The hopes of a Yu Suzuki led Shenmue III have just become ground into ever finer particles, as Sega of America president Simon Jeffery tells Gamasutra in a new interview that the legendary developer is no longer at the company. Jeffery says of Suzuki's status that "Last I heard, he was doing some online stuff in China", saying that the Space Harrier and Virtua Fighter creator is "kind of his own man right now." Suzuki's recent projects, the arcade game Psy Phi and MMO Shenmue Online never made it to final production stages. There's obviously much more to the Jeffery Q&A and, as you may be aware, we're fans of the frank Sega exec — and not just because he kept hope alive for a System 16 compilation. The entirety of the interview is worth your while. The Evolution Of Sega: A Conversation With Simon Jeffery [Gamasutra - thanks, Jay!]
@Billkwando:Japanese developers have said themselves that the sun does not rise and set on them anymore that western devs have caught up and in some cases, surpassed them
And Shenmue was a money pit for Sega of epic levels that was funded and pushed though at a time when Sega needed the money elsewhere in other projects. It was epic yes, but not only failed to return it's investment but failed in such a manner that it, along with the dozens of other self inflicted wounds led to Sega ending up a weakened third party who's best selling game ever is on it's former rival's system.
I played and owned both and it pisses me off that not only did they start something they couldn't finish, but they poured so much money into it when if they had spent that money elsewhere, they might be around today.
Shenmue in this day in age would not only be a waste of his time and effort. (Look at how far Shenmue Online got in development for nothing when he could have working on a new Space Harrier) but there's a much bigger need for revival of his other IP which are far more likely to sell better and appeal to a greater range of fans.
I'm a realist when it comes to matters like this. I'm a great fan of the current SOA Prez because he is as well and it might lead to Sega being profitable for a long time to come. That's one way you rebuild yourself, you make money. You trim the fat and do not dive into areas that are likely to put you right back at the bottom.
For Sega, Shenmue is the fat.