Shenmue 3 was given life thanks to a highly successful Kickstarter campaign. The long-awaited sequel released in 2019 to a middling reception from critics and fans. Despite some of the harsh feedback, series creator Yu Suzuki said that he’d like to make Shenmue 4, though there aren’t any concrete plans for it yet.
Speaking to Japanese publication Famitsu recently (translation via Video Games Chronicle), Suzuki spoke a bit about the possibility of Shenmue 3 and appealing to fans of the series. It became a Kickstarter campaign for this reason. However, he also felt that newcomers might’ve felt left behind.
The third game was a direct continuation of the first two games which released almost 20 years before it. As such, it was a difficult entry point for new players to the series, which Suzuki felt quite passionate about.
However, Suzuki stated that he doesn’t have any plans to make Shenmue 4 yet, with the goal to make it as accessible as possible for new players. Whether this means a reboot or not remains to be seen, though the main criticism levelled at the third game was its story and how many fans felt that it failed to deliver a satisfying pay-off after waiting for so many years.
Two years ago, Suzuki was interviewed by IGN Japan, where he firmly believed that Shenmue 4 would happen. Judging by his recent comments, though, it could be a long time until we see a fourth installment as the focus will likely be on making it accessible for newcomers.
The Shenmue series is widely considered to be one of the pioneers of open-world game design next to Grand Theft Auto. It naturally went on to inspire a wave of similar open-world titles including the Yakuza series and many 3D open-world games at the time.
Shenmue 3 is currently available for PS4 and PC.
Source: Video Games Chronicle