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!
ShenmueHD.com domain has been picked up by SEGA Europe, as discovered by TSSZ News today. The whois on the domain says it was registered on September 07, 2016 and was last updated today. Which is funny because SEGA Europe President & COO Jurgen Post said back in September that Shenmue HD remakes had their full attention. Does this mean Shenmue HD remakes are in the works over at SEGA? Who knows, there is the possibility that SEGA just snatched up ShenmueHD.com before a domain scalper could and really have no intents in doing a remake.
I think its a positive sign, especially since SEGA as of late have been more willing to listen to what fans want. Maybe ShenmueHD.com will be put to good use and the internet will be happy? I guess we shall see, soon enough.
[update] After doing some more research, I found that SEGA Europe registered the domain with a certain email and when I reversed searched that email it said SEGA registered THREE Shenmue related domains including ShemnueGame.com and ShenmueRemastered.com. More info here. These Shenmue domains are the only registered domains they did in 2016. [/update]
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?
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]
Spanish video game website GameSpek recently interviewed the Barcelona, Spain based company responsible for many ports, including SEGA fan favorite Jet Set Radio.
As we all know, before the Shenmue III E3 2015 announcement, the on again/off again Shenmue franchise was constantly surrounded in a wide array of rumors, some concerning ports or high definition remakes of the first two games having been started on, or even fully completed. These rumors never came to fruition, but now we have some official insight into the status of these Shenmue ports. Says BlitWorks:
“Then we thought it would be a good idea to showcase Sonic CD, Jet Set Radio and Shenmue working on the emulators to Sega, with the prospect of a commercial release for the consoles of that time. They showed interest in Sonic CD and Jet Set Radio“.
When asked if they had anything else to say to fans, BlitWorks said:
Thanks to you! We would like to tell SEGA games fans that they don’t cease to ask for ports of great games like Shenmue or Jet Set Radio Future, we are the first ones that would like to port these games. In change.org or similar webs there are several requests about that.
They also discuss Jet Set Radio‘s removal from iOS, and more. Check out the full interview here.
What better way to close up Shenmue Week than having a Round Table about what we want in Shenmue HD. We have touched on what we wanted before on The Weekly Five, but I think its time for all of us to write about what we want in a Shenmue HD remaster, if there ever was one.
Like always, if you guys want to tell us what you would want, you can via the comments.