Before Yakuza 6: The Song of Life released last year, we knew it would be the final entry in the story of Kazuma Kiryu. While the playable protagonist of the series has now departed, it would seem as though developer Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio might not be done with characters associated with Kiryu. Some of them look set to appear in the next entry in the Yakuza franchise.
Speaking to USgamer at Gamescom, veteran Yakuza producer Daisuke Sato says "the new game will be within the timeline of the old games, it'll be set within the same world as the old games. So it's kind of reasonable that characters that appeared in (Yakuza) 1 to 6 might appear in the new one as well."
We've already got a small look at the new protagonist for the next Yakuza game, who it's pretty fair to say looks a lot more flamboyant than Kiryu. Outside of the new protagonist, we know little else about the next Yakuza game, but Sato reaffirmed that there'll be an announcement for the new game taking place next week on August 29, which is set to reveal new information for the next Yakuza game for both eastern and western markets.
Elsewhere, Sato also spoke about how Judgment, the detective-based spin-off from the Yakuza series, came to be. "For the Japanese market especially, there's a lot of people that say they don't like Yakuza," he said. "Not the game, but the society. They're gangsters and they're bad people, and so they don't want to play Yakuza the game because they don't like Yakuza the people."
Ryu Ga Gotoku saw Judgment as an opportunity to switch out iconic Yakuza characters like Kiryu and Goro Majima, and in their stead have detective and former lawyer Takayuki Yagami as the face of the game. According to Sato, this gives the Japanese market the "option to experience the storytelling the studio is so good at."
If you're intrigued by the detective spin-off game from the Yakuza franchise, you can read what we made of the game in our Judgment review. Outside of the next entry in the Yakuza franchise, Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio just announced release dates for the Yakuza 3, 4, and 5 remasters.