Question for the SEGA Fan Community: What is the most positive and effective way to ask for Shenmue 3?

Over the weekend a group of Shenmue fans came across an article I wrote over two years ago. In the article, I named five things I believed SEGA fans should stop doing, and one of these things was spamming SEGA’s Facebook page for titles like Shenmue 3. I love the Shenmue franchise and consider myself to be a huge fan. I read and reread every Shenmue article I could get my hands on in anticipation of the first game’s release, and bought it on day one. When the sequel was announced to be only available in Europe and Japan, with US fans having to wait nearly a year for an Xbox port, I learned how to play imported games and bought the European version on the week of release. Since then, I’ve debated with fans over what a third title would contain, bought Shenmue merch whenever the chance arrived, and even joined in on the infamous mass capsule toy mailings.

So I find it strange that a group of Shenmue fans believe I am at odds with them when it comes to being a fan of franchise and wanting a third title. I’m one of you. Please stop thinking this is a “us versus you” situation and that I need to be “bashed” as a method to prove me wrong. As I said, I disagree with writing nothing but negative comments on Facebook towards existing SEGA titles and demanding Shenmue 3. It doesn’t help. SEGAbits co-founder Ryan (aka Sharky) stated on the Shenmue 500k Facebook page: “The article (which I didn’t write by the way) doesn’t even tell people to stop begging. It’s an opinion piece suggesting that people don’t be disrespectful, posting ‘give us Shenmue 3, or give us Sonic.’ on articles/interviews etc which concern other games. Certainly something I agree with.” And something I agree with too.

Cat Shenmue
So rather than leaving comments on SEGA’s Facebook page, something that I deem a negative and ineffective method of reaching SEGA, I want to throw a question out there for all the SEGA fans: What is the most positive and effective way to ask for Shenmue 3? Who are the key decision makers that need to be reached? What are the most positive methods of communicating with a company?

I want to throw a question out there for all the SEGA fans

I point to as a glowing example of a community of SEGA fans who successfully got their message to SEGA in a positive and effective way. I also point to the aforementioned Shenmue capsule toy campaigns as a fun and positive method of getting SEGA of Japan’s attention. Enough from me, what are your thoughts on the most positive and effective ways to ask for Shenmue 3?


21 responses to “Question for the SEGA Fan Community: What is the most positive and effective way to ask for Shenmue 3?

  1. pso2love says:

    After trying different methods, including petition, drawing support from different forums/blogs to help spam SEGA’s blog/twitter/facebook to ask politely (most just tended to slander SEGA for their impatience), the only thing that we haven’t tried (or no one seems to be able to try) is for someone to travel to SEGA headquarters, and set up an appointment to talk to the higher-ups in person.

  2. ryo says:

    Everything that could possibly be made for Shenmue III to happen, was made.

    Positively or Negatively. SEGA does NOT want to make the game.

  3. Bladeart says:

    First off, seems you took a lot of heat from the Shenmue 500k page over your past comments. Now raise the white flag saying you’re one of us. You can’t tell fans what to do or what to say, you can suggest it though. I feel if we want Shenmue we knock on every door out there, not a single forum area dedicated to shenmue fans which will be ignored. Raise our voice: WE WANT SHENMUE 3 everywhere. #GiveYuTheShenmueLicense. You are entitled to your opinion. So do we.

    • Barry the Nomad says:

      I am a Shenmue fan, and I am not waving any white flag as there was no war to begin with. Just my opinions from 2 years back being brought up on the 500k page. Rather than go in circles over whose opinion is right or wrong, I thought it would be far more positive to discuss what methods fans think are both positive and effective.

      Regarding the Give Yu the License campaign, I’m impressed but the efforts but wonder if the message could use work. The hash tag itself mainly speaks to the hardcore, those who know who Yu is and what the license is referring to. Also, the goal itself is unclear. Give Yu Suzuki the license and then what? Is it known that he wants the license? Is it known what Yu obtaining the license would lead to? The cost of the game’s development is still a huge hurdle, regardless of who owns the rights.

      And if the goal is not giving Yu the license, but rather a more symbolic message… Why not push for something that could be a reality? Like make Shenmue a console exclusive like Bayonetta 2 or the next three Sonic games.

      Not attacking the campaign, I’m just curious.

    • Betablocker says:

      Ryo would be disappointed in you Bart.

    • betablocker says:

      Whoops. I meant Bladeart.

    • Rage says:

      Don’t wish to Stereo type the 5k group, but that is typical attitude that seems to come from members there. (Sure or hop not all are the same) It was an opinion, everyone has them. Even you. The guy is not waving a white flag and nor does he have to. It was an opinion, and he has the right to it. He didn’t force it upon you unlike so many 5k groupies do to others then try start little wars. This attitude has got you Shenmue 3, yet? No? I wonder why.

