Following the discovery that SEGA Europe registered ShenmueHD.com, we learned that SEGA had also registered ShemnueGame.com (misspelling intentional) and ShenmueRemastered.com. On this SEGA News Bits, George and Barry enter the dojo to discover what this all means. Is SEGA planning a rerelease of Shenmue and Shenmue II? Give the show a watch to hear our findings!
SEGA Europe’s boss Jurgen Post has recently talked about the possibilities of doing Shenmue 1 & 2 HD remakes and ressured the fanbase that they have been looking into renewing licensing to do the remakes correctly.
This is what SEGA Europe said about the Shenmue 1 & 2 HD remakes:
“There is definitely a desire [to go back to our classic games], Even online, people are constantly talking about products they would like to see come back, and Shenmue 1 and 2 are probably in the top two places. We are looking into it. It is an old IP, it is a beloved IP – and not just by consumers, but also within Sega, we have people saying that if we could do Shenmue 1 and 2 all over again, we’d definitely go for it. The issue is that it is a big game. It is a project from many years ago. If we are to do it, we’d want to do a fantastic conversion to the current platforms, and there are a lot of licences in the game, which were cleared many years ago, so we will need to renegotiate those contracts. We are looking into it. We haven’t given it a green light, but it has our full attention.” – Jurgen Post, President and COO of SEGA Europe
This whole licensing issues from old games have plagued SEGA in the past when they ported over Crazy Taxi on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, omitting the iconic soundtrack due to SEGA not wanting to pay the licenses for the old tracks. This lead fans to getting upset and ever since then SEGA has made an effort to gather all the licenses when remaking or porting games. The last big examples include Castle of Illusions (which, now expiring license is making them pull it from shops) and Jet Set Radio.
What are your thoughts? Does Shenmue 1 & 2 HD remakes seem like a reality now? Jurgen Post has been teasing the return of classic franchises for awhile now, do you really think SEGA Europe actually have something up their sleeves?
The latest Shenmue III update that dropped this morning gave us a quick video of inside Ys Net’s Dev Room for the game.
In the video, we first see a developer animating a rather familiar QTE scene. The event in question, which features Ryu Hazuki hopping on stones to cross a stream, occurred in the epilogue of Shenmue II. It’s revealed that the team wanted to create the event for the third game, which brings us to a possibility of the entire last act of Shenmue II being playable again in the new engine.
The team member moves the scene’s camera around and discusses a future meeting with Yu Suzuki about cooler angles to use for the event.
The second part of the video takes us to another developer working on a scene situated on a mountain. An avalanche occurs and Ryu must run for his life as boulders of all sizes fly down towards him.
As the documentary ends, we see a few shots of devs at work and, finally, a quick glimpse of Yu Suzuki smiling.
The short film is titled Development Report Vol. 1, so hopefully this is the start of a new series of videos that Ys Net releases with some of the monthly Shenmue III updates moving forward.
In the latest episode of the Europe-focused SEGA Central video series, SEGA Europe community manager Dan Sheridan answers some viewer mail. To the request for more Japanese games receiving American localization to release in Europe, Dan confirms that one game is indeed coming. Dan’s exact words were: “We have also heard that fans are looking forward to the release of SEGA 3D Classics Collection in Europe, and subject to approval submissions, we’ll have news to share soon. One thing that I can tell you, is that it is coming.”
On the topic of Shenmue and Shenmue 2 receiving HD releases (or “hay-ch dee” as they say), Dan replied: “Of course we would love to release these tomorrow. Of course it’s not as simple as just porting the games to the current platforms, as we would need to ensure that any HD remaster lives up to the quality of the original titles, and with games as immersive as Shenmue 1 and 2 there are further complications from licensed products that were included in the original games. That said, we’d love to do it, and are currently investigating how to make it a reality.”
