The Shenmue Campaign

shenmue-series
shenmue-iii

#1

This has recently been announced from The Shenmue Campaign

For many years the news regarding Shenmue and its creator, Yu Suzuki, have been hazy at best. In an almost sudden outburst of news regarding Shenmue - With GameReactor claiming a Wii version of the games being made and Simon Jeffery saying Yu suzuki is no longer is a part of SEGA - Thankfully the latter turned out to be false.

Shenmue III is SEGAs most fan requested game. Obviously, asking SEGA nicely to make it hasn’t worked out. We now have to demand it. Although we condemn threats, we do suggest that some mild harassment is in order. Our main plan is to make a billboard and posters that will be visible around Tokyo before, during and after Tokyo Game Show 09. Posters will be on the streets outside SEGAs main office and a billboard outside TGS center. The goal is for SEGA to take notice, something they obviously haven’t done. We are imagining that SEGA employees will see them and will there for start talking for them selves. No doubt, the executives will see/hear this and at least prompt a reaction.

Our goal is also to get the mainstream gaming media to take notice, as this is more then likely the biggest gaming collaboration to revive a series. As some may know, the good guys at EDGE magazine - arguably the biggest gaming mag in the world - are huge Shenmue fans. Our hopes are that they will help us.

Mainly we need your help through donations and buying merchandise. Every single penny donated will go to the goal, for ever merchandise bought, 1- 2 dollars will go to the campaign - We are selling these almost at production price.

Are there any other ways you can get involved? Yes, its simple. There are many different ways you can help.

Join the the campaign!
Head over to shenmuecampaign.org and sign up for updates and more.

Xbox 360
Over at www.xbox.com (the official xbox site) they are currently asking the community to suggest Xbox Live Originals games for download. Shenmue is currently the most requested. This is a key chance to get our message across to SEGA and Microsoft. If there is one thing they understand, its money. They see the huge potensial sales numbers. So how can you help? Go to their message board and write a post in the Shenmue Thread, “We demand Shenmue!”.

You can also add “We Want Shenmue III” on you gamer card motto!

Sign the petition!
Online petitions are widely regarded as a bit of a joke but it’s a well known fact that Yu Suzuki himself mentioned this very petition in an interview which makes the online petition the top of our to do list, Please Sign it and show your support!

Petition:
petitiononline.com/shen1986/petition.html

WE WANT YOUR SUGGESTIONS, SEND US A MAIL, POST ON THE FORUM.
HEAD OVER TO THE SHENMUECAMPAIGN.ORG FOR MORE WAYS TO HELP!

As for our first order of business. We want you to write a letter, a note, a one liner or what ever to us. Pictures are welcome. We will also try to get the people who made shenmue what it is to contribute, such as Corey Marshall.

We will print all the letters and pictures and send the same letters every single month, the same date for a year, to SEGA.
Just send us an email, and we will do the rest. To no cost of the Campaign. All out of personal funds.

The time is right to actually push this through. Please, if there is one time we could really force this through and work together. It is now. We don’t want Shenmue, WE DEMAND IT!

Sincerly,
The Shenmue Campaign

www.shenmuecampaign.org

SPREAD THE WORD!


#2

Eh, I’d hope they don’t actually harass anybody…


#3

This was planned for a while (According to the people who are putting the boxes of stuff together to be sent off).

I believe one of my AMVs is in there somewhere, I should put it on youtube some time. :anjou_embarassed:

Anyway, it is this kind of thing that got us NiGHTS JoD for Wii - fans kept sending letters, doodles and fan videos to Sonic Team.

Eventually they placed it in the hands of STA to develop a sequel! :anjou_sad:


#4

Sega made a sequel to Nights because market conditions favoured its release.

The Wii has a large install base, motion controls, and an audience that would be more receptive to a “kiddy” game like Nights.

Unfortunately, Shenmue has no such market, and no amount of pestering by fans will convince Sega to release the game anytime soon.


#5

Maybe in SEGA’s mind, however sadly the sales statistics didn’t comply other than in the UK if I remember the charts right. The sales of the PS2 version of NiD also failed to reflect this “increase in demand” that SEGA percieved.

Anyway, the fans still did a massive send off for a NiGHTS sequel not too long before JOD appeared. Although you are right, JOD was announced before the send-off took place, still, SEGA has a relativley high level of interaction with the NiGHTS fan base since the event.

In honesty, I wish Sega of Japan could be more like Climax, Bunji or Sumo Digital sometimes - companies that actually heavily interact with consumers via forums etc.

Although SEGA could try to create a market for their product if they wanted.
I’m sure Segata San Shiro style adverts in the UK, dubbed like bad chinese films would work pretty well :slight_smile:

Alternativley,

It should in theory possible for a large group of people to create a percieved increase in demand when no increase in demand exists, effectivley tricking a company into making a product nobody wants.


