The Future of Game Pass and the Yakuza Legacy: Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth's Release

avatar-user Ava Reynolds 2024-01-08
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The gaming community is buzzing with anticipation as SEGA gears up to unleash their latest installment in the acclaimed Yakuza series, Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth. Scheduled to hit the market on January 26, 2024, excitement is reaching fever pitch for what promises to be one of the most substantial releases in the franchise's storied history. With iconic characters Kazuma Kiryu and Ichiban Kasuga set to make their return, fans are eager to dive into their adventures, which for the first time will unfold in the sun-drenched climes of Hawaii, extending the series' horizons beyond its traditional Japanese setting.

Speculation has been rife about whether Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth will grace the Xbox Game Pass service at launch—a platform where the Yakuza series has historically enjoyed a significant presence. This topic has been a particular point of interest for fans looking to access the game through Microsoft's subscription-based service. However, in a recent revelation, Masayoshi Yokoyama, the director at Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio, put the rumors to rest. In an open conversation with Automation Media, Yokoyama revealed that the new title would not immediately be available on Xbox Game Pass, deviating from the series' usual launch approach on the service.

Yokoyama's insights into the decision not to include Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth on Game Pass at the launch point to the sheer scale and ambition of the game. Acknowledging the Game Pass's past success in bringing new players to the Yakuza universe, he also noted the game's expansive nature as a factor in their approach. Drawing parallels to the recent decision of Baldur's Gate 3 developers concerning Game Pass, it seems that the monumental size and scope of the game—a sprawling adventure across Hawaii and several Japanese locales, with multiple protagonists and a plethora of missions—are at the heart of this strategic move.

For gamers, this means that, at least initially, Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth will need to be purchased outright to be experienced. However, the absence of a Game Pass option at launch doesn't preclude the possibility of its inclusion in the future. Much like the tides that caress Hawaii's shores, the gaming industry is ever-changing, and today's decisions may evolve tomorrow. The game's significant investment in content and playability, with two playable characters and a vast array of quests, positions it as a potentially transformative experience within the Yakuza series.

As players count down the days to the release of Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth, the conversation around Game Pass accessibility serves as a reminder of the evolving nature of gaming distribution. Regardless of how gamers will ultimately access the title, the anticipation for this next chapter in the Yakuza saga remains undiminished. The anticipation of exploring fresh environments, the allure of immersive narratives, and the excitement surrounding the return of fan-favorite characters all indicate that whether it's available on Game Pass or not, Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth is set to be a remarkable journey for both long-time fans and those new to the series.

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