Shenmue III

From Sega Retro

This article is about an upcoming game. Its content may change frequently during the game's development.

Shenmue III
Sony PlayStation 4
Deep Silver
Windows PC
Shibuya Productions
System(s): PlayStation 4, PC
Genre: RPG

Number of players: 1
Release Date RRP Code
Windows PC
$? ?

Sony PlayStation 4
$? ?

Shenmue III (シェンムー III) is an upcoming adventure game for the PlayStation 4 game console and PC platforms. It is the sequel to Shenmue II, and will be produced and directed by Yu Suzuki of Ys Net. The game will be partially funded by a Kickstarter campaign run by Ys Net and Shibuya Productions. Sony and Playstation will provide additional funding and development assistance through Sony's third party production team. Sega is involved as the IP holder, having officially granted Ys Net the rights to use the Shenmue III license. No publisher has been announced.

The game and the Kickstarter project were revealed on June 15th at Sony's E3 2015 press conference by SCEA VP of Publisher & Developer Relations Adam Boyes. Following the announcement trailer, Boyes was joined on stage by Yu Suzuki and the two counted down to the Kickstarter's launch. Suzuki then addressed the audience, saying "Today is very exciting, I hope we can make Shenmue III for all the fans. Thank you so much."


The complete story of Shenmue has been laid out over a number of chapters, which are not referenced in the games themselves but have been mentioned by Suzuki and are used in guides to the games as a way to break down the narrative to key moments and locations.

Shenmue tells the first chapter of the series, the second chapter takes place during Ryo's boat ride to Hong Kong which is elaborated upon in a digital comic book included as an extra in the Xbox version of Shenmue II. Shenmue II tells the third, fourth and fifth chapters. Shenmue III will tell chapters six and beyond, picking up immediately after the previous game. It is unknown if the series will end with the third game and it is unknown how many chapters Shenmue III will contain. In a 2014 interview, Suzuki had this to say about the the game and its sequels: “...the story is far away from being completed and to be honest, I do not think that it’s possible to end it during Shenmue III. If I had to do it my way, players would experience the ending during Shenmue V. But that seems to be a lot so I’m going to try to finish it within the next 2 games.”[1] As this interview takes place a year before Shenmue III's official reveal, and the game is dependent on Kickstarter goals, it is possible that additional chapters will be told in the game beyond what Suzuki speculated in 2014.

Ryo Hazuki has made his way to China in search of his father's killer. At the end of, Shenmue II Ryo had met Shenhua who told him of a legend from her village that foretold of their meeting. Shenmue III continues Ryo and Shenhua's journey together as they traverse farther into enemy territory, uncovering new mysteries and bringing them closer to their destiny.

Will the mystery of the mirrors be revealed? How is Ryo’s father connected to all of this? Will Ryo track down the Chi You Men cartel and face Lan Di in a final showdown?


The game is said to have familiar elements to past titles in the series, and new fight mechanics. If Kickstarter stretch goals are met, the game will feature a Rapport System and a Skill Tree System. Technique Scrolls will play an important role in the game, and will be obtained through mini-games, betting games, and shops. Technique Scrolls will be instantly mastered, meaning unlike past games, practice will not be necessary.

Quick-time event (QTE) sequences will return. In an interview with Famitsu, Suzuki elaborated on how QTE will work in the game saying “I’d like to present a new QTE. Something elaborate, yet easily playable by just about anyone. Instead of simply winning by pressing buttons in a timely manner, I’d like to make something that will have people win fights by making correct judgements.”

Three areas of the game have been revealed: Baisha, Choubu and Bailu Village. The inclusion and size of these areas are dependent on Kickstarter stretch goals being met. On the subject of an open world, Suzuki had this to say: “Everyone must be thinking that we’ll expand the open world more, but I’ve been deeply questioning whether or not to do that instead. If we were to have 100 characters and split the budget among them, we’d be limited in terms of what we could do with each one; however, if we were to split that budget among just 10 characters, we could do a lot more with them. For example, we could set a parameter for Ling Shen Hua, then we could have it change her attitude depending on the conversations, or the way one proceeds through quests. Of course, that doesn’t mean that it won’t be an open world game. A stretch goal on Kickstarter will determine the expansion of the city.”[2]

Classic arcade games may make a return, dependent on if a yet to be revealed stretch goal is met.

Shenmue Saturn footage of Ryo and Shenhua helping an injured deer.

Infamous for its long delayed development, Shenmue III was often cited as Sega's most requested title by fans. Following the discontinuation of the Dreamcast, Shenmue II saw release in only Japan and Europe, with the American release being cancelled indefinitely in favor of an enhanced port for Microsoft's Xbox. It was thought that the series would continue on the Xbox, but as time went on such hopes faded and series creator Yu Suzuki turned his attention to Shenmue Online.

Like the first two games in the series, elements of Shenmue III began development on Sega's Saturn, with footage of Ryo traveling through China's wilderness with Shenhua appearing in Shenmue Saturn footage. As development shifted to the Dreamcast, additional work on elements for Shenmue III took place alongside development of the first two games. Following the announcement of the Shenmue III Kickstarter, Yu Suzuki has told the press that thanks to his good relationship with Sega, the company gave him all the elements from past work on Shenmue and Shenmue II to assist in the third game's development.

It is unknown if the game will have English dubbing. The game's reveal video features a scenario with English voices, however this may be only for presentation purposes. Japanese voice acting is confirmed as the Japanese voice actor for Ryo Hazuki, Masaya Matsukaze, is listed in the production credits. The game will feature English, German, French, Spanish and Italian subtitles.

Production credits

Producer/Director/Game Story: Yu Suzuki
Co-Producer: Cedric Biscay
Creative Director:Tak Hirai
Script: Masahiro Yoshimoto
Main Character Design: Kenji Miyawaki
Music: Ryuji Iuchi
Architecture: Manabu Takimoto
Animation Producer: Hiroaki Takeuchi
Video Director: Kenji Itoso
Coordination/Communication/Media Relations/Kickstarter Project Consultation and Support: Awesome Japan
Cast: Masaya Matsukaze (Ryo Hazuki)

External links


Shenmue series of games
Sega Dreamcast
What's Shenmue (1999) | Shenmue (1999) | Shenmue II (2001)
Shenmue II (2002)
Windows PC
Shenmue Online (Unreleased) | Shenmue III (2017)
Mobile phone
Shenmue City (2010)
Sony PlayStation 4
Shenmue III (2017)
Shenmue Characters
Ryo Hazuki
Shenmue related media
"Shenmue"/"Shenhua" (1998) | "Shenhua: Jiang Qing Ri Bao Hua Ge" (1999) | Shenmue Orchestra Version (1999) | "You're My Only: Shenmue no Sasayaki" (1999) | Shenmue JukeBox (1999) | Shenmue: Ichishou Yokosuka Original Sound Track (2000) | Shenmue (2015)
Shenmue: Ichishou Yokosuka Saisoku Kouryaku Guide (2000) | Shenmue: Ichishou Yokosuka Kanzen Seiha no Sho (2000) | Shenmue: Ichishou Yokosuka Complete Guide (2000) | Official Shenmue Perfect Guide (2000) | Prima's Official Strategy Guide: Shenmue (2000) | Shenmue II Saisoku Kouryaku Guide (2001) | Shenmue II Kanzen Kouryaku Shinsho (2001) | Shenmue II Premiere Guide (2001) | Shenmue II Guide Book (2001) | Shenmue II Complete Guide (2001) | Prima's Official Strategy Guide: Shenmue II (2002)
What's Shenmue (1999) | Shenmue: The Movie (2002)