SEGA has touched on the long-rumored Shenmue HD release, stating the Japanese games giant is actively pursuing a modern overhaul of the cult classic Dreamcast titles.
That’s according to John Clark, SEGA Europe’s Executive Vice President of Publishing, who confirmed that a high-definition revamp of the 2000 action-RPG title has been on the cards for some time now.
“It’s something we would love to make happen, something we are trying to make happen. I think we want it to happen as much as anybody out there. Yes, it’s a serious task and it’s not a task that we’re not working on, if that makes sense. It’s something we’re actively pursuing,” said Clark, during a chat with MCV.
Shenmue HD has been stewing for a while now, with rumors dating back to 2012 suggesting that the remasters had already been completed for last-generation consoles. Sony’s Gio Corsi also said that Shenmue HD ranks as the highest request from fans in terms of classic titles they want to see re-released.
Rumors kicked up a notch following the PS4’s release, with SEGA registering a domain for the project. RiceDigital earlier this year reported that a Shenmue HD release date is being lined up for this year, featuring both Dreamcast titles bundled together.
Despite laying dormant for the past 15 years or so, the Shenmue franchise has seen a massive resurgence recently, thanks to the announcement of Shenmue 3 for PS4 and PC. Yu Suzuki, the game’s creator, announced the project for Kickstarter during Sony’s E3 2015 press conference, where the title ending its crowdfunding run with $6.3 million raised. Shenmue 3 is due to launch at some point in 2018.
Shenmue was originally released on the Dreamcast back in 1999 in Japan, and was initially conceived as a RPG set in the Virtua Fighter universe. Suzuki-san developed a sequel, which came out in 2001 in Japan and Europe, though the U.S. version was delayed to 2002 for Xbox as a result of the Dreamcast’s demise.