Like A Dragon: Infinite Wealth Launch Party Leaves Filipino Fans With a Night to Remember
Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth is upon us! The hype is definitely real for the latest installment in the long-running series, as it features both Ichiban Kasuga and Kazuma Kiryu in an unforgettable adventure.
To make the wait bearable, local Filipino Like a Dragon fans were treated to an equally unforgettable night courtesy of the fine folks over at SEGA and Ryu Ga Gotoku Studios.
The venue? The Island PH in Bonifacio Global City, Philippines. The date? January 18, 2024. The agenda? A grand launch party for Like A Dragon: Infinite Wealth Launch Party! To celebrate the game’s release, RGG Studios threw a party for select guests along with some lucky fans who got to join in on the fun.
During the festivities, guests were treated to a night of fun activities, but most surprising of all was the appearance of none other than Like A Dragon series Producer Hiroyuki Sakamoto himself.
Check out what went down during this historic event!
The beginning of something big
Everyone in attendance was welcome to go around the venue and mingle with the other guests. It was quite easy to strike up a conversation, seeing as everyone in the venue was a fan of the series! There were also amenities offered, including a photo booth and the bar, which offered a variety of juices and shakes.
The event proper opened with series Producer Sakamoto-san taking the stage and offering a generous welcome to everyone in attendance and giving a taste of what’s to come for the night.
Watching the Master at work
Sakamoto-san gave everyone a taste of what to expect from Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth by demonstrating the game himself, showing part of the map you’ll be wandering around in. He was particular to highlight the new hoverboard as a modern addition, making it easier to move around the map.
He next demonstrated the battle system showing the skills of various characters like the main protagonist, Ichiban, Joongi Han, and of course series veteran Kazuma Kiryu. Highlights included Kiryu taking out his enemies using his Dragon of Dojima fighting style and summoning fan favorite Sayama Kaoru as a Poundmate.
To conclude, Sakamoto happily demonstrated the much-hyped mini-game within Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth – Dondoko Island. This Animal Crossing-inspired mini-game will have players create their island resort and manage its facilities and inhabitants.
Sakamoto-san was particularly proud of the island he designed himself and is hoping to see fans bring their style to the table.
Time to take on the Master
After Sakamoto-san presented his masterpiece, it was time to take him head-on as the first fan activity of the night was Infinite Wealth’s Crazy Delivery mini-game. Inspired by Sega’s Crazy Taxi series, this fun mini-game of doing food deliveries has players racking up the highest score within a set time. And what was the score to beat? 16,615 Yen which was set by Sakamoto-san himself.
Teams of three headed by various guests like Gloco and celebrity cosplayer Myrtle Sarossa spearheaded the proceedings. It was totally wacky, and seeing these personalities take on the challenge was something for the books.
Unfortunately, no team was able to surpass Sakamoto-san’s record, but the closest that did was the team headed by Een with nearly 14,000 Yen.
Know your Yakuza
After a battle of skill, the program moved to a test of knowledge as it was a trivia session in which everyone was welcome to participate. Holding various cards with letters on them, audiences simply needed to answer trivia questions presented by holding out the letter corresponding to their answers.
It was truly a challenging battle for the fans, as questions tested how much of a fan they were. The questions dug deep, like who was Kazuma Kiryu’s Japanese voice actor or what event and year was Like A Dragon: Infinite Wealth official announced.
Ask the Master
The Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth launch party was the perfect venue to learn more about the game, and also the perfect time to ask some of our burning questions with Sakamoto-san in attendance.
Some of the more interesting topics were Sakamoto-san’s favorite subplot in Infinite Wealth, and one particular question by Myrtle as to whether Kiryu would receive a potential love interest and/or a happy ending. Fans who have followed Kiryu throughout his journey will surely want to know, but kudos to Sakamoto-san for skillfully delivering some non-answers without giving anything away!
He simply said his favorite subplot would be the final battle featuring Ichiban in Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth, and regarding answering the question about Kiryu, he simply answered that when you finish the game, Kiryu will truly feel fulfilled. We can’t wait to see what happens!
There were also some generally informative questions, like if the turn-based system would be the combat standard moving forward for Like a Dragon. Sakamoto-san said with so many other popular games in the industry he is hoping the Like A Dragon series, with Infinite Wealth, will achieve global appeal, and with times changing very rapidly, nothing is set in stone at the moment for how the series will proceed moving forward.
Finally, the question that raised so many eyebrows was if there was any other place outside of Japan, aside from Honolulu, where the game could travel next. Naturally, the place erupted with chants of the Philippines being a possible new area. Naturally, Sakamoto himself said he’s not ruling out the possibility that a mainline Like A Dragon game would see players visiting the Philippines. There’s still hope!
Sakamoto-san closed the event with some very heartwarming remarks. He was particularly touched by the passion and enthusiasm of the local Like A Dragon fans in attendance, and he is hoping that everyone would get to play Infinite Wealth when it comes out.
Aside from being treated to a delicious buffet of Japanese cuisine, fans also had the opportunity to get an autograph and photo with Sakamoto-san. It was particularly great to see cosplayers lining up dressed as various characters from the Like A Dragon series and see Sakamoto-san’s face light up to see his creations come to life!
As if that wasn’t fun enough, the event had a playtest area where guests can play Like A Dragon: Infinite Wealth to their hearts’ content.
It’s Friday Night!
It may have been a Thursday, but you can’t conclude a Like A Dragon event without some hardcore partying. As if like clockwork, celebrity guest Myrtle Sarossa got the crowd’s attention to sing the iconic song, Baka Mitai.
It’s not Like A Dragon if there’s no Karaoke, after all.
You can feel the passion in the air watching fans sing in unison to other iconic Like A Dragon songs like Judgement -Shinpan- and 24-hour Cinderella, the latter led by Gloco himself who was cosplaying fan favorite Majima Goro.
Infinite Wealth, Infinite Fun
And just like that, it was all over. The Like A Dragon: Infinite Wealth Launch Party definitely left fans wanting more, especially with the upcoming launch of the game.
Kudos to RGG Studios for such an amazing event, and thank you for bringing together a passionate community of Like A Dragon fans who have nothing but love for the Like A Dragon series.
Like A Dragon: Infinite Wealth launches on January 26, 2024 on the PS5, PS4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S and PC.