According to a new interview (transcribed by Ryokutya and with excerpts translated by VGC), Ryo Ga Gotoku, the team behind the Yakuza and Judgment series, is working on a new IP. Masayoshi Yokoyama, studio director of Ryo Ga Gotoku told Famitsu magazine in an interview that the team is planning for a new IP separate from Lost Judgment and Yakuza.
“We’re also working on unannounced titles outside of [Yakuza and Judgment],” he said.
In this interview, Yokoyama commented on future titles that RGG Studios is currently developing, such as the previously confirmed Yakuza 8. While the future of Lost Judgment is in doubt after an alleged dispute with lead actor Takuya Kimura’s talent agency; a sequel to Yakuza: Like a Dragon has already been confirmed. “We will continue to cherish the Judgement series,” Yokoyama said in the Famitsu interview.
Yakuza 8 is said to be currently being developed by producer Hiroyuki Sakamoto and directors Ryosuke Horii, Yutaka Ito, and Nobuaki Mitake. Meanwhile, Yokoyama along with series’ co-writers Kazunobu Takeuchi and Tsuyoshi Furuta are working on the story. It is said that Yakuza 8 will place many years after the events of Lika a Dragon.
2020 was the breakout year for the Yakuza and Judgment series after many years of struggling with localization and low sales. This caused major changes in Ryo Ga Gotoku with Yakuza creator leaving Sega. Yokoyama did not give any information about this new IP. We don’t know yet whether it is similar to Yakuza or it’s a completely different type of game.
Nikkan Tiashu, Japanese showbiz news, claimed that Takuya Kimura’s talent agency is blocking had been blocking the PC versions of the Judgment series because they didn’t want him to appear in them.
The reason behind this blockage is not entirely clear but the site suggests that because Johnny & Associates “has strict control over the [likeness] rights of its talent, and the use of their image online is still limited to a few”. The agency may be treating PC games differently because it has direct access to the internet.