#6

Sega are a rubbish company. Let’s face facts. They’re capable of so much more than what they achieve in terms of community interaction, quality games, marketing, etc.

flame shield


#7

I always have this dream of making enough money to purchase the Panzer Dragoon and Shining Force franchises and making really good compilations and then starting in on good new games that stay true to the originals. We know Sega doesn’t have the talent anymore. I would be afraid of a Shenmue without Yu.


#8

Yu is still in… Sega lack the focus, not the talent.


#9

They clearly lack well-defined processes, software engineering principles, and decent management in general. Based on the Software Capability Maturity Model, Sega’s undoubtedly a Level 1 Ad Hoc company. Sonic 2006 is proof enough of that.

Hell, they weren’t that much higher on the model even before Sega fell apart into whatever the hell it is now. A game like Shenmue should not have cost over $70 million to make. In any case, I didn’t even like Shenmue, so I can’t say much about wanting another in the series.


#10

I think the main problem with Shenmue (financially) was that the scale of the project was so grand - by the time they had finished what they had created, it was no longer “current”. Think, the Saturn game with real time cut scenes. Then the dreamcast game with CGI, then back again to real time.

They went through this process several times until they settled for what we got in the end.

Still, I would not refer to SEGA in general as not having software engineering principles, Sonic 2006 is hardly a reflection of every team within SEGA.


#11

I think no matter how one looks at it, Shenmue is a very ambitious, risky sort of game. Sega needs to gain solid footing as developers again before I would start demanding them to make a Shenmue III.


#12

They’re free to do whatever they want, as long as they aren’t vandalizing any private property. Still, I’d like to see their figures as to how they figured out that “Shenmue 3 is Sega’s most requested game.” This is interesting because, well, Shenmue 2 sold horribly in the US (I know there were issues with the launch - moving to Xbox, etc… but the numbers were pretty low).

If there was so much unmitigated love for the series, why did Shenmue 2 sell so poorly?


#13

[quote=“Abadd”]They’re free to do whatever they want, as long as they aren’t vandalizing any private property. Still, I’d like to see their figures as to how they figured out that “Shenmue 3 is Sega’s most requested game.” This is interesting because, well, Shenmue 2 sold horribly in the US (I know there were issues with the launch - moving to Xbox, etc… but the numbers were pretty low).

If there was so much unmitigated love for the series, why did Shenmue 2 sell so poorly?[/quote]

It was imported from Britain a lot (500k+ copies). Putting it on the Xbox probably killed its future tbh when a stateside DC release would have seen it sell out given that it was one of its last quality titles.

The graphics don’t really need to be updated to the photorealistic level to bring the gameplay across, so I don’t think a Wii release (of Shenmue 3) would hurt it IMO.

I see this as something devs could make in their spare time in a decade if it was kept to the DC level. The fans need to realise it’s still all about the money.

Oh, and Sonic 2006 shouldn’t have been released like that. It really muddied the Sonic brand, which wasn’t exactly thinking long term.


#14

[quote=“Abadd”]

If there was so much unmitigated love for the series, why did Shenmue 2 sell so poorly?[/quote]

Timing and the fact that it looked no better than the DC version never helped . if it had come out for the DC like it was planed , I’m sure it would have sold 500,000 copies easy in the USA.

Trouble was the X-Box version took ages to come out , so most people imported the DC version and when AM#2 were working onthe X-Box, I think people were expecting cutting edge graphics and an X-Box Shemnue (in terms of GFX) rather than a pretty lame DC port , those were pretty huge factors imo

I’m don’t think it would ever be a massive seller , but it was ahead of its time and if you look at the likes of Mass Effect they show there’s an increasing market for these sort of games in the USA (Shenmue best market) . I mean if we look back Guitar Hero was nothing more than a cult hit , now its one of the biggest selling games ever .

Just because a game didn’t quite work out last this , doesn’t mean a sequel will suffer the same fate next time .

I think a next gen version of Shenmue III could sell a million copies on the PS3/X-Box . I think a Saga II could do well as the wait is just making more and more people want it , and that can work to SEGA advantage.

I’m still amazed that SEGA never brought Saga to SEGA ages or the likes of PSN, PSP ect , just to test if there’s a market there


#15

Where exactly are you getting this number from?

Considering that most titles on DC had stopped selling any real significant numbers after the announcement - which was further exacerbated by the fact that retailers started clearing up shelf space immediately - I’m not entirely sure that this would have been the case.

And this is based on…? Your personal tastes?

