Speaking during an interview with the chaps at Kotaku, Yakuza producer Masayoshi Kikuchi has said that he has no intention of bringing the curtains down on the long running Japanese gangster series, though admitted he is keen for the franchise to branch out in to new genres.
“We want to spread the Yakuza franchise into different genres,” said Kikuchi, in light of news that the latest instalment, Yakuza: Of the End, will feature a post-apocalyptic, zombie-infested Tokyo.
“We don’t want to stop the Yakuza franchise. In terms of making entertainment, we’re deadly serious,” he explained. “We want to have the ability to branch out and create new game experiences [with Yakuza.] We’ve done it in the past with Yakuza Kenzan, a samurai themed game. Making differently themed games is our challenge to create new types of entertainment.”
Kikuchi then humorously added: “For all we know, Kiriyu might become a kindergarten teacher in the next game.”
However, it seems that Kikuchi’s ambitions stretch even further than injecting a bit of zombie-slaying in to the crime series – he’s now keen for the Yakuza brand to achieve the same iconic status as SEGA’s legendary speedy anthropomorphic hedgehog, Sonic.
“We definitely are trying to make that happen,” he commented. “But I’m not the company president. I’m not sure if Kiriyu will ever replace Sonic.”