Sega Investigating Shenmue 1 and 2 HD Remasters
Sega says it's not as simple as porting to PS4, Xbox One, and PC.
Sega has said it is "investigating" high-definition re-releases of the first two Shenmue games, but noted that licensing issues are creating some complications. Speaking in an episode of Sega Central, Sega Europe community manager Dan Sheridan said the company would "love to release these tomorrow."
"Sadly it's not as simple as porting the games to the current platforms," he continued. "We need to ensure that any HD remaster lives up to the quality of the original titles."
"With games as immersive as [Shenmue and Shenmue 2], there are further complications [involving] licensed products that were included in the original games. That said, we'd love to do it and are currently investigating how to make it a reality."
The Japanese version of Shenmue featured Coco-Cola vending machines, which were replaced with Jet Cola in the Western releases. It may be that they are among the licensed products causing issues.
Shenmue was released for Sega's Dreamcast in 1999 to widespread critical acclaim. GameSpot's review described the title as "revolutionary." Shenmue 2 was released for the Dreamcast two years later.
A Kickstarter campaign for the third entry in the series was revealed during Sony's E3 press conference, and it was funded in record time. It very quickly exceeded $2 million and as a result a number of the project's stretch goals have also been met. This effectively expanded the scope of the game to include a skill tree and a rapport system, as well as additional quests and expanded areas.
Series creator Yu Suzuki previously said that, for it to be a "true open world" game, funding would need to hit at least $10 million and provided a way for people to continue donating after the Kickstarter drive ended. Asked about this, Suzuki said he wouldn't be disappointed if that figure wasn't reached as he "will make what [he] can within the budget from your money."
The Shenmue 3 website states over $6,550,000 has been pledged.
Shenmue 3 is scheduled to come to both PC and PlayStation 4. Sony is helping to market and produce Shenmue 3, but won't be receiving any of the money raised through Kickstarter.
Ys Net has said it is aiming for a December 2017 launch for Shenmue 3.