Xbox's Phil Spencer: Biggest request I get is to bring back Shenmue

But don't get too excited; "It's a Sega game. We can't build it," Spencer says.

The most repeated request new Head of Xbox Phil Spencer hears from Xbox owners is for a new entry in Sega and Yu Suzuki's Shenmue series.

"The big Shenmue contingency," Spencer said with a laugh in an interview with Polygon. This group of gamers has "definitely" gathered his attention, the report states.

Don't expect a new Shenmue from Microsoft anytime soon, however. Spencer said on Twitter in February that it's not going to happen. "I know there is lots of Shenmue love out there, but it's a Sega game. We can't build it," he said at the time.

The cult series, originally planned as a trilogy for the Dreamcast and left unfinished after the second game, has not been seen since the release of Shenmue II on the original Xbox in 2002. In November, Sega confirmed that a mysterious Shenmue 3 trademark was actually a fake.

Suzuki gave a Shenmue postmortem talk at GDC last month. You can watch it below.

Though a new Shenmue game doesn't sound likely, Spencer said that Microsoft will have the "best lineup of content in a long time" in store for E3 in June. It's this content that Spencer no doubt hopes will help the Xbox One catch up to Sony's PlayStation 4.

"We're early on in the console generation, and obviously Sony's having a great launch," he said. "Console gaming is doing incredibly well right now. Six months ago, everybody wondered if console gaming was dead... but this is a long, multi-year generation and my fundamental belief is that great games create the best platforms."

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @EddieMakuch
Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.

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156 comments
MAXAM999
MAXAM999

Did he Forgot the #SonySaveShenmue tweets or just desperately mention it as if "his fans" want it ?

limbo12
limbo12

It's like that cheesy 90s movie where the kid says, "Dad, when will we be a family again?" 


"When the Angels win the world-series," he quips. 


Xbox is the kid, I'm the dad, and Shenmue 3 is the Los Angelos Angels.

limbo12
limbo12

How hilarious would it be if Sony read this and announced Shenmue 3 at E3. OMGAWDZ

Slagar
Slagar

I'm throwing money at the screen, but nothing's happening )':


( ... probably because it's not $94 million... )


A sequel could never live up to the quality of the original games. Even with today's tech, triple-A sandbox titles cut corners all over the place, focusing on generic systems to keep costs down. Shenmue wasn't like that; even though there were generic-style mechanics in place, there was a helluva-lot of hand-crafted stuff. This is what ballooned the cost of the games up IMO - but it's also part of what made them so unique. They were too ambitious.


I will never forget standing on the corner of the street harassing bystanders to play a game of lucky hit. :)

future_gum
future_gum

I would buy an xone for shenmue 3, no questions asked. If he says its the NUMBER 1 most requested game, shouldnt he do something about it? Doesnt titanfall show games can still sell systems? I'd buy an xbox one for every member of my family for shenmue 3. Dont let us down brah, microsoft is on thin ice with its public relations...dont start toying with our hopes and dreams. Or we'll start ballsing up you profit margins. Seriously phil, make it happen or I'm coming to your place in Redmond with my boys and a couple of baseball bats. Please make it happen.. i would literally suck you off, if it means getting a pop at lan-di

ringringabel
ringringabel

a new shenmue game would be the only thing that could convince me to buy an xbox one, i dunno how many others out there share this view but it could be xbox's killer app/system seller potentially...so maybe MS should just buy sega? :D

carlrhxphn
carlrhxphn

Microsoft can always just flat out buy Sega.  They have the money.  The first Xbox was considered by many including myself as a suped up Dreamcast because of the launch games it had (Project Gotham, Dead or Alive 3, Shenmue 2 and Jet Set Radio Future).  I know that studios that Microsoft buy tend to die but at this point Sega is better off dead.

taker254isback
taker254isback

When will we get to catch LAN DI!!???? I've waited 13 years already!!!!

Darkhol0w
Darkhol0w

They can always buy the license from Sega if need be. I don't think they care anymore about that IP so that is possible actually.

Also HD remake not possible because of the same reasons.

