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."