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GDC 2011: Yu Suzuki: 'Sega Will Probably Let Me Make  Shenmue 3 '
GDC 2011: Yu Suzuki: 'Sega Will Probably Let Me Make Shenmue 3'
March 2, 2011 | By Brandon Sheffield

At a Game Developers Conference session in San Francisco today, Yu Suzuki revealed that Sega may allow him to make Shenmue 3 in the future. The question arose from a stack of audience questions, with one audience member inquiring simply, "when will Shenmue 3 be released?"

“Well, I want to make it,” began Suzuki. “About 200 people will buy it, I think. But funding is an issue,” he said. He first cleared up a few facts about the original Shenmue.

First of all, the game was to be the Dreamcast's killer app. “We talked about a Virtua Fighter RPG," he said, "with Akira as the character we would use.”

“From the beginning, the new title without using Akira would be more acceptable,” he said, so they went in a different direction. According to Suzuki, the $70 million Sega said it cost was an embellishment. It was "only $47 million," he said. "Well, maybe I shouldn't say only," he joked.

Where did all that money go, in 1999? “We spent it on development and marketing… actually where did we spend it again?” he joked.

Getting back around to the subject of Shenmue 3, Suzuki finally stated, “Probably Sega will let me make it. I think. It's simply a problem of budget.”

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George Monroy
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Christopher Shell
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It has always been a problem of budget. The games simply cost way too much for the return they've gotten. Thats why even Microsoft backed off the IP when Shenmue II flopped badly on the Xbox.

I'd like to hope word of mouth and general resonance from the loyal fanbase that has supported this series since the very beginning has caused ripples to turn into at least small waves of recognition for the series and a 3rd game, if produced, will sell enough to at least break even for SEGA. The Shenmue games have sat comfortably atop the list of my most favorite and impactful games of all time since I first played them back in 2000 and 2001 respectively. I can see it always being that way. As much as it pains me to know the state in which a Shenmue III would have to be released (for those who don't really know, the Shenmue story is WAY deeper than what could ever remotely fit in three games, meaning massive cuts will have to be made in addition to the cuts that have already been made), I would not hesitate to support the series from day 1 like I have always done (owner of the original Shenmue, and both versions of Shenmue II).

Benjamin Hill
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Not gonna lie, everytime I hear something like this my heart skips a beat, although I know how flawed the original games are my rose tinted glasses are still gleaming with hope.

Brenton Woodrow
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I hope the budget problems can be overcome. As a loyal Shenmue fan, the long awaited third game in this franchise would be a day one purchase for me.

Kamruz Moslemi
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Well SEGA can throw that money after a lot worse thing, like using it to fund overseas developments like other Japanese developers have been doing over the years. That being said there are a lot better domestic efforts that they could throw it after as well. They'd be better off spending it on funding another good internal effort like with Valkyria Chronicles, or even extending their partnership with Platinum Games.

Alan Rimkeit
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Well, I guess they might as well make HD versions for the PC/360/PS3 of the first two games to keep new players updated. Otherwise this is great news.

Amir Sharar
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If there were any engine they would base the game on, I would wish for the Source engine. The facial animation system it uses can really help a game like Shen Mue. Sure, other engines might look better, but Shen Mue, to me, was all about the characters.

Gabe Carter
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Here's what I would do in this situation if I were SEGA:

1. Start being more awesome. Ya know, like the old days.

2. Test the Shenmue waters with an HD collection of 1 and 2 on XBLA/PSN/Steam, since those are all the rage now (Team ICO, God of War, Sly Collection, etc). Add in a bunch of directors cut material, dev commentaries, a making-of featurette, etc. Kick it out the door on a measly budget. The sales of that would probably give them a pretty accurate perspective on how big the Shenmue fan-base really is and how well Shenmue 3 would sell.

3. Make Shenmue 3 and profit OR make more pachinko machines and fade into obscurity.

Ah...I kid. Me and Sega go way back. We're like this *crosses fingers*.

Will Morton
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What Gabe said :)

Amir Sharar
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Your post is proof that many of SEGA's fans can run SEGA better than SEGA can.

Jesse Baker
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because you know, all the recent games Sega has made have been top notch productions and just rolling in the cash for them...

Yeah, I'm looking at you Sonic and Sega all star racing