Yakuza 8 leaked with new look for Ichiban Kasuga

By Steven Rondina

|

Jul 20, 2022

Reading time: 3 min

The Yakuza series, known in Japan as Ryu ga Gotoku, is set to return with Yakuza 8.

Sega has not officially unveiled the game but fans got a peek into the development studio of the Yakuza team thanks to MMA fighter Mikuru Asakura doing a studio tour for a YouTube video. As the fighter walks through the studio, characters from Yakuza: Like a Dragon could be spotted on the screens of people at work. Included are updated looks for multiple playable characters, but this effectively confirmed that the next installment in the game is in development.

Little is known about the game but there are some key details that have been confirmed and some things fans can safely expect. Here’s everything we know about Yakuza 8.

Is Sega making a new Yakuza game?

Yes, Sega is confirmed to be making a new installment in the Yakuza franchise. 

It’s unclear if the official title will be Yakuza 8 once it launches. Yakuza: Like a Dragon is a mainline installment of the Yakuza series and serves the role of a “Yakuza 7” despite dropping the definitive, numbered order that the series had gone by from Yakuza 0 to Yakuza 6.

Regardless of what name it ultimately goes with, the game looks to be a sequel to Yakuza: Like a Dragon. The portraits taken by Famitsu in the Sega studio show three characters from the most recent installment of the series with new looks.

Ichiban Kasuga returns as hero for next Yakuza game

It seems as though Yakuza: Like a Dragon’s Ichiban Kasuga will be returning as the hero for Yakuza 8 but with a very different look.

Like a Dragon made the bold move of putting longtime protagonist Kazuma Kiryu in the backseat in favor of a fresh face. Though many lamented the iconic character being cycled out of the spotlight, Ichiban became popular in his own right and was made the proper face of the franchise through a variety of memes.

Ichiban Kasuga in Yakuza 8
Ichiban Kasuga’s new look.

But like Kiryu, Ichiban isn’t going to look exactly the same in each installment of the series. In Yakuza 8, Ichiban is going to lose his identifiable hairdo in favor of a slicked-back ponytail. Fans were a bit sour over the change but odds are he will look stylish in action. It’s unclear whether he’ll keep his red and white outfit, as the screenshot only shows him just wearing a tank top.

Alongside Ichiban, Koichi Adachi and Yu Nanba were also shown. There will also be a new character based on real-life mixed martial artist Mikuru Asakura.

When is Yakuza 8 coming out?

Sega has given no word about when Yakuza 8 will come out.

No details were given on the game officially and Sega hasn’t even officially confirmed its existence yet. Though fans now know that it is in the works, it’s difficult to glean how deep into development it is off a few pieces of media.

There isn’t any sort of fixed schedule to Yakuza releases but it’s been two years since the release of Yakuza: Like a Dragon. The longest droughts between mainline Yakuza titles has been three years, so it’s possible it could come out soon. 

Or at least, it could come out soon in Japan. Other Yakuza games have had anywhere from 10 months to more than three years between their Japanese and worldwide releases.

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