Sega originally planned to release Shenmue III, but over the years many have speculated that the game may never see the light of day. Various unconfirmed reasons for its delay include budget issues, poor sales of Shenmue II, and creative differences between Yu Suzuki and the more conservative management Sega installed after restructuring. Although Suzuki is still employed with Sega, he has not been involved in a major console title for years, and was not involved in the newer versions of series he pioneered, like Virtua Fighter 5.
Since the release of the second installment, Shenmue III has been announced for development and cancelled at least twice. In August 2005, Kikizo.com stated that Shenmue III would be a compilation of the first and second installments plus the final chapters. This, too, has apparently fallen by the wayside, as Kikizo later stated that Shenmue III is "worth forgetting about." After some time, a new Shenmue project was underway, later revealed to be Shenmue Online. Despite an announcement declaring the project canned, series creator Yu Suzuki has expressed interest in reviving the project and asserts that it is in a "pending" state.
The entire storyline of the Shenmue saga is already finished, yet the final chapters (which would have made up its sequels) never went into production. Fans petitioned for Shenmue III's development, which included a high profile (yet short lived) campaign issued by videoGaiden, but nothing official has been announced so far. Most recently, Suzuki was quoted as saying, "Regarding Shenmue 3, we're not carrying on relative development yet, and I can't give you any further information for the time being." Similarly, Simon Jeffery (former President of Sega of America) was asked whether Sega was ever going to release Shenmue III, to which he responded "There are no plans for right now." He also noted that it was "definitely one of the most requested fanboy games." In January 2010, a Famitsu 360 interview with Sega took place, and the possibility of Shenmue III was discussed. Sega said that though sales are a big factor, they would "love to do it" if the opportunity presented itself.
It was revealed on October 7, 2010 that a new Shenmue game currently named Shenmue City is due to be released in Japan only for mobile phones. Though little is known about this game, it is expected to run on Yahoo’s Mobage Town social network.
During an interview in November 2010, Sega West president Mike Hayes discussed the possibility of Shenmue III, saying "While at present we have no plans for the franchise ...the Shenmue legacy ignites a lot of passion among fans. Never say never."
On December 8, 2010, Yu Suzuki discussed the concept of Shenmue III and how the game in-speech interactive will be like. Yu Suzuki did not say those concepts were in the game, however he just wanted to show what Shenmue III would come to be if it was ever going to happen.
On March 2, 2011, Yu Suzuki appeared at the Game Developer's Conference 2011. When he was asked about Shenmue III, he said: "I think SEGA will let me make it…it's a matter of budget…we have to make it in an affordable way." Later that month, Mega64 created a comedic skit titled How Shenmue Was Supposed to End with Yu Suzuki himself participating in the video.
On January 4, 2012, Yu Suzuki hinted that he can secure the rights to Shenmue from Sega.
Read more about this topic: Shenmue II
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