We talked with Yu Suzuki at Gamelab today, and of course the subject came up regarding Shenmue 3, the long-talked about sequel to the Dreamcast adventure-RPG series that has been left unfinished since the last release, Shenmue II, in 2001.
"I'd rather say everybody which I have met, everybody has asked me about Shenmue 3," he told us when we asked how often does he get asked about returning to the Sega RPG. So we asked him what would need to happen for the game to become a reality.
"I made Shenmue - the first chapter - fourteen years ago, so it has been a long time. But still people remember that and they ask for Shenmue 3 too, so it's a very, very nice thing for me. So if the circumstances and opportunity are all right, I'm sure I'm ready to create that."
We wondered what he might be able to do with new tech and the opportunities that'd offer.
"Well, graphics and sound have progressed very much," he responded. "But especially the capacity of the CPU treatment has made very much progress, so I think it's the main point now in advance; how can we introduce AI so that the playability of the game can get better."
We also asked what new things he'd like to do with storytelling.
"So, I have made until Shenmue 1 and Shenmue 2, but I have prepared until [Shenmue] 11, chapter 11. So if I want to continue the game, it will take a long time - because I have 9 chapters left. So I think I will have to change that construction composing the chapters, by dividing [spreading] many in two or three parts," later stating the series would end with Shenmue 4.
It may be a continuing pipe dream for fans that the Shenmue series would continue, let alone be given the chance to be finished properly, but Suzuki remains thankful by the continued support the franchise receives.
"I would say like this: Thank you very much for the great support for Shenmue! Reaction from Japan and Europe is a little different. Here I can feel that they appreciate it, and I would like to repeat: Thank you very much!"
We then asked whether Inafune-san had give him any advice on the potential of a Kickstarter success? "It's possible that we go for the crowd funding," he replied. "But now we're in a phase of research. I had the occasion to share dinner with Inafune-san and we were talking about it."