For years, Shenmue fans have been waiting to hear that a third installment in the cult-classic will finally be made available. And now, the chances of that happening seem greater than ever.
Speaking to Japanese gaming publication Famitsu in an interview yesterday, which was translated by IGN, Shenmue creator Yu Suzuki said he wants "to make [Shenmue] 3 with the same volume as in the past."
He went on to say that he has heard loud and clear from fans that they want to see a third installment in the franchise, mentioning "petitions signed by tens of thousands of people."
Suzuki was quick to point out that he hasn't been given the go-ahead to develop Shenmue 3, but if he does make the game, he wants it to be "grand scale" like its predecessors. The only issue with that, Suzuki said, is that "making something of grand scale requires appropriate preparation."
Suzuki's comments follow those made earlier this month by Sega West president, Mike Hayes, who said that although Sega doesn't have plans to make Shenmue 3 right now, there is a possibility that it might get green-lighted eventually.
"Never say never," Hayes said.
The first episode in the Shenmue series launched in 2000 on the Sega Dreamcast. The game followed Ryo Hazuki in his quest to avenge his father's murder at the hands of antagonist Lan Di. Sega then followed up the success of the first title with Shenmue 2 on the Xbox in 2002. That title didn't perform as well at retail, prompting Sega to discontinue development on future games that would follow the franchise's story line.
But that decision only further ignited Shenmue fans who took to the Internet to try to get their beloved franchise back. Eight years later, it seems that all those complaints and petitions have at least been heard by Sega and the series creator. And with some luck, those efforts might eventually yield a new installment in the franchise.