Harada and crew are focused on Tekken’s core and everything else comes later.
Easter eggs and references are one thing, but when a character from one video game is playable in another, fans get particularly excited. These guest character crossovers are a staple of the fighting game genre, and the Tekken franchise has provided some highlights recently.
Related: Tekken 8 hands-on: A console-first approach levels up an arcade classic
If you exclude actual crossover games like Street Fighter X Tekken, Bandai Namcos premier fighter wasnt previously a series known for its guest appearancesthat was more so left to Soul Calibur, which has boasted its own iconic surprises over the last 20-plus years. The King of Iron Fist Tournament only really welcomed guests starting with Tekken 7, bringing in two fighting game all-stars and a few surprises along the way.
Whether it be the villain theming that started with Street Fighters Akuma and Fatal Furys Geese Howard, or the sheer shock of seeing Negan Smith from The Walking Dead joining post-launch, Bandai had some bangers that surprised fans.
With the marketing potential a hype crossover can bring to a game, adding guest characters into Tekken 8 is almost guaranteed to happen at some pointeven if series director Katsuhiro Harada isnt sharing specifics. In past interviews, he called these guests a triple win because they performed well for Bandai, fans got something new added to the series, and the IP owners got to see their characters get some love in a different light.
Despite that, Harada did note that guest characters were not a priority for T8. This is likely because a focus for the developers this time was recreating characters and their models from the ground up to look the best and show off the revised specialties of the entire roster.
For Tekken 8 were not creating the game with guest characters in mind from the start, Harada said during a recent preview event for Tekken 8. Its more like were focusing on our own characters and the starting lineup. And then, at some point, if we need that boost of excitement or it is something that the fans are overwhelmingly asking for, maybe thats something well add later. But right now, its not something were considering.
All of the messaging for the game, and the details we know about its ongoing development, line up with this messaging that guest characters are not a focus right now and could end up on the cutting room floor for a while.
In T7, out of the four guest characters, only Akuma was in the base game, while the others were all DLC. Bandai may take this approach again, given how successful it was with the previous title and how well crossover fighters work as marketing for post-launch content.
Speculation would point to representatives from staple Bandai partnerships making it into T8, with a character from Capcom and SNK almost assuredly comingthough maybe they wont be from Street Fighter or Fatal Fury this time. Perhaps Sega could get into the mix with some Virtua Fighter or Yakuza action, both of which have been requested in the past. Square Enix could also get back into the ring, with fan demand and speculation pointing to Final Fantasy VIIs Tifa Lockheart as the obvious choice.
After that, it is anyones guess. Other Japanese developers could get a character inwith Nintendo, Konami, and many more being listed as potential pulls. And, considering Negans feature in the last game, western media properties are on the table toomeaning Warner Bros. could get a call and it might finally be time for someone from Mortal Kombat to test their might in Tekken.
Bandai could even pull from its own stable of IP to get some other representatives outside of the Tekken regulars. Several anime characters could make an appearance, with a Naruto or My Hero Academia character potentially fitting right into the frenzy, or maybe it is finally time for a JoJo rep. The possibilities are pretty out there at this point as we wait for more info on the games roster.