It took Yu Suzuki discovering Kickstarter to make it possible, but the public demand that you overlooked for 14 long years has now saved Shenmue. While the budget has had to be sourced from the fans and other partners, we thank you for granting Ys Net the license to continue the series with Shenmue III, and any assets they require from the original games.
At the risk of evoking the “never satisfied” gamer stereotype, there remains one important piece of the Shenmue puzzle that only you can provide. For the fans who’ve waited all this time for a sequel, Shenmue III is the payoff and we consider that mission accomplished. But for newcomers, joining an epic saga part-way through is never ideal.
Despite being heralded by so many as a vital piece of video game heritage, cited by young and veteran developers alike as inspiring and paving the way for their own endeavors, Shenmue 1 & 2 are amongst increasingly few games of their generation to have never received a re-release of any kind. It is currently impossible for anyone to acquire these games through official channels, as the Dreamcast and original Xbox have been out of production for years. The only options available are emulation and the second hand market, neither of which are helping you recoup your investment in a series that has only grown in popularity over the last decade.
Shenmue III has already broken records as both the highest funded video game in Kickstarter history and the fastest to raise a million dollars. The project was backed by more fans than fellow high profile campaigns for Mighty No 9 and Bloodstained (spiritual sequels to the hugely successful Mega Man and Castlevania franchises respectively). If you choose not to capitalize by updating Shenmue 1 & 2 for today’s hardware platforms, your publicly traded company is leaving money on the table.
The hype and the intrigue around Shenmue III is more widespread and relevant than it’s ever been. Gamers want to experience the revolutionary titles that attracted such a devoted following, and existing fans want to relive their cherished memories on modern hardware – and even carry forward their data to Shenmue III upon its release, as Suzuki-san intended all those years ago.
If SEGA is serious about the recent vow of your CEO and president Haruki Satomi to win back the trust of your fans, then honoring your role as custodians of Shenmue’s beginnings will go a long way toward meeting that end. Preserve Shenmue 1 & 2 for current and future generations and the monthly #SaveShenmueHD Tweetathon need only be short lived.
But until then, fans from around the world will continue to unite on the 3rd of every month, imploring you to act without hesitation, to do the right thing. And we will pursue that goal for as long as it takes, because on reflection, if there’s one thing we’ve learned about SEGA after fourteen years, it’s that to be this good takes AGES.
Please sign up here: http://teamyu.net/Shenmue.III?action=saveshenmuehd