SEGA has confirmed that a recent trademark application for Shenmue III is a fake.
The filing was reported earlier this week, sparking hope that the much-anticipated sequel was finally on the way some 12 years after the last game in the series was released.
Speaking to Eurogamer, SEGA commented: “Sega has confirmed that the recent application for the trademark of Shenmue 3 is a fake and is looking into the origins of this application.”
Shenmue III isn’t the only hoax trademark to have cropped up as of late. This fall has seen filings for Half-Life 3 and Fallout 4 appear, both of which were proven to be outright fabrication.
Originally released on the Dreamcast in 1999, Shenmue gained a cult following and received a sequel in 2001 shortly after SEGA ceased production of its 128-bit gaming machine.
Rumors of a third installment in the franchise, which sees players controlling student Ryo Hazuki as he attempts to track down his father’s killer, have been doing the rounds for over a decade now. Despite this, nothing has materialized, and even chatter of high-definition ports of Shenmue and Shenmue II have amounted to nothing.
However, fans can look forward to Suzuki-san hosting a special discussion about Shenmue at the Game Developers Conference 2014.
Could Shenmue III receive an official confirmation at GDC? We'll have to wait and see.