Today we give the Speak-Up on Kotaku podium over to commenter Ryohumar, who wants to let Sega know there is still hope for redemption in the form of Yu Suzuki and Shenmue 3.
You know, since SEGA was taken over by Sammy, the company has lost a lot of what made it so special. Having grown up as the one kid with a Sega Master System, I didn't really get why kids were all about Mario, Zelda and Metroid. I was too busy with Shinobi, Phantasy Star and Space Harrier. I followed SEGA through all their console iterations, even the not-so-great ones; I'm looking at you, Saturn. When the Dreamcast hit, I felt SEGA was finally on the path to redemption and my love for their consoles would finally be redeemed by my fellow gamers.
And while that redemption did come, unfortunately, it came only after the console itself and all its games were being cleared out to make room for more PS2, Gamecube, and Xbox games as SEGA had given up on the console business. And though I could reminisce about all of SEGA's Dreamcast era classics, Jet Set Radio, Phantasy Star Online, Crazy Taxi and Space Channel 5 to mention but a few, one casualty of the end of the Dreamcast era stings in particular.
I'm talking, of course, about Shemue.
Shenmue was THE original sandbox game, it laid the groundwork for so many games that came after it. Sega's own insanely popular Yakuza franchise borrows a lot from its older brother. Many of SEGA's Dreamcast classics have seen sequels on more contemporary consoles. Heck, Jet Set Radio Future was a launch title for the original Xbox, and while Shenmue 2 did at least get a US release courtesy of the Xbox, SEGA has yet to so much as announce a sequel.
To add insult to injury, Yu Suzuki has said that the series was planned to be a trilogy, while simultaneously conceding that SEGA will not allow him to make the series' final entry. For those of you in the audience that completed Shenmue 2, you know how heart-wrenching this is. Shenmue 2 ends on a cliffhanger, and we've been waiting for a conclusion for nearly ten years.
For many of the series' followers, this feels like a punch to the gut. Complain about Duke Nukem Forever all you want, but at least it was announced. Shenmue fans are still waiting for that much. Many of them would be happy to know the game was at least in development, that much is evident when this very site reports on Yu Suzuki saying he THINKS SEGA *MIGHT* let him develop the game.
SEGA should be taking this as a wakeup call. Don't let the fate that befell Shinobi, Alex Kidd, Space Harrier and so many of your other prized franchises befall Shenmue; pick up your pen and write that love letter to your fans.
About Speak-Up on Kotaku: Our readers have a lot to say, and sometimes what they have to say has nothing to do with the stories we run. That's why we have a forum on Kotaku called Speak-Up. That's the place to post anecdotes, photos, game tips and hints, and anything you want to share with Kotaku at large. Every weekday we'll pull one of the best Speak-Up posts we can find and highlight it here.