Marketing Week held an interesting interview with SEGA Europe marketing director Jon Rooke. The interview, which centers around the company’s recent changes and a shift in approach, also touches on the Shenmue series. SEGA allowing Yu Suzuki to use the license to make a third game and the Kickstarter campaign proving to be a success “shows that people love [SEGA’s] legacy”, said Rooke. The article adds that Rooke said SEGA is exploring ways to re-release the original two Shenmue titles.
Could it be that much like Valkyria Chronicles performing well on PC, it took the successful backing of Shenmue 3 for SEGA to rethink rereleases of classic titles? It has long been rumored that there are reasons for SEGA holding out on Shenmue and Shenmue II, chief among them being that there are rights issues standing in the way. Whatever the case, it’s good to hear somebody like Jon Rooke speaking publicly about a possibility of a re-release.
Update: The article’s author has shared the exact quote from Jon Rooke on Twitter:
When I asked about Shenmue being remade, I was told: “There are lots of opportunities for legacy titles. We are exploring. We know what fans want as they have a petition.” So it now appears that the quote wasn’t referring to Shenmue specifically, but legacy titles as a whole.
[Source: Marketing Week]
Its literally been 14 years since Shenmue 2 made its debut and left many unanswered questions. Over the years the Shenmue fanbase has grown since more and more people have gotten a chance to try the franchise, it has reached some level of mysticism. Having this rabid fanbase, all with individual reasons as to why they like the Shenmue franchise waiting for the next evolutionary step can be daunting to a development team.
Can Ys NET and Yu Suzuki make a game that will live up to the hype? That’s this topic on this week’s Round Table.
It is hard to grasp that it has been over 14 years since Shenmue 2 came out and left us all with that cliffhanger in the end of the game. There has been a strong fan reaction for a third installment and Yu Suzuki stood at Playstation’s E3 stage to finally give fans what they have been asking for. Ys NET launched their Kickstarter campaign which broke funding records, cementing that fans are willing to give their hard earn cash in order to see a third installment of their favorite franchise. In this week’s Round Table we talk about how much we funded and why. You can let us know how much you funded in the comments below.
Two Shenmue fanatics (Shensun and Esppiral from Shenmue Dojo) have been working together for a greater part of a year on the fan creation of Shenmue Gaiden, a non-canon Shenmue visual novel. This is the sequel to a fan project that was released a year ago called ‘Shenmue X chapter 1‘, but the creator suggest this project will be better and by the looks of the promotional artwork he might be on to something.
It is expected for the visual novel to have a demo this year with a release sometime in 2016, the game will have two plot stories that deal with Ryo and Shenhua reaching their destination after their long walk in the forest and a young girl who asks them for help. To read more about the plot and see other in-game screenshots, hit the jump or click here.
The Shenmue 3 Kickstarter campaign has officially ended, earning a total amount of $6,333,295 with 69,320 backers.
Fourteen years after Shenmue II was released, and following two failed attempts at reviving the franchise (Shenmue Online and Shenmue Gai), Yu Suzuki was welcomed to Sony’s E3 2015 stage to officially announce the beginning of the Kickstarter campaign for Shenmue 3. Breaking the Guinness World Record for the fastest video game to reach $1 million through crowdfunding in one hour and 42 minutes (as well as initially crashing Kickstarter’s site), Shenmue 3 continued to break records by being the second fastest Kickstarter campaign in all categories to raise over $1 million. Less than nine hours later, Shenmue 3 continued to drop jaws around the world when it reached $2 million, its 100% funding goal. Since the announcement, the money has continued to flow in, raising almost $1 million more on its last campaign day.
The game has also become the most funded video game in Kickstarter History, a record previously held by Bloodstained, the third most funded Kickstarter campaign in the “Games” category, and, most impressively, the sixth most funded Kickstarter project of all time.
The Kickstarter campaign should be considered a massive success, and now we can all rest (if only for a little bit), and await a steady flow of Shenmue 3 news until December of 2017!
