When Yakuza: Like a Dragon released last year, it stood as a pretty major departure for the series. Not only was the story focusing on a new protagonist and accompanying cast of characters, but the action-style combat that had been with the franchise since its inception was set aside in favor of becoming a turn-based RPG. Now, according to those in charge at RGG Studio behind the Yakuza series, this same format is what we can expect to keep on seeing well into the future.
In a conversation with IGN, it was confirmed that the DNA of Yakuza: Like a Dragon will serve as the baseline for the franchise moving forward. "The Yakuza series has been transformed into a turn-based RPG," explained director Toshihiro Nagoshi and producer Kazuki Hosokawa. While this continues to be a pretty vast departure for the series considering that virtually every other installment has roots in real-time action combat, RGG Studio also confirmed that it's not wholly done with that format either.
Instead, RGG Studio seems to now be transitioning to focus on action gameplay within the Judgment series, which is a spin-off from Yakuza. The next installment in that sub-series, which is known as Lost Judgment, was just announced by the studio earlier today. "On the other hand, over the years, Ryu ga Gotoku Studio has accumulated resources and know-how of making flashy and exhilarating action games that are effortless to enjoy. We decided that we should let our signature action gameplay live on through Lost Judgment," the developers went on to say.
As a whole, this makes quite a bit of sense for RGG Studio and seems to essentially confirm what many had already thought to be the case. This difference of genres between Yakuza and Judgment should only allow RGG Studio to stretch its legs a bit moving forward as each franchise continues. Not to mention, I have to imagine that many fans will be pleased to see two completely different offerings coming from the developer as we move forward.
Speaking specifically to what is next, Lost Judgment is actually slated to launch later this year and will have a worldwide release set for September 24. The Judgment sequel will be releasing across PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, and Xbox Series X platforms when it does arrive.
How do you feel about this decision from RGG Studio with Yakuza? Let me know your thoughts either down in the comments or hit me up on Twitter at @MooreMan12.