Hahahahahaha. Sorry, you mean to tell me that devs, who already work 12+ hours a day, can do this “in their spare time” using company resources that haven’t been approved, for a console using dev kits that are likely being taken up by other projects, and somehow manage to QA the game with hourly-paid testers (…in their spare time? how does that work?) and for Marketing to somehow market the game “in their spare time” and it will somehow magically get made in 10 years?? You do realize that few people stay at the same company for more than 3 years, regardless?

Now that is the truth :slight_smile:

Like I said, there are likely a bunch of different reasons that the game didn’t take off in the US, but the fact of the matter is that the original “only” sold 600K in the US, and that was with all the hype and marketing. It was outsold by Crazy Taxi, NFL2K, Sonic Adventure, etc.

And sure, a sequel could be made for a lot less money than it cost to make the originals, but in this generation, it’s costing $15M+ to make even an average game. To make an open-world style game like Shenmue, good luck making it until $20M~$30M.

And Mass Effect and Shenmue are in completely different spaces. Mass Effect is a Bioware RPG (which comes with its own rabidly loyal fanbase), has a very understandable sci-fi setting, and is, essentially, a shooter. Shenmue is a GTA-style game that doesn’t allow you to do all the stuff that people actually seem to want to do (ride vehicles, cause mayhem, etc) and instead, concentrates on doing things that have no effect on the game world (drinking soda). But even that isn’t a sin, really… you could redesign that to make it work. The biggest issue is that it’s set in 1980s Japan and China. Nobody really cares about the setting.

(Oh, and Guitar Hero was a HUGE hit from the start in the US. Rhythm games in general were more of a cult thing, but it’s all about context. Rhythm games until that point only tried to cater to hardcore gamers and featured mostly bad Eurobeat and J-Pop. Guitar Hero was the first to really try and tap into music culture in the US, which is why it succeeded.)


#16

I think what Duke said is farily plain and obvious, I would go as far as to say that his message was actually written in… his message.

Since the gameplay was not dealing with photorealistic graphics on Dreamcast either, there is no reason why now, we should suddenly need realistic graphics to portray the gameplay in an accurate fashion.

If the PSP were more succesful in the west, I wouldn’t have minded seeing a Shenmue game on it at all. The Dreamcast’s graphics wouldn’t look too out of place running on it :anjou_love:


#17

Oh I’ve never doubted those facts, I’m not one of these calling for SEGA to make a Shenmue III or that it will be massive multi million seller . Sonic was always going to sell better, it was a top game and was Sonic , Crazy Taxi was a once off really , and the likes of NFL 2k or Madden were always going to be massive sellers , I don’t think those are good examples.

I know you’ll point out they cost less to make and got more market share and all that’s quite correct , but I think there is a Market for Shenmue and 600k sales isn’t too bad for a game as broken and unfinished as Shenmue was imo.

I don’t doubt it , But SEGA is putting those kids of Budgets behind Yakuza or what ever and I doubt given the poor performance of the PS3 is making a massive profit from Kenzan, how much as it put into Shenmue Online only to see it go down the bin .

How much as SEGA put into the recent Shining games ??? , games which not even the fans want (till Camelot make them ) Why is SEGA pushing the SF series so hard , when its like Panzer been a cult hit, and I would think far more people would want a SAGA II rather than the past few Shinning games

I think with the hype and all the talk of Shenmue , A Shenmue III on multi platforms could be a million seller , that’s all I’m saying . I quite understand the reasons why SEGA wouldn’t make any more

[quote]And Mass Effect and Shenmue are in completely different spaces. Mass Effect is a Bioware RPG (which comes with its own rabidly loyal fanbase), has a very understandable sci-fi setting, and is, essentially, a shooter. Shenmue is a GTA-style game that doesn’t allow you to do all the stuff that people actually seem to want to do (ride vehicles, cause mayhem, etc) and instead, concentrates on doing things that have no effect on the game world (drinking soda). But even that isn’t a sin, really… you could redesign that to make it work. The biggest issue is that it’s set in 1980s Japan and China. Nobody really cares about the setting.
[/quote]

Bioware never had much of a following on consoles , and even witht he Cash Cow that is Starwars, KOTR never sold in Mass Effect numbers inthe USA, To me that shows the market for this style of game is growing inthe USA.

To play Bioware is a lot like playing Shenmue , talk to people , go to destination and fight (ok I’m generalising here) but I think people are more ready for the Shenmue world now .

A few years back no one knew who Jackie Chan was In the USA (most prob the greatest sin of all time) Then after the likes of Last Bronx and the Matrix , the USA couldn’t get enough of Hong Kong Style action , after turning thier back on that style of action for years and years . The greats shame is this was Chan and Hong Kong stunt men were in their prime

Shenmue is like playing a Jackie Chan , Honk Kong interactive RPG using the best old wife’s tales and ancient riddles China as to offer . Again I think the market is more open to games taking place in places like China these days .

