The Shenmue series was recently brought back in an unexpected way – a social networking game. Fans of the Shenmue series may be disappointed to hear this, but Yu Suzuki has a method to his madness.
First, Yu Suzuki adressed that Shenmue City is simply a new look at the Shenmue franchise – not Shenmue 3. “Shenmue has the image of grand scale, but making something of grand scale requires appropriate preparation. I want to make 3 with the same volume as in the past. There have actually been a lot of requests from fans for 3 as well. There were even petitions signed by by tens of thousands of people. I wanted to carry out my obligations for the series.”
Depending on the success of Shenmue City, Yu Suzuki would like to to take the franchise in more directions, which may eventually lead to an actual Shenmue 3.
Yu Suzuki also revealed that the series features 11 chapters, instead of the previously believed 18. This doesn’t mean Yu Suzuki was planning eleven games. Multiple chapters would have been bundled in certain titles. Yu Suzuki also revealed that, if need be, he would be able to finish the series in one title, just going over the highlights of the story.
Hopefully Western audiences will get the chance to help support the Shenmue series as well. Although, I’m not sure if a social networking game is the right way to go about it.