Shenmue 3 Director Yu Suzuki is Already Hoping to Make Shenmue 4
With Shenmue 3 finally out for fans to enjoy, series director Yu Suzuki is already setting his sights on continuing the story in Shenmue 4.
Given that Shenmue 2 released back in 2001, the prospects of there ever being a third chapter in the long-running saga of Ryo Hazuki seemed slim to none. However, that all changed with this week’s release of the very, very long-awaited Shenmue 3, and the series’ director is already hoping to return to the world of Ryo again in the future.
Editor’s Note: some light spoilers are ahead for Shenmue 3, so proceed with caution if you want to go into the game completely blind.
With the release of Shenmue 3 this week, an in-game letter was found in the game’s staff credits (via Metro UK) that comes from Yu Suzuki, the creator of the Shenmue series, as a thank you to fans that have supported the development of Shenmue 3.
Given the 18 year-long gap between Shenmue 2 and 3, it’s been quite the wait for fans of the series hoping to see the story of Ryo continue, and Suzuki’s letter reflects that along with the hopes that we will see it continue further in a potential Shenmue 4. You can read the contents of Suzuki’s fan letter below:
To all the fans who have waited many years for Shenmue 3, and to all of the crowdfunding backers who have made this game possible: This project would not exist without your love, support, and the connections we’ve made along the way. With profound appreciation for all that you have done, I am happy to finally present to you Shenmue 3.
During development I expanded the scope beyond what I had originally envisioned. I’m happy we were able to include the distinct ‘Shenmue’ charm throughout the game. I hope that this new chapter strikes even a small resonance in your heart.
For as long as there are those who wish to see Shenmue live on, I will never give up on my own personal journey to complete its story. As with Shenmue 3, the Shenmue story is with you.
I sincerely hope that, together, we can continue to spin the tale of Ryo and his adventures in Shenmue 4.
This goes out to all who have ever loved and supported Shenmue. Yu Suzuki
In the earlier days of the series, Shenmue was expected to create a story that would comprise 11 “chapters,” with Shenmue 3 reportedly getting through about half of the planned story of Ryo Hazuki. However, while some fans might have suspected that the long-awaited third entry would perhaps condense the story and tie up loose ends to conclude the story, Suzuki appears to want to move ahead with a fourth entry in the series and continuing the saga.
While Shenmue 4 isn’t an official confirmation just yet, the real questions will be how Shenmue 3 performs commercially, and whether that affects the funding for a potential follow-up. Shenmue 3 received the majority of its funding from both its record-breaking Kickstarter and a number of outside companies also providing funding, so it remains to be seen whether Suzuki would return to crowdfunding for a fourth installment or a more traditional publisher model for Shenmue 4. Either way, hopefully fans of the series won’t have to wait too much longer to see how Ryo Hazuki’s story continues.
Shenmue 3 is available now on PS4 and PC, and you can grab it now from Amazon to see the next chapter in Ryo’s epic saga.