RGG Studio Once Considered Turning Yakuza 0's Hostess Club Minigame Into A Standalone Game

Without a central character or story to link the cabaret club experience to, the studio found that the gameplay became quickly boring.

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Yakuza 0 is often regarded as the gold standard for the series, primarily due to the game's mix of dramatic storytelling, hard-hitting action, and a surprising shift from beat-'em-up gameplay to a deep cabaret club management simulator. Between a deadly mystery over a patch of land in Kamurocho and a war with the Japanese underworld, players are able to take a detour into the Sotenbori district and run their own hostess club.

Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio once considered turning that mode into a standalone game, but as studio head Masayoshi Yokoyama explained, the Hostess minigame turned out to be boring to play without a central character or story to tie it to.

"That idea has floated around for quite a while and we've discussed it within the team," Yokohama said during a Tokyo Game Show interview. "Do we want to make a minigame or something like that? And the conclusion that we've reached is that the Hostess minigame works really well as a part of a device with a Like A Dragon game."

Minigames have been a core component in the Yakuza franchise and its spin-offs for decades. Each new game in the series expands on these diversions between main missions, and you're able to jump into classic Sega arcades, real estate development with a chicken CEO, and karaoke amongst many other activities.

As for the activities that you can expect in Like A Dragon 8, RGG Studio isn't ready to reveal which minigames will make the cut before the game arrives in 2024 on PC and console. Next year will also see the release of Yakuza spin-off Like a Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name and a remake of Like a Dragon: Ishin.

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