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Yakuza is set in the future of Shenmue
Kiryu is Ryo Hazuki after he is adopted by a Yakuza after the death of his father. He even has an arch enemy who is a Chinese mob boss in Lau Ka Long. The timing even works, since Shenmue is set 20 Minutes into the Past.

Yakuza is set in an alternate universe as Gungrave
Gungrave's universe is one where the cast of Yakuza is transplanted into America, hence the different names, of course. Brandon Heat is clearly Kazuma Kiryu, orphan effectively raised by a high-up gangster. Heck, he's even named for his counterpart's Limit Break. They both have a spectacular rise in a mob family, only for things to fall apart at the end due to their best friend killing the leader of the mob, though they do wind up coming back stronger than ever.

Also, compare Haruka/Mika. Both of them are the main character's Morality Pet, and they're the daughter of the main's love interest, who married a powerful older man when a relationship with the main character became impossible (Brandon for class reasons, Kazuma for that whole jail thing). That just seems like an oddly specific coincidence, unless something cosmic is at work here.

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Kiwami (the remake) will include a playable scenario for Nishiki taking place after Kazuma has been arrested
Unless this has been obviously stated by a magazine or by a trailer, of which I don't understand because they're Japanese, I guess that the game will really get into Nishiki's decent into the dirty (or dirtier) path of becoming a Yakuza patriarch. I guess this because many of the newly made footage has shown has a lot of Nishiki with the look he had in 1995. Plus this series has had multiple playable characters since 4 (or at least multiple play styles since Ishin had only 1 character with 4 styles), and it would be odd to go down in size of playable styles that were given in 0 (which had 8 for the 4 styles both Majima and Kazuma had).

Plus wouldn't it be interesting to know exactly how Nishiki changed from the last moments you saw him in 1 during the prologue to when you (the player, not Kazzy) see him again in the cutscene establishing the lost 10 billion Yen? Basically an Anakin Skywalker story with better writing and a better speaking performance.

  • Jossed. New cutscenes focus around him, but he's not playable.

Akiyama is probably the bum who was first shown catching money after the 10 billion yen incident
The facial features are a bit different, though that is likely due to the series' Art Evolution, and their clothes are different (they wear a different cap), but they are in the exact same location and do the exact same thing (catch a bill, then gather as much as they can).
  • Jossed in Kiwami, which depicts the homeless man as a different person. A lot of fans were hoping for confirmation that it was Akiyama or he would make a cameo in the game's ending, but he doesn't appear in the game.
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The final Yakuza game would get into Gundam levels of Kill ’Em All
Every major surviving character over the years would start to die left and right, with the final one being Kiryu taking down his opponent in the mother of all death battles.
  • Jossed. None of the major characters die, and Kiryu fakes his death that hardly anyone buys.

Dojima going after Yumi and the fake passports in Yakuza 1 is revenge against Kiryu for Yakuza 0
Now that we know Kiryu's involvement in tearing the Dojima Family to shreds in Yakuza 0, it wouldn't be far-fetched to think Dojima really doesn't like Kiryu, but still can't have him killed directly as Sera carries on Nihara's orders for the family to keep their hands off Kiryu. So Dojima gives the Snake Flower Triad fake passports and has Kiryu set up to be tortured to death by them instead. As for Yumi? Sure, he wants a piece of the girl everyone in town's talking about, if it also gives the Dragon of Dojima the biggest middle finger in the process.

Yakuza 2-4 will end up being remade/upscaled/something else for PS4
In reference to this article Sega is likely up to remaking them for the PS4, so new fans can enjoy it. Most people may or may not even own a PS2 or PS3 anymore, so it'd make sense.
  • 2 got the Kiwami treatment, while 3, 4, and 5 are merely being remastered.

Yakuza and Persona are Mutually Fictional franchises.
In Persona 5, you can kill time by watching a film called Like A Dragon (what the Yakuza games and movie are called in Japan, due to the yakuza being a bit hush-hush over there), while in Yakuza Kiwami, there's a porno film Kiryu can request called "Midnight Channel 4". While the "midnight channel" is an Urban Legend outside of the Persona series, the fact that it's specifically a "4", and SEGA owning both franchises makes one wonder...
  • To expand on this, Sonic the Hedgehog exists as a fictional character that you can sometimes see in the Yakuza arcades, and Sonic can Cosplay the Persona 5 protagonist in Sonic Mania, indicating he has some knowledge of the franchise...

Future genres or titles to get the Yakuza treatment
Ever since Fist of the North Star got a game in Hokuto Ga Gotoku and there was also Yakuza: Dead Souls which involved the cast in a zombie apocalypse scene, what other ways can the series go?
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  • Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: Now this is ripe for discussion about just what Kiryu or even Majima’s Stands would be, or if it would be an adaptation of another JoJo part.
  • Majima stand name: WK
  • High School A.U.: While it wouldn’t have the crime drama the main series does, it could still have Kiryu being a school delinquent who gets into school life.
  • Cop alternate universe: Instead of having gone into the Yakuza, Kiryu was an honest cop who’s framed for Dojima’s murder for example.

Daigo will be a playable character in a future Yakuza game
Even though he's the Sixth Chairman of the Tojo Clan, he tends to take quite a couple losses despite his immense power. Whether it's in Yakuza 7 or even 8, he finally gets to take in the sights and sounds of Kamurocho the way Kiryu has over the years.

John Wick would be a guest character in a future game
It would not be the first time John Wick has shown up in video games, and he'd definitely fit into a place like Kamurocho trying to get away after the events of Chapter 2. He's already an omniglot with English, Russian, Italian and American Sign Language, so what's to say he doesn't know Japanese? He could also take in the series tradition of battle strips, showing off his tattoos.

Majima is a modern kitsune.
It's probably the only way to both keep his character intact, and explain how he does the things that most would explain as being part of a video game.

There will be a 2D fighter for the series
It would be a Dream Match fighter which allows everyone who's been a fighter big and small to have one big rumble to show who truly is the strongest in the series. Backgrounds include not only locations around Kamurocho and Sotenbori, but also include Millenium Tower, Tojo Headquarters and Onomichi. It would be a Time Crash as well which allows past versions of characters to see their own futures leading to both I Hate Past Me and Future Me Scares Me.

Addendum: It would also be a way to have the cast of Yakuza crossover with Judgment and see how the Dragon of Dojima deals with Yagami and vice versa.

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