The incredibly lucky “Yama” from Shenmue Dojo recently sat down for an interview with the legendary Yu Suzuki and Shenmue was very much the hot topic of discussion.
Possibly the most interesting comments come when Yu Suzuki speaks about the future of the franchise. He talks about how he would like Shenmue III to start, that he would expect Shenmue’s story to last at least another two or three games and that SEGA is willing to make Shenmue III with Yu Suzuki, if enough money is raised:
Yu Suzuki : Fans from all around the world have kept providing me support and I can’t thank them enough. About Shenmue, Sega is not a problem at all. For Shenmue III, we need to define a specific budget and if I can gather enough for it, Sega will allow me to do it.
I am pretty sure that Sega doesn’t want to take any financial risks regarding Shenmue. That’s why I have to gather the necessary budget for it. Anyway, even if I would like to work on other projects beside Shenmue, if I ever get the opportunity to work on the 3rd part, I will do it. And to be honest, I do not think that anyone else can properly accomplish Shenmue III the way I’d like to do it.
If Shenmue III’s budget isn’t sufficent, quality will suffer from it.
So, straight from the horse’s mouth. It appears that SEGA isn’t holding back the development of Shenmue III entirely and Yu Suzuki is still on board to finish Ryu’s adventure – they just need the money to do it!
And that’s not the only interesting thing to come from the interview. Suzuki also spoke about the development of Shenmue, from its initial development on the Saturn to content removed from the final Dreamcast game. He also goes on to explain how difficult it was to program the 450-odd NPCs who populate the word, because (if you didn’t know) each character had a name, back story and work schedule.
It’s definitely worth a read, so go check out the full interview over at Shenmue Dojo.