      In my opinion, getting fans to fund a trip or something to Japan for a group of people to picket or make appointments like crazy. I know it isn’t a positive message but I believe a mass boycott of Sega would help. At least it isn’t calling them every name under the sun and making the Majority of Fans look like bums and pond life. I believe anything but that internet based “Lets get together and be ignored” would get us noticed more. Tweetathon will go on for years and I don’t care what gets said on twitter, we will still be waiting for that game in another 12 years time if that is our plan. Me and a few others have a different plan but sadly so few. I guess the majority rules and in this case my opinion is the Majority is costing us Shenmue 3.

  4. Sniffs says:

    I don’t think there is a productive way to ask for it online. Companies usually take online comments with a grain of salt, they can’t tell if the demand is legitimate, everything is faceless. The horrible, horrible attitude that so many people have on the internet doesn’t help. I wish those people never get what they want if they choose to behave so badly because of online anonymity.

    But Shenmue III can be a pretty problematic project. To do it properly and with today’s technology, they’d have to invest a fortune into production. Think of all the graphical details, the massive voiced character roster, the huge world that needs to be fully interactive (go see how ridiculously expansive Shenmue II is, especially Hong Kong. Electronic stores, bookstores, tailors, barbers, restaurants, parlors and arcades, the list goes on). Plus, the highly detailed AI for characters that are irrelevant to the grand scheme of things. Without all those things, Shenmue isn’t Shenmue.

    And all that without a safety net. They can’t and shouldn’t have a plan for more sequels and spin-offs if it turn out to be a success. Shenmue does not have any guns or explosions (thank God!), it’s largely about exploration and investigation with a relatively small amount of action. It’s an unconventional game that can’t guarantee huge sales. That’s what makes it so special.

    Add the fact that Shenmue II is 12 years old, many of its development staff moved on, it might be very hard for them to get into that mentality again. And if fans won’t get exactly what they imagine they want, they won’t stop whining about it.

    Yakuza doesn’t come close in detail and production budget, not to mention that SEGA reuses many assets from previous Yakuza games with nearly every sequel, and that sequels are part of the Yakuza business. They can’t do that with Shenmue, not now, at least.

    Granted, much of Shenmue’s original budget was misused, today they’d make a much more efficient budget, though production would cost much more. But with Tomb Raider selling 3 million copies in about a month and not even getting close to breaking even, we should look at the industry and realize that today’s video game business can be a dreadful one.

    I think the most likely way Shenmue III can happen is if a console a manufacture with interest in getting an exciting exclusive 3rd party IP will decide to fund and publish it. Nintendo’s doing that with Bayonetta 2, and I pray they’ll do it with Shenmue III, though Shenmue is much more problematic for a variety of reasons.

  5. Bartman3010 says:

    At this point, the best bet for Shenmue fans to put up or shut up about the whole Shenmue 3 thing is to do a kickstarter. Shenmue was never not once a marketable game for Sega, and while there has been a history of “Open world” games, the ones that have been successful would not satisfy the taste of the mainstream market that Shenmue provides. Say if you were to compare it to something like Sleeping Dogs, you won’t be seeing Ryo punching women and slamming cops with car doors demanding the location of Lan Di, as is a similar norm for most open world games.

    For that matter, the one group of people who are demanding this is a very small, vocal community, and at the same time any community Sega tries to respect, they don’t get the same result with the one thing that matters most to them: money. I’m interested to see how well the Hatsune Miku PS3 game will do in the west, considering how far Sega is willing to go with it, but at the same time, how many people actually bought the Nights port? How many actually demanded for Sonic Adventure 2? Why aren’t we seeing any Dreamcast ports in the works right now? How many of you will actually buy a new version of Burning Rangers without pirating it? You didn’t just pirate the PC version of Sonic Generations to give us your game breaking fan character did you?

    For that matter, Sega did recently work with First Four Figures to produce those Ryo Hazuki statuettes. That is one way to garner demand, Sega does seem to have a bit of trouble merchandising some of their properties, considering they rarely produce sequels to games outside of some of their heavy hitters like Phantasy Star or Monkey Ball.

    Finally, while we would probably only need Yu Suzuki behind the helm of the development of the next game, if he required the assistance of others at Sega or others who worked on Shenmue before, they’re going to have a hard time pulling them away from projects since Sega has since consolidated their development teams into smaller, more concentrated groups. Simply tasking them to work on the next large scale production headed by Yu Suzuki isn’t something even Sega doesn’t want to take lightly. Its a hard struggle for everyone involved, and you can thank Sega these days that they’re not willing to put out a half hearted attempt at what the future of Shenmue could bring.

