Tekken 8: Now that the Mishima Saga is Over, What’s Next for the Franchise?

Joe Meola ‘25 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer

In the short period of time since its January 26 release, Bandai Namco’s Tekken 8 has taken the gaming world by storm. Its enhanced graphics, updated gameplay, and cinematic story mode have already turned it into a favorite amongst the fighting game community. While there is plenty of unpacking to do in terms of gameplay, the story of the Tekken franchise is a major factor that keeps fans coming back. Tekken 8 has been marketed as the end of the “Mishima Saga,” the epic story of the Mishima family that has been ongoing since the release of the original Tekken in 1994. Now, with the Mishimas seemingly off the table, how will the franchise move forward?

If Bandai Namco were to continue the story of Tekken, there are a few Mishima-less options they could use to push the plot forward. Perhaps the most popular plot thread in the Tekken series separate from the Mishimas is the story arc of the characters bearing the King moniker. Future installments could shift their focus to further emphasize the story of King, Armor King, and Craig Marduk, and their violent pro-wrestling melodrama. This could provide opportunities for new characters to be added to the roster that fit into the pro-wrestling motif of King. This is the perfect way to move away from the Mishimas but still focus on fan-favorite characters.

The more likely outcome, however, is Bandai Namco releasing a spinoff game of some sort as a follow up to Tekken 8. Perhaps the next Tekken game will be a third Tag Tournament installment. The previous two Tag games were improved versions of prior Tekken games with additional characters and a tag function for two versus two battles. While such a game would be fairly easy to make, as it would primarily utilize assets from Tekken 8, higher-ups within Bandai Namco may not consider it a viable option, as Tekken Tag Tournament 2 ended up being the worst-selling game in the whole franchise. 

Another possibility would be for Bandai Namco to finally resume production of Tekken X Street Fighter, a crossover with traditional Tekken-style gameplay that was meant to serve as a follow up to Capcom’s 2012 game Street Fighter X Tekken, which featured Street Fighter-style gameplay. It would be an absolute marvel to see the Street Fighter cast fighting with Tekken gameplay in breathtaking graphics not unlike those of Tekken 8. We already got Akuma in Tekken 7, which proves that Capcom’s iconic characters translate well to this playstyle.

A final possibility for the next Tekken game would be some sort of remaster of older games. On one hand, it would be very easy and much appreciated if Bandai Namco simply ported classic Tekken games to the current generation of consoles. However, it would be incredible if some of these games were reworked from the ground up with modern graphics and gameplay. Imagine a Tekken 0 game based on the original two Tekken games, with gameplay like that of Tekken 8 and a cinematic story mode based on the lore of those games. Fans would go absolutely bonkers. Similarly, a game in which the plot predates all previous games, and perhaps predates the Mishima Saga as a whole, could be a welcome addition to the franchise.

However, it is highly possible that Tekken 8 is not the end of the Mishimas. Even if Bandai Namco chooses to remove Jin and Kazuya from the board, there are still characters like Heihachi’s illegitimate children, Lars and Reina, who are rich with storytelling potential. Plus, Heihachi could always return from his Tekken 7 death, as the Mishimas never seem to stay dead—he’s died and come back before, after all.

Obviously, due to the recency of Tekken 8’s release, it will be several years before we hear anything of future plans for the series, but that day will still come. Now you know what to expect.

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