Shenmue 3 dev confident he can make the game everyone wants


Japanese game designer Yu Suzuki has said that he’s confident he can deliver a game worth of people’s expectations with Shenmue 3.

Speaking with Metro, Suzuki-san was quizzed about Shenmue 3’s Kickstarter-fueled budget, which at just over $6 million pales in comparison to the record-breaking funding the original 2000 Dreamcast title received. 

Specifically, can Shenmue 3 possibly deliver based on a much smaller budget and still live up to expectations? Suzuki feels confident it can, even if the scale of the game may not reach that of contemporary open-world games.

As you know open world games cost a lot! [laughs] So it is challenging for me to deal with the budget issue. Even after we completed the Kickstarter project I have been looking for other partners to join us and as you know we have now partnered with Deep Silver. So I’m now comfortable in saying, ‘Don’t worry, I can make the whole game you imagined!’ Even if the sense of size cannot compare with the biggest open world games, that is impossible without a much bigger budget.

I believe the open world of Shenmue is very different from the other open world games that exist. Although Shenmue was the first open world title it is still very unique and so we can focus on other things that do not depend solely on money. So I think there is a lot of playable and very unique elements in the open world that mean I don’t need to compete against other big open worlds.”

Elsewhere, the former SEGA legend revealed that Shenmue 3 will not significantly change the series’ fundamental gameplay mechanics. 

I don’t think it’s necessary to change the basics of the gameplay. If I change it too much the existing fans will be very upset. Although I am always making up new ideas and things to add to the game, which can be a problem for my team who are trying to implement these ideas. [laughs].

At the moment we are trying to keep it to 30% new and the keep the other 70% of the game similar to the original. But the design is constantly changing and I am always coming up with new concepts that we can try to add to the game if there is the opportunity.”

Shenmue 3 release date

Shenmue 3 is due for release on PlayStation 4 and PC in 2018, following a delay from its original winter 2017 launch window. The sequel was originally announced back in 2015 during Sony’s E3 press conference, where Suzuki san took to the stage to launch the game’s crowdfunding campaign. 

Developer Ys Net recently launched the first Shenmue 3 teaser trailer, which attracted heavy criticism for its poor character models and stiff animation. However, Suzuki assured fans that the trailer was not representative of the final game, and therefore the models are subject to change.