Yakuza RPG Like A Dragon: Infinite Wealth Faces Backlash for Locking New Game Plus Behind Paywall

In a surprising move, the highly anticipated Yakuza RPG, Like A Dragon: Infinite Wealth, is facing backlash for locking its New Game Plus mode behind more expensive editions. With its release just around the corner on January 26, fans who wish to replay the game with all their acquired skills and gear intact will have to spend extra money. The official website for Infinite Wealth reveals that the New Game Plus feature, which is typically offered for free, is now exclusively available for purchase with the Deluxe and Ultimate editions.

The standard edition of Like A Dragon: Infinite Wealth, affording access only to the base game, can be purchased for $70/£60 on Steam. However, if players want to enjoy the New Game Plus mode, they will be required to purchase the more expensive Deluxe edition for $85/£75, or an even pricier Ultimate edition for a staggering $110/£95. These premium editions include additional perks such as a post-game dungeon, bonus music, and extra characters for the game’s Animal Crossing and Pokémon-style mini-games.

The decision to paywall a usually free feature has sparked frustration among the gaming community. New Game Plus is a common inclusion in many games that feature leveling and loot systems, allowing players to replay the game while retaining their acquired items and progress. Titles like Elden Ring and Alan Wake 2 already offer this feature, and games such as Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 plan to introduce it through free post-launch updates.

Needless to say, the news of locking a standard feature behind a paywall has irked many players. The top comment on the Yakuza subreddit expresses strong dissatisfaction with this decision, stating, “It’s not ‘bizarre’, it’s just greedy.” Another person voices their disapproval by criticizing the cut-throat approach to DLC and expressing disappointment at the paywalling of such a basic feature.

Even Yong Yea, the voice actor for one of the game’s main protagonists, Kazuma Kirya, has spoken out against this money-driven release strategy. In a social media post, he emphasizes the negative consequences of locking New Game Plus behind a paywall, mentioning the detrimental impact on community goodwill and the overall replayability of the game.

It is disappointing to witness a departure from industry norms, where New Game Plus has traditionally been considered an inherent feature of the game, provided free of charge. While developers and publishers have every right to monetize their products, it is essential to strike a balance and ensure that paying customers receive significant added value rather than feeling exploited.

The decision to lock New Game Plus behind a paywall in Like A Dragon: Infinite Wealth has sparked criticism and disapproval from both players and those involved in the franchise. This move challenges industry norms and risks damaging community goodwill. As consumers, it is crucial to voice our concerns and advocate for fair and consumer-friendly practices within the gaming industry.


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