Like a Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name – Developing Club Sega

Like a Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name, Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio’s latest installment in their flagship Like a Dragon series, is now available for Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, Windows, and is available day one with Game Pass. Here you’ll assume the role of Agent Joryu, the alias of legendary ex-yakuza Kazuma Kiryu, who faked his own death but is now being driven out of hiding.

In Like a Dragon Gaiden you’ll embark on a gripping narrative with bone-shattering combat throughout a Japan filled with immersive activities. One of those is exploring Club Sega, an arcade filled with playable classic Sega games.

Two decades ago, Club Sega was a chain of gaming arcades in Japan that ran from the late ‘90s to late ‘00s and live on in Like a Dragon Gaiden. Here you will be able to play a selection of popular retro titles, and even rare gems that never made it out of the arcades — some of these will be playable globally for the first time in over 25 years!

We asked Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio Chief Producer Hiroyuki Sakamoto to share insight around developing Club Sega, what goes into the game selection, and if he had tips for some of his favorite games.

Sega of America: What goes into the decision process of selecting games in each new iteration of Club Sega?

Sakamoto: We start by looking at the list of potential games that we can port, within copyright conditions, and we prioritize implementing popular Sega games that will surprise and delight fans while celebrating our rich history.

Sega of America: What infrastructure is used to port the games into Club Sega?

Sakamoto: We developed an emulator based on the Sega Model 3 arcade platform that was originally used for arcades in 1996. This emulator was made for the Like a Dragon series.

Sega of America: For the first time in 25 years, fans across the globe can experience the iconic arcade classics Fighting Vipers 2 and Sega Racing Classic 2 on their console through Like a Dragon Gaiden. How was this decision made?

Sakamoto: We made our decision by assessing a combination of genres from the Model 3 library of games. I have seen an outpour of excitement around these playable titles at Club Sega within Like a Dragon Gaiden, especially from overseas fans. It’s great to hear that people remember them, and we also hope that new generations enjoy playing these for the first time!

Sega of America: In a sense, Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio is preserving history by cataloguing classic Sega games. How does it feel to continue the legacy of Club Sega through the Like a Dragon series?

Sakamoto: In my youth, I spent a lot of time playing in video game arcades. It was actually this experience that inspired me to become a game creator. I am also happy to be able to play many of the same games that I used to enjoy when I was younger, and we hope that we can make many players feel the same way.

Sega of America: How accurate are the games in Club Sega to their counterparts on the original platform?

Sakamoto: The vision for the Club Sega within the Like a Dragon games is to accurately reflect the arcade of the past. The games are mostly a full port, though some adjustments have to be made, such as UI changes.

Asset: Sonic the Fighters

Sega of America: Are there any arcade games that haven’t yet made it into the Like a Dragon series Club Sega that you’d like to include in the future?

Sakamoto: In the future, I would like to try to include games on the NAOMI system, which is the successor to Model 3 and based off the Dreamcast system. I wonder if anyone else would like to see that as well…

Sega of America: Last question. Who’s your main in Fighting Vipers 2, and what tips can you share for new players?

Sakamoto: My go-to fighter is Sanman. I recommend getting a grasp of ‘Guard and Attack’ which is a technique used to counterattack immediately after blocking. It is executed by inputting Back plus Punch or Kick to counter an opponent’s high and medium attacks, or Down and Back plus Punch or Kick to counter a low attack.

Thank you to Hiroyuki Sakamoto for taking the time to speak with us today. You can experience all of these great Club Sega games today with Like a Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name now on Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, Windows and available with Game Pass. Keep up with the latest from Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio on social by following us at @RGGStudio.