If you’re into your street brawling and karaoke (and hey, who isn’t right?) then the Yakuza series can’t have failed to make an impression on you. Probably the closest to more Shenmue that we are ever realistically going to get, the Yakuza games are extremely popular in Japan and merge free roaming open world exploration with no-holds barred gang fights. If you do enjoy the series then you’ll be very happy to learn that its future within Sega is confirmed.
Toshihiro Nagoshi is well known for heading the team that created Super Monkey Ball, and he and his staff are currently working on Binary Domain which is out next year. Meanwhile however they have changed their name to Studio Yakuza, which indicates their priorities for the upcoming months and years.
This newly christened studio will be responsible in the short (ish!) term for two more games. The first is a sequel to the PSP spin-off ‘Black Panther’ which is due out next year. (The PSP guys, really? Why not just upgrade it for Vita?) and the next main title for the PS3; Yazuka 5. Whether this sequel will go down the zombie route of the last game is unknown, but one thing is certain. Hostess bars and karaoke will definitely be putting in an appearance.