Ranma_X_basic
Ranma_X_basic

an HD remake of the previous games on the 360 or Xbox one would be cool.

ebookerd1
ebookerd1

OH HELL YEAH PLEASE!!! DO THAT!!!!!!! I miss that game and the fact that I never got a chance to finish it because the other games never came out.

GrenadeLauncher
GrenadeLauncher

Oh look,  Phil Spencer teasing more games he can't deliver. Again.


How is this news?

MooncalfReviews
MooncalfReviews

I campaigned against the X1's original anti-consumer policies. I've been unwilling to give a penny to MS since hearing their plans, because I felt like giving them money even after their 180 would be like giving them the go ahead to try to screw us over again next time. I find their execs douchey, their console ad-centric and anti-gamer, and their exclusives lackluster and vacuous.


But...

As many others here have said, if Shenmue (HD or 3) came to Xbox One, that alone would make me buy an Xbox One, and I'd suck up every negative thought about Microsoft I ever had. Yes, the game is that good.

bezza2011
bezza2011

does no one realize that a game like shenmue just wouldn't suit Microsoft image and gaming focus. The only reason it was on Xbox in the first place is because the boss from sega jumped ship to Microsoft once the dreamcast had failed and brought over shenmue. PS4 is the only place it would actually benefit and get more sales, because of the variety and image Sony shows. Not trolling over Xbox is rubbish more that I want the game to thrive and for me personally, it would better suit the PS4. 

gajbutler
gajbutler

Now there is an exclusive Microsoft should buy into, even if it is on hype alone.

mkeezay22
mkeezay22

If Shenmue were to come out on X1 it would actually make me buy one, good thing I don't have to buy an X1, bad thing there will probably be no Shenmue 3 and I'll never get to finish the trilogy.

vincent380
vincent380

If they where to get Shenmue 3 and give part 1 and 2 the HD treatment i would seriously consider getting a Xbox One.

Scarshi
Scarshi

Shenmue will be eventually sold and rebooted. Happens to everything eventually. I'll be telling my kids about when I played the original and sequel one day. If I can get their attention from their VR headsets and self-projector screens...

robbiejones
robbiejones

i'm not the biggest Xbox fan but i like how Spencer got the promotion, he was the best talker throughout all last years events.

BradBurns
BradBurns

If Nintendo can develop Bayonetta 2 with Sega's permission, Microsoft can do the same with Shenmue..if they really wanted to.

tightwad34
tightwad34

I read between the lines and it said it's just won't make us enough money. Maybe that's just my eyes lying to me, but I always go with my gut and that's what it says.

thebastardsword
thebastardsword

If microsoft was smart enough to put money in Segas pockets, enough to get Shenmue 3 to be a xbone exclusive, I would go buy a xbone one and bust the lens out on the kinect and tolerate their shitty console for that one game alone. You would see alot of Xbones sharing space with Ps4s in gamers living rooms I am sure,  well maybe only around 300,000 but they ought to be desperate enough to put some money into this to get some more sales. If not I hope Sony gets to them first so I dont have to bother with X1 since it has the potential to run better on Sony's machine anyways..

Albaficas
Albaficas

sony will get it sry spencer

tendoboy1984
tendoboy1984

Microsoft could easily give SEGA the funds to make a new Shenmue. They did it before on the original Xbox. SEGA was actually Microsoft's biggest 3rd-party partner back then, because they had a good relationship during the Dreamcast era (it ran on Windows CE).

MajinSquall
MajinSquall

true you can't make it but why can't you turn round to SEGA and say "hey loads of people want Shenmue 3 how about we help fund it and publish it for you?" (also Sony or Nintendo could do this too, it's not like it can't be done just look at what Nintendo did for Bayonetta 2)

Loshead
Loshead

I would love a re-release in HD of shenmue 1 and 2. If it sells well they may make a 3. 

NTM23
NTM23

When was the last time people actually played Shenmue? I wanted a sequel for a little while after I beat two, but now I don't really care. I'm not saying I don't support a sequel, it's just I have little interest in it now.

