Shenmue HD and Shenmue Remaster Domains Registered
Sega of Europe has registered domains for Shenmue, indicating a re-release of the Dreamcast classic could be under consideration.
As with all domain registrations, this doesn't necessarily mean that a Shenmue re-release is guaranteed. Sega may simply be covering its bases and securing the domains to ensure a third-party doesn't acquire them.
In May 2016, Sega said it is "investigating" high-definition re-releases of the first two Shenmue games, but noted there were some complications to overcome before it could happen.
"Sadly it's not as simple as porting the games to the current platforms," said Sega Europe community manager Dan Sheridan. "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."
Meanwhile, a third entry in the series is in development. Shenmue 3 was revealed during Sony's E3 2015 press conference, and it was funded through Kickstarter. The campaign very quickly exceeded $2 million in pledges and met a number of stretch goals, expanded the scope of the game.
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. However, 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."
According to the Shenmue 3 website, over $6,685,000 has been pledged.
Shenmue 3 is scheduled to come to both PC and PlayStation 4. Sony is helping to market and produce the long-anticipated sequel, but it won't be receiving any of the money raised through Kickstarter. Publisher Ys Net has said it is aiming for a December 2017 launch for Shenmue 3.
Update: The applications have been changed and no longer mention Sega. Archived versions of them have been added to the story.