Shenmue 3 Director Believes 4th Game Will Happen, But It Would Need To Be More Mainstream

Shenmue 3 was not a huge success, but Yu Suzuki believes that he'll be able to make Shenmue 4--albeit with some changes.

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The Shenmue legend continued in 2019 after a long break with Shenmue III, a game that broke Kickstarter records but did not sell particularly well at retail. It also attracted middling reviews, which has many series fans wondering if the series will continue. Director Yu Suzuki, who also directed the first two games in the series, believes that it will--but it'll need to be designed with mainstream success in mind.

In an interview with IGN Japan (translated by VGC), Suzuki says that while Shenmue III was made "for the fans," a Shenmue 4 would have to go wider. "If I have the opportunity to make Shenmue 4--and I think I will--I know how to satisfy casual users, so I want to make a game that everyone can be satisfied with," he said.

He noted a few things the next game in the series would need to include, such as quest markers, easier fast travel and time-skip options, and an improved user interface. He noted that a more general audience would wish to move through the game faster than a hardcore Shenmue fan might.

"From a business perspective, it’s important to understand what people who don’t know Shenmue thought of Shenmue 3, Suzuki added, and says that instead of going with an open world next time, he wonders "if it is interesting to have a closed space."

"I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want to work on new things," Suzuki told IGN Japan. "But of course, I want to continue towards the end of the Shenmue story, and as long as there is fan demand, I will continue to make it, as I’ve said before."

Shenmue III itself contains a message about the possibility of a fourth game, so it's obviously something Suzuki has given some thought. This does not confirm Shenmue 4, but it sounds like there's a good chance of it happening.

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