Meet The Next Hero To Lead The Yakuza Series
It looks like the Yakuza series will be moving forward with a new protagonist. 40-year-old Kasuga Ichiban will replace Kazama Kiryu, Yakuza's main protagonist from Yakuza 0 to Yakuza 6.
Sega has mentioned before that Kiryu's last appearance would be Yakuza 6, and over the weekend they released a short trailer introducing Kasuga Ichiban, beating up a thug that was charging at Kazama Kiryu for some reason.
In a report by Dualshockers, they provide more details and a back story for the new protagonist:
"Kamurocho has been traditionally ruled by the Tojo Clan, but in 2018 a conspiracy by the Omi Alliance and the police wrestled control away from the former occupants. The district became strictly controlled bot in the “front” and in the “back,” and lost its former luster, heading towards a gradual decline.
In the meantime, a pure-hearted man born and raised in Kamurocho, stands up aiming to regain control of the old city. First of all, he will need to work with his companion to stand up against giants, and a mysterious conspiracy.
That man is Kasuga Ichiban, former lieutenant of the Arakawa family of the Toko Clan. He never knew his parents, and joined the Arakawa family to follow a man who saved him when he was adolescent. In 2001, he took responsibility for a crime committed by the young head of the family, and spent seventeen years in prison. Yet, when he returned in 2018, he found a changed city, his old companions disgraced, and an unbelievable betrayal."
The reveal of the new protagonist happened during the weekend at Tokyo by Sega, discussing the future of the Yakuza franchise. Two projects were revealed and will be set after the events of Yakuza 6: The Song of Life.
The first one, Yakuza Online, which was just announced and slated for a 2018 release on PC, iOS, and android, is where Kasuga Ichiban will make his debut in the series. It will be a Free-To-Play title with optional purchases. The second project has a game code "Shin Yakuza" and it's a console project with no information on which console it will be available in.
Yakuza 6 is the latest entry in the series and is getting a western release. Yakuza 6 will be out on March 20, 2018, just over a year after it was released in Japan.