As the world hopefully knows by now, Shenmue III is confirmed for release on PC and PlayStation 4. Without Sony’s assistance in porting it to their platform, the game would likely be a PC exclusive. Yet there remain fans who, having invested in an Xbox One as their new generation console of choice, feel somewhat aggrieved that such a long awaited game isn’t guaranteed to be sold in a green plastic case as well as a blue plastic case.
Well today we can hopefully dispel any lingering resentment being harbored toward Ys Net or Sony, as Xbox chief Phil Spencer has made it crystal clear that it was a Microsoft business decision that kept Shenmue III off the release schedules for Xbox One owners.
Speaking to French website Gameblog, Spencer explained:
“The Shenmue 3 announcement was not a real surprise to me. Our industry is not that big you know, we are aware of most of the deals which are being established. Yu Suzuki and the games he made represent an important part of gaming history. It’s cool that he succeeded in his Kickstarter, although I think a lot of work remains to give fans the Shenmue they expect. I know he stays very focused.
“Yes I have spoken with Suzuki [before the deal]. As I said before, our industry is a tiny world. Whether you are from Sony, Nintendo, Microsoft or a developer… we all know each other. We talk with everyone, but we can’t make marketing deals with everyone. It’s just impossible. So you have to choose the games you think are going to have the biggest impact on your gaming system.
“Personally I’m focused on one goal: raise our first party titles. You saw our catalog this year… all the time and money you spend on marketing deals in the short term take you away from what you could do with your own games. I want to concentrate on our exclusive titles for our Xbox fans.”
Phil did what he felt was right for his brand, and we hold nothing against him for it. We’re just glad the game’s coming out, and doubly glad that it will be on two platforms instead of PC only. If he’d taken the punt before Sony did, there’d still be gamers feeling left out – more in fact, given the PS4’s current lead in sales. So there’s no frustration here. The game will exist and will be available to buy, even if it means picking up a cheap second-hand console in a few years’ time. That’s 100% more opportunity than any of us had two months ago.
But for those who do feel hard done by, we hope this addressing of the subject from Spencer highlights precisely where the responsibility lies for any such disappointment, instead of laying it at the feet of the companies who are bringing the game to as large an audience as they feasibly can.
The original Gameblog article can be read here: http://www.gameblog.fr/news/52588-gamescom-2015-phil-spencer-nous-parle-de-shenmue-et-des-deal