Yakuza: Like a Dragon

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Everything we know about Ichiban's return in Yakuza 8

Turn-based combat will return in this new entry.

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The adventures of Ichiban Kasuga will continue in Yakuza 8, the next entry in the beloved series. The 8th mainline installment likely won’t be called Yakuza 8, but it will likely borrow many familiar mechanics from its acclaimed predecessor, Like a Dragon (aka Yakuza 7).

Sega has yet to unveil details about the next game in the series, but we do know it’s deep in development, and will likely launch within the next couple of years. But what else do we know about this upcoming game? How will it play? Let’s dive into everything we know about Yakuza 8 (or whatever it will be called).

When is the Yakuza 8 release window?

Saeko, Nanba, Ichiban, and Adachi from Yakuza: Like a Dragon.Sega

Yakuza 8 is coming, but it’s unclear exactly when. Developer Ryo Ga Gotoku Studio has made it abundantly clear that Yakuza will continue beyond Like a Dragon, and given the development cycle of past installments, it’s possible Yakuza 8 will be ready by the end of 2022 or 2023. There was around a three-year gap between the release of Yakuza 6 and 7, so it’s a safe bet we’ll see Yakuza 8 within the next year or so.

Who is the Yakuza 8 developer?

Ryo Ga Gotoku Studio is the team that has worked on recent Yakuza installments, including the acclaimed Like a Dragon and Judgment games. This developer will also work on the forthcoming Yakuza 8, as confirmed by Studio Director Masayoshi Yokoyama.

Is there a Yakuza 8 trailer?

Expect a new trailer to be shown closer to Yakuza 8’s launch.Sega

Sega and Ryo Ga Gotoku Studio have yet to officially unveil the new game, so there isn’t a trailer just yet. The initial reveal trailer for Yakuza: Like a Dragon debuted around five months ahead of the Japanese release, so we should expect the first Yakuza 8 trailer to be shown closer to the game’s launch.

For now, there is one (Japanese-only) video Yakuza fans will definitely want to check out. As gaming magazine Famitsu shared in July, MMA fighter Mirai Asakura posted a video to YouTube showing his tour of the Ryo Ga Gotoku offices.

Asakura’s video shows developers at work on Yakuza 8, including a few shots of their computer monitors, where several of the game’s characters can be seen. In these shots, you can see Yakuza 8 star Ichiban Kasuga with his hair tied back, rather than in his signature afro. The video also reveals that Mirai Asakura himself will appear in the game and shows his 3D modeling session at the studio.

Mirai Asakura’s video shows a glimpse of Ichiban’s new style (around 10:25 in the video above).Sega/Mirai Asakura

What is the story of Yakuza 8?

Ichiban Kasuga will return for Yakuza 8. Sega

It’s too early to know the exact details of Yakuza 8’s story, but we do know it will serve as a continuation of Yakuza: Like a Dragon. According to an IGN report (via Famitsu), Yokoyama said “I can’t go into any details about Yakuza 8 yet, but I can reveal it will be a continuation of the story of 7, set a few years later.”

Yokoyama added “the story will be set in the present day for the year the game goes on sale,” which should be around 2023.

We do know that Yakuza 8 will introduce a brand-new town to the series, but exactly where it is hasn’t been revealed yet. That detail comes from the same YouTube video and Famitsu article that showed off Ichiban’s new style, as translated by Google.

Though the events of Yakuza: Like a Dragon wrapped up nicely, there’s plenty of room for more adventures starring protagonist Ichiban Kasuga, and side characters Yu Nanba, Koichi Adachi, and Saeko Mukoda.

In fact, Kasuga’s voice actor Kazuhiro Nakaya revealed that Ichiban will serve as the series’ protagonist for the next decade, so it’s best to get used to him since he’ll be around for a while.

What will the Yakuza 8 gameplay be like?

Yakuza: Like a Dragon marked a turning point for the long-running series, as it was the first entry to implement a turn-based battle system, rather than utilizing the familiar beat ‘em up mechanics from previous installments. Yakuza 8 will retain the turn-based system from its predecessor, while the Judgment series will continue using the beat ‘em up combat mechanics.

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