A photo posted to Twitter in late March of Sony’s Mark Cerny and legendary Shenmue developer Yu Suzuki during the Game Developers Conference set the Internet ablaze with rumors that SEGA may be in fact developing Shenmue 3. Meggan Scavio, the general manager of GDC and the person who posted the photo, wrote the two were “talking strategy for Shenmue 3.”
More recently, Ryo Hazuki voice actor Corey Marshall posted a photo on his Facebook showing him back in studio doing voice work, which he hasn’t done in quite some time. This again caused SEGA Nerds out there to wonder if work is being done on a new installment in the series.
However, during our interview with him on the SEGA Nerdcast, Marshall shed some light on his photo and whether he’s been at work on the third game.
“The picture of me back in studio is a recent picture, in fact very recent, but with non-disclosure agreements, I cannot reveal what project I’m working on,” he said. “I can say, however, I’m not working on Shenmue 3. I’m saying right now, it’s not 3, so please don’t freak out too much.”
Marshall did say, though, that he’d like to see the series continued, and if SEGA has no intention to do so that they allow Suzuki to have the license.
“I would like to see it released, and I think a lot of fans would like to see it released. If (SEGA) wanted to release the rights to it, I think giving it to Suzuki is the right move, and I don’t think there would be any sort of animosity or bad blood,” he said. “As a fan, I would love to see the franchised continued.”
Despite the fact that Marshall hasn’t completed any voice work for Shenmue 3, it doesn’t necessarily mean the game isn’t in development. As he pointed out in the same interview, when he did voice work on the original Shenmue, SEGA reps had him play through builds of the Japanese version with English subtitles to help familiarize himself with Ryo and the rest of the characters.
Albeit slight, there’s a chance the game is in early development and not at the point in which English voice actors are needed.