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SEGA Wants Shenmue III, Offers Console Exclusivity

Shenmue, for the SEGA Dreamcast

Shenmue, for the SEGA Dreamcast

It looks like Ryo Hazuki’s quest to find his father’s killer isn’t completely over. According to NeoGAF’s translation of an article found on EuroGamer, SEGA is looking at continuing the development of the effectively-abandoned Shenmue III.

In America, Shenmue was released for the SEGA Dreamcast (after initial designs for a SEGA Saturn iteration), and Shenmue II was a Microsoft Xbox exclusive (with a SEGA Dreamcast release in Japan), given the friendly nature between the two companies at the time. Shenmue III has been plagued by poor sales of the previous iterations, and Shenmue Online, has likely been canned.

The article features SEGA stating that they would likely make Shenmue III a console exclusive if one of the hardware producers (Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony) were to finance the game.

All I know is, I want to find the killer of Ryo’s father. Sure, I never beat Shenmue II, and tired of asking if anyone knew where the sailors were in the original Shenmue (which raised tons of eyebrows in my house). Ryo’s upcoming appearance in Sonic & SEGA All-Star Racing is a nice tribute to the forklift racing of years past, and Shenmue Online would have been an interesting way to continue the franchise, but only one game will be truly accepted as the next part of the quest: Shenmue III. As long as we can collect more gashapon figure, all gamers wishes will come true.

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  • I was just talking about Shenmue last night at a partay, I really hope they do this right!!! 🙂

  • As much as I would love to see this unfinished epic come to a proper ending, there are all kinds of problems with SEGA’s approach here.

    For starters, Yu Suzuki needs to be involved… but where is he now? Working in a SEGA basement somewhere? When’s the last time Suzuki had the chance to be directly involved in game development? Does he still have the same vision?

    Secondly, why would anyone finance a game that has historically faltered at retail? This is a recession, after all, and game companies are cutting costs– not adding to them. Microsoft already had Shenmue exclusivity (here in the US, anyway), and the game was little more than an afterthought. Sony and Nintendo already have stables of exclusive IPs, so they don’t need Shenmue.

    Lastly, It’s been so long since Shenmue II– nearly 10 years– that only diehard fans would be interested. The release of Shenmue III would likely be the most spectacular failure in a line of retail failures for the IP.

    If SEGA wants to wrap up the Shenmue storyline, convince a movie studio and just tell us the story. With all the tripe that gets greenlit by production studios these days, how could Shenmue III: The Final Chspter not see the light of day?

  • I was just thinking of Shenmue today when I found my old soundtrack for it.

    Seems like there’d be a ton of potential pitfalls, and bridging it all together after all this time would be tough. It’d also need a huge revamp in gameplay as well.

    Good to see it being talked about though. 1 was great, 2 even better.

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  • Steve

    I don’t think releasing it would be as hard as you say Peter. The release of the game would not only encompass the final parts of the story, but would also include parts one and two. That being said, storyline and pre-production has been completed for years by Yu Suzuki and Sega. Only thing left is to produce and sell.