Sega Announces Yakuza 7: The Whereabouts of Light & Darkness

It’s been a long time since Sega announced the future of the Yakuza series and how it’ll be lead by a brand new protagonist. After a few well received spinoffs and remakes, Sega are finally read to return to the world of Yakuza proper with the announcement of Yakuza 7: The Whereabouts of Light & Darkness, formerly known as Shin Yakuza. The game, releasing in 2020 on PS4 (first in Japan in January, later in the West) stars Ichiban Kasuga, and won’t be taking place in Kamuorocho, the virtual recreation of Tokyo’s Kabukicho district. Instead, it’ll be set in a fictionalized version of Yokohama, and believe us when we say this isn’t the biggest change to the series.

At a press conference in Tokyo, series producer Toshihiro Nagoshi mentioned that Kasuga is a huge fan of RPGs, with confirmation that Kasuga is a big fan of Dragon Quest; so much that he apparently name drops it in game, something that Nagoshi needed to ask permission from Dragon Quest creator Yuji Horii. Name dropping famous RPG franchises aside, it also is the basis behind the new combat system in Yakuza 7. Fans may recall an April Fools video earlier this year which showed a then-unspecified Yakuza game featuring a turn-based battle mechanic, which today was revealed was the first actual footage of the game. That’s right, Yakuza 7’s combat is completely turned based, trading quicksteps for menus.

On describing the change, Nagoshi mentioned that the series had basically reached a complete style, and that they had wanted to try something new, asking fans to welcome the change. Given the shift in city and protaganist, it’s not hard to see why. However, Nagoshi also understands that it’s such a shift that if it’s not receieved well, is happy to revert back to the more traditional style of gameplay for future iterations of the series. Not much more was revealed, but the game be playable at Tokyo Game Show 2019.