The Yakuza series, now renamed Like a Dragon, is known for minigames that are fun enough to yank attention away from the gangster melodrama for hours and hours. Nintendo's Animal Crossing: New Horizons has sold more than 40 million copies since 2020 and was fun enough to yank attention away from everything else during the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic. You can probably see where this is going.
Sega revealed today that the upcoming Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth has a new minigame that looks the opposite of mini: it's called Dondoko Island, and it's very much Yakuza Does Animal Crossing.
The trailer above walks through Dondoko Island, "the getaway you deserve" if "too many street punks are getting you down." On the island, you'll be doing a whole lot of familiar Animal Crossing activities: fishing, catching bugs, and harvesting resources to either buy or craft furniture to make your dream house. As in New Horizons, you can actually customize the outdoors of the island, too: the Dondoko Island trailer shows placing buildings, decorative objects and statues, drawing roads, and so on.
Dondoko Island is populated with characters to befriend, and there will definitely be tourists to please and money to make. You're still a yakuza, after all—even a vacation needs to pay off. It looks like there's seriously a lot going on with this minigame, judging by these two screenshots I snapped from the trailer. I can already foresee plenty of Infinite Wealth players dropping more time on Dondoko Island than the entire rest of the game.
There are naturally some pretty un-Nintendo touches here too, including the ability to put a caged tiger in your living room and occasional attacks from street punks (or maybe pirates?) who'll come to trash your island. We'll see how deep the management sim aspect of Dondoko goes when Infinite Wealth is out in January. And keep in mind that Infinite Wealth isn't the only Like a Dragon game on the horizon: sidestory The Man Who Erased His Name, starring longtime series protagonist Kazuma Kiryu, is out even sooner, on November 8.