GameFan1983
GameFan1983

Are these requests real life? I'd up for it 15 years ago, but now a shenmue game this gen won't be relevant, it will only ends up the same fate(or worse) as theif reboot.  plot and character can hardly be appealing again at this day and age, a karate kid on his quest to find a kung fu mafia guy to vengeance his father's death? who will buy a game like this?(some fans will but it won't able to cover up the production cost)  before anyone calling names, back then I was a No.1 shenmue fan, it's the only video game I'd camp outside of gamespot just to get it at middle night launch(back then there weren't any I know) but now the game industry has changed, shenmue won't be the only game of its kind and it won't able to keep up with the competition. 

One remarkable thing about Shenmue is that it has the greatest sound track of all time, that chinese violin from the debut trailer still melting my heart no matter how many times I listen to it, I'd definitely buy that again should they decide a re-release, it will be my life time collection that I will pass down to my son and grand son. 

se007
se007

So, just buy the IP from SEGA, MS! And make the trilogy anew with stunning cutting edge graphics, the original's gameplay still good to this day. You would take so much kudos and love from gamers around the world, that alone cost billions!

tjkuno25
tjkuno25

In my opinion, if anyone would be curious to see what Shenmue 3 would be like in today's console generation, I would recommend checking out Sleeping Dogs.  As soon I started playing that game, I instantly thought that if Shenmue 3 would ever become available, this is what it would be like.  You got a story that pits you against triad leader, learn martial techniques as you go through the story, and some GTA equivalent missions and side quests to do in this game.  Sadly, you can't ask where you can find some sailors.  :P

limbo12
limbo12

@Slagar  Well, I wouldn't call Ryo Hazuki's amiable and mild-mannered voice over as "harassing"

limbo12
limbo12

@Slagar  Even if they made Shenmue 3 everything the fans the wanted, the philistines at GS would still give it a shitty score, lol.

youngskillz
youngskillz

@carlrhxphn yep sega is crap these days.

buy them an make shenmue III for the fans an shut them up.

PrpleTrtleBuBum
PrpleTrtleBuBum

@MooncalfReviews How do you know how good 3rd would be? Especially if it's a forced product done just because people ask for it this has trainwreck written all over it.


But it does make me surprised why there hasn't been a third. Sega is obviously willing to release subpar Sonic games so why couldnt they do the same with Shenmue. Everyone shuts up once they see that Shenmue 3 is to Shenmue as what Flatout 3 is to Flatout. No one is asking for Flatout 4 anymore.

landisan
landisan

@bezza2011  couldn't disagree more first Microsoft owns the publishing rights to Shenmue so unless they sell it off they will be the ones to publish the game.  Sony has no money they are shutting down studios and laying people off, the playstation is the only profitable component that Sony makes nowadays.  they clearly don't have a clue and the last thing that Shenmue needs is to be attached to another sinking ship.

OmegaGear
OmegaGear

@BradBurns  Nintendo isn't developing Bayonetta 2. They are publishing it. It's still being made by Platinum Games.

tightwad34
tightwad34

@thebastardsword Bust out the lens on the Kinect, lol. I would probably do the same thing, but wouldn't that be too funny if you had someone knocking on your door after you did it?

landisan
landisan

@tendoboy1984  The Dreamcast did run Window CE but they did not give them the money to make the game.  Shenmue 2's assets were created at the same time as the first game, Microsoft bought the publishing rights for the game in America only.  It was already released on Dreamcast everywhere else.

carlrhxphn
carlrhxphn

@PrpleTrtleBuBum @MooncalfReviews  The first Shenmue cost too much to make.  It was the fore father of GTA so at the time they didnt know what they where doing and how much it would cost.  It will be alot cheaper now but Sega no longer has the talent to do such a game.  Also the hit they took financially from Shenmue 1 and 2 has them scared.

landisan
landisan

@OmegaGear @BradBurns  you are absolutely right, I love how people don't understand how the business of video games work but comment on it constantly.

limbo12
limbo12

@carlrhxphn @PrpleTrtleBuBum @MooncalfReviews  No longer has the talent my ass. Toshihiro Nagoshi cut his teeth on the Shenmue series going from Suzuki-understudy to becoming the next Suzuki at Sega through the mega-successful (in Japan) Yakuza series.


If Sega rallied the talent behind the Yakuza series into a Shenmue team, you'd have your Shenmue 3 and then some!