Shenmue 3 In Development for PlayStation 4 and PC
Yu Suzuki, the venerable games designer who directed the first two Shenmue games, has discussed some of his ideas for the crowd-funded sequel currently in development for PlayStation 4 and PC.
In an interview with DualShockers, Suzuki covered a broad range of subjects about his long-awaited Shenmue 3 project, from the game’s release date, to the decision to build it on Unreal Engine 4, whilst also briefly touching on his complex business relationship with Sega, which owns the IP but is not publishing the game.
Also, along with discussing the return of Lan Di and a trio of new bosses in the interview, Suzuki also subtly implied the project could eventually come to Xbox One. Asked whether he has been in discussion with Microsoft executives about an Xbox port, Suzuki replied “I’ll let you use your imagination on this one.”
It is not clear whether Suzuki can candidly discuss the Xbox One edition of the project, or even acknowledge his ambitions for the system. As part of an ambiguous partnership with Sony, the PlayStation 4 platform holder will provide assistance on production, marketing and publishing.
Speaking generally about the mechanics and presentation of the game, Suzuki said Shunmue 3 will control “simpler than in the past, and combat will be more cinematic. It will look more like a movie.” He added that the team expects the game to render at thirty frames-per-second, as 60 might be too big a technical hurdle.
He also suggested that, as with many Unreal Engine 4 projects, that the PC is technically the lead platform for development. But he added: “It’s not so simple. The prototypes are being made on PC, but then production shifts to PS4, and then to PC again.”
Suzuki sent shockwaves though the industry in June when he revealed, after some fourteen years since Shenmue 2, that he was set to develop a third game in the series, and bring an end to the story he originally drafted more than two decades ago.
A Kickstarter campaign, initially seeking $2 million, was fully funded in less than twelve hours. Suzuki’s Kickstarter project concluded at more than $5.5 million, making it the most funded Kickstarter game yet, while there are now new opportunities to support it.
While the previous Shenmue games were published by Sega, which still owns the IP, it is not clear what involvement the corporation has in this independently developed successor.
“It’s difficult to explain,” Suzuki replied when asked about the issue.
“I am the one who created Shenmue, so Sega allows me to take decisions for the game. They trust me because I know more about the workings of the game more than anyone else.”
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