  6. Ben says:

    I don’t pirate games but I also have no interest in paying to re-play games I’ve already beaten. There is no reason for me to buy Sonic Adventure 2 on XBLA (and by the way have to pay extra for multiplayer features that were free on my Gamecube) when I’ve sunk ridiculous amounts of money into the game already. If poor digital sales of SEGA’s ports have had a role in the lack of a Shenmue III then okay, I take some responsibility for it; in my view, SEGA has over-estimated how much your average gamer will get excited about ports of games that we have been done playing for years.

    As far as a Kickstarter, Shenmue III will never be fundable with a Kickstarter campaign. It is completely impossible. Shenmue III will require money that nobody initiating a Kickstarter program can ever dream of.

    That said, I am not really taking a side on this, except to say that fans need to remain vocal and to demonstrate to SEGA that the need is there for a new Shenmue game. I don’t necessarily feel that spamming SEGA’s news posts is helping, though I’m not 100% against it, either.

    It would be nice for SEGA to give a definitive answer on the future of the Shenmue series so fans can either get excited for it or move on. I guess that’s my stance.

  7. Lisa says:

    Let me apologize on behalf of some of the members of that shenmue group on facebook…

    They don’t get that spamming shenmue everywhere is rude, obnoxious, and just pisses people off.

    Also I think a lot of them have never gotten laid LOL

    Just keep some hope alive in the back of your head for Shenmue 3+.

  8. Wonks says:

    Seems to me the only logical way we’d ever have Sega-published Shenmue is that whenever Sega releases digital downloads of the first two games, that we simply download them–turn a profit (a sizable profit) for the company. Make them think that maybe they can release one last game, that the market for Shenmue III hasn’t all but evaporated.

  9. Supa says:

    Did we ever get a response from SEGA after the capsule toy campaign?

  10. betablocker says:

    I don’t remember Megumi ever lifting up the Kitten and I have beaten Shenmue 4 times.

  11. Ben says:

    “Seems to me the only logical way we’d ever have Sega-published Shenmue is that whenever Sega releases digital downloads of the first two games, that we simply download them–turn a profit (a sizable profit) for the company. Make them think that maybe they can release one last game, that the market for Shenmue III hasn’t all but evaporated.”

    But then, it’s kinda back to that……why should I have to purchase ports of games that I already own, in great condition?

    I think it’d be great to release the Shenmue games digital (if they improve them, of course, to some of today’s standards) for people who haven’t played them. But forcing me to to download games that I already own in hopes of getting a 3rd one just…to me, just doesn’t seem like a good solution.

    In all likelihood I would buy it. But that doesn’t mean everyone would and that wouldn’t mean that there are “no Shenmue fans out there.”

    It would probably mean that most Shenmue fans have played Shenmues 1 and 2 to death already…

  12. Shenmue Stare says:

    I feel that any and all means of asking are best. Whatever works for you. The majority of fans don’t have websites and such to write influential conversation pieces, so they speak up when and where they can. Email just gets them a generic response and then ignored. Sending capsule toys, also ignored. There isn’t much one can do. it is quite frustrating.

    About the only thing left is to “picket” them online. Like the #GiveYuTheShenmueLicense Tweetathon, and Leaving comments on non Shenmue posts. The Tweetathon is organized, the comment tyrade is not. Sega’s presence on Facebook is solely for advertising and their posts are basically commercials. There aint no better place for unsatisfied customers to speak their minds. If you could stick your head into the TV during a T-Mobile commercial to tell them to eat a dickle and have your voice heard by viewers everywhere, wouldn’t you? The Sega Facebook commenting is ostensibly the same thing. Fight spam with spam. That’s why so many people do it. It’s the first thing to come to mind, and rather easy to do. Like I said earlier, most people don’t have resources like you do.

    Being one of the organizers of the Tweetathon, I can tell you that the hashtag was inspired by Yu Suzuki saying that he thought he could get the license from Sega at GDC 11. What did he mean exactly by those words? Does he in fact want to make the game sans Sega? I think the only thing that can truly be gleemed from that is that he wants to make it, and Sega has to give the ok, one way or another. Whether he goes his own way with it, works alongside his old Sega crew, or moves to Maryland to make it with Bethesda, Sega needs to flip that switch.

    By tweeting #GiveYuTheShenmueLicense you’re you’re simply asking Sega to give their blessing already. Nobody really wants them to not be involved, but if that’s what it takes, so be it. The fans are desperate. Yu says that he thinks he can get approval, and we’re just saying, yeah, Sega, let him do it already.

