Via a recent tweet on its official Japanese-language Twitter account, Ryu Ga GotokuStudio, the Sega-owned development team behind the long-running Yakuza (Ryu Ga Gotoku) franchise has revealed that it will be announcing “future developments” for the series during an upcoming Sega 60th Anniversary Celebration livestream on December 8th, according to Eurogamer.
Intended as a retrospective look back at the franchise and the symbolic marking of its 15th Anniversary, the livestream will be headlined by veteran Japanese voice actors Takaya Kuroda (the voice of the never-quite-retired protagonist Kiriyu Kazama) and Kazuhiro Nakaya (the voice of Kiryu’s friend and rival Akira Nishikiyama in a number of the mainline games as well as the Japanese voice of lead charater Ichiban Kasuga in Yakuza 7 (a.k.a. Yakuza: Like A Dragon). Naturally, Kuroda and Nakaya will be attending as special guests, and with the official tweet featuring promotional artwork of their two most recent alter-egos standing side-by-side, it appears to suggest that that there are yet more adventures in store for both Kiryu and Ichiban. The tweet also offers up a link which leads directly to the upcoming livestream’s YouTube page, featuring the same artwork as well as a countdown of the days remaining until the event.
Yakuza: Like A Dragon, which we at CGMagazine recently awarded an 8.5 out of 10, took several bold risks in changing its well-worn, fictional locale of Kamurocho to the streets of Yokohama, replacing the main cast of characters with a fresh roster of new faces and swapping out its street-brawling gameplay for turn-based RPG mechanics. Series director Toshiro Nagoshi has publicly suggested that the series could go back to its pure action roots should the latest game prove to not be succesful, but at least for the moment it looks as though both Kiryu and Ichiban, their respective actors and the differentiating styles of play in the games that star them will all continue to factor into Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio’s future plans. How much exactly is uncertain, but hopefully we’ll know much more in a couple of weeks.