. Best case scenario, this has a lot of filler.”
DuffelBagCollector agreed: “That’s not what I’m really into but okay. If the content is good, great. I always found Yakuza 5 over bloated with content of various degrees of quality.”
Plenty others can’t wait to get their hands on the lengthiest Yakuza game to date though. “Yakuza 5’s main problem is that it suffers from horrible pacing so you feel every minute of its 50 hour length,” said NotEvenEvan in response. “Yakuza: Like a Dragon is basically double the length but because it’s paced so much better it doesn’t feel as long as it is. If Infinite Wealth is more akin to Yakuza: Like a Dragon than Yakuza 5, then I will be happy.”
Infinite Wealth takes the series out of Japan for the first time, instead being set in Hawaii with players taking on dual protagonists in Ichiban Kasuga and Kiryu Kazuma.
In our preview of the game, IGN said: “[Our] time with Infinite Wealth was about as brief as Ichiban’s board shorts, but it left [us] to ponder the infinite possibilities for fun that might be hidden around its sizeable Hawaiian island expanse.”
Ryan Dinsdale is an IGN freelance reporter. He’ll talk about The Witcher all day.
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Author: Ryan Dinsdale