    I wouldn’t exactly say we’re spamming Twitter. If we are, then everything else would be, too. Wouldn’t it? I mean it kind of is. It’s mainly just another advertising avenue. Some people might say they don’t want to see the hashtag in their twitter feed. Well, not everyone wants to see Sega tweeting about games they’re uninterested in. What’s the difference? Hashtags are advertising. The Tweetathon implements that to our advantage. Finally a commercial some of us can wrap ourselves around. The main goal is to get the hashtag trending and in the public eye, thus circumventing Sega entirely. People are sick of being ignored by them, and this is the only outlet left other than storming Sega HQ in Japan, which really is the best thing for us to do, but realistically, not gonna happen. The Tweetathon is the next best option. It’s free, easy to do, and fun, even.

    We’ve been talking for some time now about possibly changing the hashtag to something different. Something a little more straightforward. I hope that you guys can get behind it.

    As far as its effectiveness, only time will tell, which we seem to have lots of to kill while we wait for shenmue 3.

  13. Okay, if NiGHTS’s unofficial site proved successful, why do not we try to create an exact or a similar page for Shenmue 3’s cause? Would not that be something positive and beautiful?

  14. Draikin says:

    Shenmue Stare, I’ve been disappointed in the attitude from the people promoting the Tweetathon over at the Sega forums. They don’t partake in any discussions, they just spam their tweethaton posts and are generally very negative towards Sega. That’s not going to help. Like you said, you don’t even know what Yu Suzuki really meant. What he probably meant was that he needs to secure funding so he can license the rights to create a sequel from Sega. Sega isn’t just going to give him the IP for free, and demanding them to do so isn’t going to make things any easier.

    This would be exactly the same as Nintendo is doing with Bayonetta 2. Sega still has the rights to the IP, and you can be certain that Nintendo is paying them for it. Sega isn’t preventing Yu from creating a sequel, they’re just not prepared to fund them (and who can really blame them?). If Sony, Microsoft or Nintendo would be prepared to cover the costs then I’m positive they could work out a deal with Sega to let them use the license. And that’s ultimately the real problem: funding. Nobody is prepared to fund a project for a sequel to a ten year old game.

    As for a website, I think it’s a good idea. I created for the purpose of letting people ask for a remake of the Panzer Dragoon games. But what I think could give us a much stronger voice is to join forces with other fans. There are so many vocal but small and isolated Sega fanbase groups that want something from Sega. Valkyria Chronicles 3 and Yakuza 5 localization, news about PSO2, Shenmue 3, Jet Set Radio Future HD and other remakes, resolution of the Shining Force video takedowns and overall improved communication between the fans and the company… What we need is our own Operation Rainfall. A website that unifies and organizes Sega fans and works with Sega to make at least some of the fans’ dreams a reality.

  15. DiGi Valentine says:

    Some of what’s being said here in these comments are very …what’s the word? …heated. Especially those going along the lines of borderline defensive-mode in regards to their own actions and constantly stating things like – “it’s our choice on how we choose to voice our support for Shenmue 3, nobody’s gonna tell us how we should petition and campaign”
    That’s been the BIGGEST problem with the campaigns. There is ZERO unity amongst the Shenmue fans. There doesn’t seem to be a specific collective organisation who is running the whole show so that’s leaving people left, right and centre to act and take matters in to their own hands, whether it’s just peacefully waiting it out and asking nicely or being a rage-demon and attacking SEGA’s facebook with spam posts. Also, that latter method REALLY won’t get you anywhere. Trust me on this, you’re hearing this from the guy who co-pioneered the NiGHTS campaigns. I know a thing or two about this.

    Look, i love Shenmue like everyone else here. I want a Shenmue 3 as well. But things are just being handled extremely poorly. How can we hope to obtain anything with no direction unifying the ENTIRE FANBASE as a whole? Because if you want any chance in getting that third game or, hell, even a bloody HD port at this point, the Shenmue fans NEED to band together under ONE flag and work in unison. Other wise seriously, you’re just wasting time for yourselves.

    If someone can point me in the right direction to whoever is meant to be running the show for Shenmue’s support then i’d be happy to help give advice and show you how the NiGHTS fans held a successful 4 year long campaign and came out not only with a HD port but firmly placed NiGHTS back in the spot light and away from the obscurity that he was most definitely facing.
    Someone give me an email address, let me talk to your leaders. Maybe i can help.
    Because if i can stop all the bullshit spam hitting facebook while simultaneously helping bring Shenmue back in to action then i’ll feel a whole lot happier.
    Get at me, let me know who’s running the show and let me talk to them.

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