Toshihiro Nagoshi on the Future of the Yakuza Series

Toshihiro Nagoshi on the Future of the Yakuza Series

Sega's Toshihiro Nagoshi on the various possibilities for the future of the Yakuza series following the RPG switch with Yakuza: Like a Dragon.

As you already know, Yakuza: Like a Dragon launched on January 16 in Japan. Celebrating the game’s launch, multiple big Japanese outlets  (4GamerGame Watch, GameSpark) published interviews with Sega’s Toshihiro Nagoshi. We summarized the most important bits of these interviews, most notably how the RPG change wasn’t decided yet when that crazy April Fools video was made. Toshihiro Nagoshi also explained the various troubles Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio encountered during the game’s development, seeing it was their first time creating an RPG. Moreover, Toshihiro Nagoshi was also asked what he wishes to do with the Yakuza series moving ahead.

Toshihiro Nagoshi gave us a rough idea of what will happen to the Yakuza series in the future. He answered that making the jump to RPG was a big challenge for Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio, and how there are now multiple roads available.

Toshihiro Nagoshi:  Making Ryu Ga Gotoku 7 into an RPG was a big challenge. For the next game, we can keep going with RPG and make something that surpasses it. We can also go back to action. We could also make a hybrid system mixing action and the new RPG system. All of these are possible scenarios.

Nagoshi also revealed which of these three scenarios he would personally prefer:

Toshihiro Nagoshi: Personally speaking, I want to keep going through the same road, and see what we could improve. For example, making the battle system even more enjoyable, by adding new functionalities related to the terrain and the battles’ areas. We could also strenghten the company management mode. Things like that. But for now, I don’t wanna think about all that yet (laughs).

Company management mode is something unlocked early in Yakuza: Like a Dragon, where Ichiban needs to save a company by handling negotiations, meetings, satisfy the employees, and the like. Progressing through this mode also unlocks party member Eri Kamataki.

Seeing this is probably the last time I’ll be writing on Yakuza: Like a Dragon, till we have more details regarding its western release date, let’s look back on the game’s journey. Yakuza: Like a Dragon was first revealed under the tentative name Shin Ryu Ga Gotoku in August 2017, we saw protagonist Ichiban Kasuga for the first time back then.

Later on, Sega organized from March to August 2019 an actress audition to cast one of the female characters of the game. This audition was won by Eri Kamataki. She plays and voices herself in the game,  and also handled the acting for another party member, Saeko. However, Saeko is voiced by Sumire Uesaka, who shared some thoughts on the game along with the rest of the main cast.

Next, the game was fully revealed as Ryu Ga Gotoku 7 Hikari to Yami no Yukue in August 2019, along with its turn-based RPG battle system. Toshihiro Nagoshi also mentioned back then the series will go back to the usual action battle system if the game doesn’t sell. The western name Yakuza: Like a Dragon was then revealed at Tokyo Game Show 2019 in September.

Next up, the game’s promotion machine started, with new details regularly coming out, most notably how the game parodies Mario Kart,  Dragon Quest and even Final Fantasy and Pokemon. A demo of the game also released on the Japanese PSN.

PS4 exclusive Yakuza: Like a Dragon will launch sometime in 2020 in the west.