Sega may be aiming to increase Shenmue III’s chances of success by remastering the earlier games in the series, if the discovery of a number of web domains is any indication.
TSSZnews reports that Sega Europe registered ShenmueHD.com in September of last year, while SEGABits also located domains for ShenmueRemastered.com and the misspelled Shemnuegame.com, both registered around the same time. According to TSSZ, the correct spelling of the latter web address was registered by a different entity a year earlier.
While these developments are not a concrete indication that a Shenmue remaster is in the works, the covering of bases does increase the likelihood. Furthermore, Sega has never ruled out the possibility, stating last year that the company was “investigating how to make it a reality.”
A remaster would most likely combine the first two Shenmue games, released in 1999 and 2001 on the Sega Dreamcast, with the second entry later launching on Microsoft’s original Xbox.
The first two Shenmue titles are widely regarded as counting among the best games ever released, though both failed to match their critical success with commercial success, meaning that the series languished for fourteen years before a third entry was announced. The franchise helped to pioneer open-world gameplay with an extremely detailed setting that made Shenmue the most expensive game ever made at the time of its release.
Shenmue III, meanwhile, was announced at Sony’s 2015 E3 press conference, to be crowdfunding through a Kickstarter campaign that would go on to become the highest-earning game project ever on the platform. Ys Net, a development team headed by series creator Yu Suzuki, is creating the game, with additional funding supplied by Sony.
Shenmue III is expected to release in December on PC and PlayStation 4.
If Sega does move forward with the remasters, OnlySP will be sure to cover them.