Sega will host a Yakuza series Super Talk on April 29 at Niconico Chokaigi, where RGG Studio director Masayoshi Yokoyama will discuss the past, present, and future of the franchise (via Tojo Dojo). The available information doesn’t appear to get any more specific than that, but Yakuza series news of some kind is coming — and hopefully it will be the announcement of Yakuza 8.
There are no guarantees Yokoyama will be showing up to announce Yakuza 8 though. After all, RGG Studio already announced last November that it is working on a new game that is neither Yakuza nor the spinoff series Judgment. Yokoyama could reveal yet another spinoff franchise at this event. Or he could just as easily announce no new games at all. We should probably prepare for that possibility.
However, we do know that Yakuza 8 is in development, will be set a few years after previous entry Like a Dragon, and will continue to feature Ichiban Kasuga as the protagonist. Yakuza: Like a Dragon marked a major change for the franchise, as it transitioned from brawler gameplay to straight-up Dragon Quest-flavored JRPG gameplay. The Yakuza series will continue to be JRPGs from this point forward, while Judgment has inherited the traditional brawler gameplay (for now, at least). It remains to be seen what shape the unannounced new RGG Studio game will take.
Meanwhile, RGG Studio founder Toshihiro Nagoshi left Sega this past January to found a new studio at NetEase. This is a time of upheaval, but it sounds like lots of good things will come of it. Stay tuned for some Yakuza series news this Friday.