Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio director Masayoshi Yokoyama has revealed Yakuza 8 will be set several years after the events of Yakuza: Like a Dragon. In an interview with Weekly Famitsu, as summarised by Ryokutya2089 and translated by Gematsu, Yokoyama also revealed the studio had an unannounced title in development and this is completely unrelated to the Yakuza and Judgment franchises.
Yakuza 8 is currently a working title. It will be set “several years” after the events of Yakuza: Like a Dragon and once again feature Ichiban Kasuga as the protagonist. Otherwise, details are few and far between for now. We do know that it will still be a turn-based RPG now the franchise has moved away from action gameplay. There is also speculation the franchise may move away from Japan and head to new countries.
In the meantime, the studio is also working an an unannounced title that is unrelated to the Yakuza and Judgment franchises. This doesn’t mean the team is leaving Judgment behind, though. Yokoyama clarified the franchise “is also very important to us” and that “we’ll actively challenge ourselves to create new titles, not only for Judgment, [but] as circumstances permit.”
Concerns about the future of the franchises have been rife since Yakuza creator Toshihiro Nagoshi and producer Daisuke Sato left the studio in October. While neither have confirmed their plans for the future, Nagoshi is rumored to have joined China’s NetEase following negotiations. For its part, Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio promoted Yokoyama to studio director and executive producer while Ryosuke Horii became the Yakuza series’ chief director and Hiroyuki Sakamoto became chief producer. Yokoyama clarified that “structural shift is a sign of change” and it was “very normal for a company to change up the structure of its staff.” It was seemingly a necessary move as “changes are unlikely to occur in this sort of setup without shaking things up.” The studio now has 300 staff members.[Source: Weekly Famitsu via Ryokutya2089 and Gematsu]