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Toshihiro Nagoshi on Studio Yakuza, Yakuza 5 and Black Panther 2

Will Yakuza 5 completely do away with the zombies of Yakuza Of the End? (Shown here, Yakuza 4 and its four playable characters.)

As reported earlier, Yakuza/Ryu ga Gotoku creator Toshihiro Nagoshi has formed a new studio, "Ryu ga Gotoku Studio." He's not the only key Yakuza staffer at the studio, though.

Famitsu reveals that alongside Nagoshi, Masayoshi Kikuchi, Daisuke Sato, Yojiro Ogawa, and Masayoshi Yokoyama form the central staff of the studio. They plan on adding staff from here on out.

The studio isn't just focused on the Yakuza series. In fact, its first product is Binary Domain, which was announced a while back and will be at the Tokyo Game Show in playable form.

Nagoshi, making a cameo appearance in a Yakuza Black Panther television show.

The next title from the studio will be Yakuza Black Panther 2 for PSP. Revealed for the first time on the pages of Famitsu this week, this sequel to the PSP Yakuza spinoff retains the basics, right down to the main character Tatsuya Ukyou. However, as a theme, the game places a greater emphases this time on "fighting for your friends."

One of the main attractions for the sequel is that it adds Sotenbori to the location list. Fans will recall this fictitious Osaka location from PlayStation 2's Yakuza 2. This is an area that fans apparently wanted greatly, Nagoshi said in an interview with the magazine.

Nagoshi also teased that the game will have four primary characters outside of Tatsuya. He expects that players will find someone they can sympathize with.

Making Black Panther 2 into a product that can reach a wide range of players, including younger players, is a major goal. Nagoshi says he was impressed to find that more than half the players of the original Black Panther were newcomers to the series. There were more female players than expected.

Black Panther 2 will be playable at the Tokyo Game Show in mid September.

Famitsu's interview with Famitsu closed off with a few bits on Yakuza 5. Development on the next numbered Yakuza game appears to be quite early. Actually, Nagoshi says that Sega has only just decided to make the game. As a result, he was unable to share any information with the magazine.

Following Yakuza Of the End, the zombie-themed Yakuza game from earlier this year, many asked Nagoshi if the series had ended. He and the staff had lengthy discussions and were eventually able to see the path they'd like to take with the product.

Nagoshi will be addressing the press at a Sega event today, so we may get more details shortly.

[via Sokuho@Hokanko]

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