Sega has now formally announced Yakuza 7 to be the next game in its ongoing series, a return to the main line of games after the Judgment spin-off. It features a new protagonist named Ichiban Kasuga who will be replacing Kazuma Kiryu, but that's not the only big change it'll feature. The game is also moving away from the brawler combat where players grab everything nearby to use against their enemies and will instead utilize turn-based combat with RPG mechanics.
The game was officially revealed in Japan by Sega recently with the first full trailer for the game that's seen above released. Scheduled to be released on January 16, 2020, in Japan, the game is due out in the Americas and Europe in 2020, Gematsu reported. The site also said that the Western release of the game will be titled "Yakuza: Like a Dragon." An English version of the site should be found here, but it appears to be down at the time of publishing.
According to translations of the Japanese site via Gematsu, the next Yakuza game will use what's called a "live command RPG battle" system. The new protagonist will be Kasuga, will be joined by party members who utilize different techniques to attack enemies and aid one another. The screenshot below found on the Japanese site for the upcoming Yakuza game shows what this combat system will look like.
The game will also take players to a new setting, another big transition since it's moving away from Kamurocho that was explored repeatedly in the Yakuza games and most recently in Judgment. Yakuza 7 will be set in an area of Isezaki Ijincho in Yokohama, according to translations, which is supposed to be three times the size of Kamurocho. This means players will find new characters, businesses, and places to explore, but Sega will no doubt keep at least a few things looking familiar to returning Yakuza players.
As those Yakuza fans may recall, this isn't actually the first time that we've seen a turn-based combat system in the series. Earlier in the year, Sega shared some footage of a turn-based system for an April Fool's Day joke to make it look like that was the new plan for the series. As it turns out, that was the plan all along.
Yakuza 7 releases on January 16, 2020, in Japan.