SEGA has announced it is investigating opportunities for a high-definition remaster of Shenmue and Shenmue II.
Speaking in its latest Sega Central video (via Gematsu), Dan Sheridan, SEGA’s community boss, said there’s a heap of logistical issues involved in bringing the cult action-RPG games to current-generation platforms. However, they’re looking at ways to make it happen.
“With regards to Shenmue I and II HD, of course we would love to release these tomorrow. Sadly, it’s not as simple as porting the games to current platforms as we will need to ensure that any HD remaster lives up to the quality of the original titles. And with games as immersive as Shenmue I and II, there are further complications from licensed products that were included in the original games. That said, we’d love to do it and are currently investigating how to make it a reality.”
Shenmue was originally released on the Dreamcast back in 1999, and was given a western release the following year. The game focuses on the exploits of student Ryu Hazuki as he attempts to track down the man responsible for his father’s murder.
The sequel following in 2001 although due to the imminent demise of the Dreamcast, it was only released on SEGA’s ill-fated machine in Japan and the U.K. The game was ported to the Xbox for North American audiences complete with full English dialogue.
Rumors of a third instalment in the franchise have been circulating since the mid-2000s, although despite creator Yu Suzuki giving the occasional comment on the possibility of Shenmue III, nothing ever came to fruition.
That was, of course, until Sony’s E3 2015 press conference, when Suzuki-san came on stage to announce the long-awaited follow-up via Kickstarter. Shenmue III went on to raise $6.3 million and became the fastest video game on the crowdfunding site to hit the one million goal.
The game is tentatively due for release on PlayStation 4 and PC in December 2017.