The producer of the Yakuza series, Hiroyuki Sakamoto, has explained why Kazuma Kiryu was brought back in Yakuza: Like a Dragon. In an interview with IGN, Sakamoto said that the plan to bring back Kiryu was always in the works, even during the development of Yakuza 6: Song of Life. He said that they wanted to make Kiryu and the new protagonist Ichiban Kasuga the dual protagonists of Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth, but they ultimately decided to make Ichiban the sole protagonist in order to give him a fresh start. However, they still wanted to include Kiryu in the game, so they made him a supporting character and a boss fight.
Sakamoto also said that they wanted to use Kiryu’s return as a way to bridge the gap between Yakuza 6 and Like a Dragon. He said that they wanted to show how Kiryu’s story had come to an end, and how Ichiban’s story was beginning.
The decision to bring back Kiryu was not without its controversy. Some fans felt that it was unnecessary to bring back such a popular character, and that it would overshadow the new protagonist. However, Sakamoto said that they were confident that they could make Kiryu’s return work, and that they wanted to give fans the opportunity to see him one last time.
Kazuma Kiryu will also appear in the upcoming spinoff game Like a Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name. This game will serve as a bridge between Yakuza 6 and Like a Dragon, and will explore Kiryu’s life after he faked his own death.
So, there you have it. The reason why Kazuma Kiryu was brought back in Yakuza: Like a Dragon is because the developers wanted to give him a proper send-off, and to bridge the gap between the old and new games in the series. Whether or not you agree with their decision is up to you, but there’s no doubt that Kiryu’s return was a major talking point among fans.