Tekken 8 Is Bringing Back Guest Characters?

Katsuhiro Harada says he's exploring the possibility of adding guest characters to the upcoming Tekken 8.

By Jason Collins | Published

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Guest appearances have become all too common in gaming, and Epic Games’ Fortnite played a massive role in normalizing the concept. We’re not saying that Epic Games invented guest appearances, cameos, and re-skins, but we’re saying that the company mainstreamed and resynthesized the gaming community to the concept of guest appearances. In an interview with IGN, the Tekken gaming series’ director, Katsuhiro Harada, mentioned the possibility of introducing more guest characters from other IPs in Tekken 8.

This means that there’s a very high chance we might witness other Capcom or SNK fighting game characters of legendary repute make their return with Tekken 8. Though Takada hasn’t offered any concrete confirmation about any guest appearances, he did say that the past guest appearances had an overwhelmingly positive response from the Tekken gaming community.

Considering how guest characters in Tekken 7 are still regarded as one of the best aspects of the game, it’s likely for Tekken 8 to feature more guest characters from other fighting games made by Capcom and SNK. Tekken 7 launched with one of the most legendary fighting game characters, Akuma from the Street Fighter franchise — which is also bringing back some of its iconic characters. Tekken 7 also featured Geese from Fatal Fury and Negan from The Walking Dead TV series, and adding those characters was clearly a genius idea.

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Tekken 8 was just recently announced during the EVO Tekken Tournament Event, which featured a render of Kazuya Mishima with the title “Get Ready.” A proper reveal came at Sony’s State of Play event, with a cinematic trailer showing a high-octane fight between the series’ recognizable characters, Jin Kazama and Kazuya Mishima. Fighting aspects aside, the trailer really served to show the technological aspect of the game’s development process and the level of detail that were implemented into the game — like visible muscle fibers and rainfall.

Another noteworthy thing is the fact that the development team made a move to Unreal Engine 5, which grants incredible visual fidelity in games — in the case of Tekken 8, you can actually see raindrops rolling off characters’ faces. Tekken 8 will be the second installment in the franchise that uses Epic’s Unreal Software, with Tekken 7 being the franchise’s first UE game that relied on Unreal Engine 4. Before Bandai Namco Studios made that transition, the games were developed using an in-house software development kit, which wasn’t bad, but we can all agree just how fantastic UE5 is.

The Tekken franchise goes back to the original PlayStation era, which only attests to the quality of Bandai Namco’s IP. The franchise had lived through every possible gaming development technology of the past three decades, but it managed to retain all the aspects that made it great. If anything, the introduction of guest characters just made Tekken games better. As for Tekken 8, there’s still no mention of a release date, but it’s likely that the game will release sometime in 2023 on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, and PC.