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RGG Studio Presses On Adopting Unreal Engine Fully As Dragon Engine Begins To Show Its Age

Posted on September 22, 2022 by Nick Moreno

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While the anticipation surrounding RGG Studio’s Yakuza only swelled up globally in the past few years, the IP as a whole remains a marvel for many AAA projects in similar scale. Despite the number of entries currently out, there are few that many can rank to be this consistent in satisfying content. And entering 2023, the firm is making some unique decisions for its titles.

This February, Like a Dragon: Ishin arrives. The long-awaited western remaster for the 2014 1800s samurai story will be realized bringing the tale to a new audience outside of Japan. What makes this project even more unique is the approach RGG Studio is taking – the game is not developed with Dragon Engine. Instead, the title is running on Unreal Engine 4.

In a recent interview with IGN, series executive producer Masayoshi Yokoyama elaborates on the state of Dragon Engine and its approach with Unreal Engine moving forward.

The Dragon Engine at this point is kind of a bit of an old engine. We have made a lot of minor updates over the years for it, or we’ve made a lot of minor updates over it, but we haven’t made any major updates. So probably next what’s coming for would be a major update if we had to do anything.

So, regarding [Unreal Engine 5], yes, we are researching it. We are kind of looking at it and saying, what are the merits of each? What’s the merit of the Dragon Engine? What’s the merit of the Unreal Engine? And when it comes down to it, the Dragon Engine…it’s really perfectly designed to represent a city at night. The nighttime city. Whereas Unreal, it’s better at showing nature and daytime and that sort of feel.

He continues, “[R]ather than adjusting in terms of the challenge of adjusting to a new generation, much stronger technology, the main challenge is that now, we have so many platforms. We have PC, we have Steam, we have Xbox, we have all sorts of things from which our game can be a part of, and so making a game that can be on all these platforms and using the chance to share our game with people all around the world is the major challenge that we think we want to face going forward. 

“And because of all these different pieces of technology, we want to maybe try doing something unique as well. Whether or not we’re doing it is a little bit of a secret though.” Since 2016 with the release of Yakuza 6: The Song of Life, RGG Studio has continued to optimize the shining Dragon Engine. But as hardware becomes more capable, the new games begin to show its flaws with the rendering techniques displayed.

Additionally, RGG Studio when speaking to the outlet elsewhere explains the reasoning for its new titling for former Yakuza. In that, the story moving forward breaks the bond to the Yakuza crime life and ‘Like a Dragon’ is more suiting for the series, Yokoyama told. You can read the full report by heading here.

Are you hoping RGG Studio adopts Unreal Engine fully for its next games?

Source: IGN

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