When Shenmue was being hyped by SEGA as the next big step in gaming immersion, Yu Suzuki often liked to classify the game in its own genre, “Full Reactive Eyes Entertainment” or FREE. These days we tend to either call it an RPG or an adventure game, but even back then the phrase didn’t really work because it ignored one of Shenmue’s best qualities: its utterly marvelous, epic, emotional, cinematic, beautiful soundtrack. For Shenmue Week Tuesday Tunes will be doing something new: instead of posting one or two tracks, we’re posting the entire soundtrack.
The above video was put together by Shenmue Dojo. Aside from being a marvelous way to listen to the entire Shenmue soundtrack, this video was also the first request Tuesday Tunes ever received. Someone from Shenmue Dojo really wanted us to highlight it, but I knew we couldn’t just do it for any occasion. It may have taken awhile, dude, but you finally got your wish. Now please, join us as we take a musical journey through part one of Yu Suzuki’s magnum opus!
Yu Suzuki attended the recently concluded Gamelab 2014, a gaming conference in Spain. He gave a presentation (partially notable for one of his slides featuring a Roman numeral “3” stylized in Shenmue font, which attracted the usual modest amount of attention) and was the recipient of the fourth Legend Award, a distinction meant for honoring “key figures in the history of video games”, as written at the Gamelab website.
After Gamelab concluded, Yu Suzuki conducted a short interview, available above. The interview asks a variety of direct questions, on topics including his favorite arcade project that he worked on (interestingly, the interviewer also asks Yu Suzuki if he feels nostalgiac for any aspects of Sega’s more arcade-focused past,) opportunities for modern technology in a hypothetical next Shenmue game, and whether or not Kickstarter is being actively considered to fund the next Shenmue game should development be more seriously pursued. Check it out!
Like any beloved SEGA franchise, After Burner has had its share of cameos. Unfortunately, unlike Fantasy Zone and Sonic the Hedgehog, these cameos have been few, so we did have to stretch things just a little bit to fill out this weekly five. As they say though, quality matters over quantity, so even though After Burner’s cameos have been few, they’ve often been quite great. So grab a snack, sit down and enjoy as we look through After Burner’s five best only cameos.
This week on the show Barry and George talk about the future of the Shenmue franchise, their take on its future and of course Project X Zone, which recently came out. Besides that we cover your weekly news, for more on whats on the show check the show notes after the break.
What if you could walk around Kowloon, just as Ryo did in Shenmue II, playing SEGA arcade games and collecting capsule toys? SEGA fans will remember Kowloon best as the location of Shenmue II’s second act. Seeing the city in video game form is no match to seeing it in person, but unfortunately the city no longer exists. What is a Shenmue fan to do? Is it still possible to recreate Ryo’s Kowloon adventures? Thanks to Kawasaki, you can! Located in Kawasaki City, an amusement center south of Tokyo, is “Digital Kowloon City”.
“Digital Kowloon City” is an indoor recreation of the Kowloon Walled City, a city which in the late 1980’s was home to 33,000 people in a 6.5 acre space. Quirky Japanese blog RocketNews24 paid a visit to “Digital Kowloon City”, and the photos they took are incredibly cool. The place really does look like Kowloon at night, and there are arcade games, capsule machines, and UFO Catchers all over the place. Head on over to their blog for a virtual walkthrough of the virtual city. By the end of their article, you’ll want to visit the place yourself and will probably boot up Shenmue II instead, since you can’t afford a trip to Japan.
To wash the yucky taste of today’s big news story out of our mouths, let’s focus on something positive. Recently, SEGA has been hinting at an HD Shenmue 1 and 2 rerelease. Given the latest announcement of putting more focus on digital releases, Shenmue HD could become even more of a reality. As SEGA has yet to release an official announcement, we can do what Shenmue fans do best and speculate! This week’s Weekly Five will take a look at what we want to see in a Shenmue rerelease. Let’s begin, shall we? [insert sailor joke here]