I didn’t think it sold that great in numbers , but since Actvision took it over its become a cash cow to rival GTA or Madden and its exactly the same game . To me that shows me that there issues with timing , the market , as well as people not wanting that product .

I mean if I would have said to this board the 360 is the system for Japanese Traditional RPG’s , Namco could make RPG’s that each sold over 100,000 copies alone in Japan and for one week the 360 outsell the PS3 and Ps2 combined . People would have laughed , its happened .


#18

Chizzles - Sure, maybe not photorealism, but you’d still need top notch graphics to compete. GTA doesn’t have photorealistic graphics and while some people complain that the graphics “weren’t great,” they’re still the best as far as open world games go.

TA - They are good examples simply because anything in development has, in addition to the actual cost of development, an opportunity cost. A lot of Sega’s resources were tied up in creating Shenmue, for better or worse. Could Sega have made more games had they not been working on Shenmue? Could they have made games already in development better? Of course. Shenmue lost a lot of money (and whether or not making gobs and gobs of money is besides the point - if a project doesn’t make money, it’s a failure… not every game needs to sell a million units, but if your goal isn’t to make a huge blockbuster, it should be scaled and budgeted appropriately), which was not only a financial burden, but an opportunity cost to the company.

And aside from that point, if Shenmue wasn’t going to be a multi-million seller, it shouldn’t have been made with that sort of budget. Period. You can’t say “well, of course it wasn’t going to sell as much as Sonic.” That was exactly the point. The team was trying to build a console-defining, company-defining game. They succeeded on some level, but ended up costing the company way too much (not just talking about money here).

As for Yakuza… don’t get me started on that one :stuck_out_tongue: However, it sold much better in Japan. Had no baggage, a much more marketable setting (for the Japanese market), etc. But I could write an entire book on the whole project, but probably shouldn’t :stuck_out_tongue: Shenmue Online, again, is an entirely different issue as well.

Shining games have always had a small, but solid following, primarily in Japan. And that’s who the recent games have really been targeted at - the Japanese audience. Why else would they bother hiring writers and artists that only the hardcore otaku would know?

As for Bioware, both versions of KOTOR (even though KOTOR2 was Obsidian, many people don’t know or care) sold more than Mass Effect in the US. Mass Effect will eventually pass it up, but KOTOR sold about 1.5 million units in the US alone. I’d say that qualifies. Jade Empire, for all its flaws, was a decent game. The setting turned off a lot of people, so it didn’t perform all that well (it also further showed that Bioware simply has trouble doing action…)

The focus of Shenmue was too much on the minutia, and not enough on the grand scale of things. In a Bioware game, I jump in and instantly know where the cool stuff is. In Shenmue (and as I mentioned above, this sort of thing can be designed differently), you spend the first 30 minutes trying to figure out how to get out of the damn house :anjou_love: In all seriousness, though, the setting simply isn’t that appealing to people.

And as for the analogy to Jackie Chan, Jackie Chan and Jet Li are popular as martial artists, but it doesn’t go much further than that. You don’t see people lusting after Asian cinema. Take, for example, Yakuza. For all intents and purposes, it was Shenmue, set in a more modern Japan. Had very similar gameplay, better graphics and, imo, a better story (I just personally liked the pulpy, hard-boiled feel of it). Yet, nobody seemed to care about it in the US. It was marketed fairly well, the localization wasn’t perfect, but was alright… What gives?

And Guitar Hero has always been done by Activision. The only thing that changed from GH1 to GH3 was the fact that Activision bought the peripheral maker, and development on GH3 was done by Neversoft. Activision saw how much money the game was making, so they just kept making more. There was no changing of hands. They created the market. It wasn’t like suddenly there was a big cultural swell of interest in music any more than there was before. They found the right “wrapper” for that type of game and hit a home run.

And it’s a little too early to declare that sort of thing for the X360. It had 1 moderate success in its 2 year history in Japan. It’s had a LOT more failures. More telling is the fact that other platforms - like PS2, DS, and Wii - have a lot more of that type of content and a lot bigger of a userbase.


#19

Not for me , Sonic always sell even sheer rubbish like Shadow or the unfinished mess that is Sonic 360/PS3.

Given that Sonic Adv was A). Rather Good, B) An established brand that sold well in the West C) A Launch game
I think Sonic was always going to sell more
Sports games can make or break a console and seeing as NFL 2K was a gem of game and came not long after launch , next to no rival on the DC , it was a given it would be a huge seller .
Crazy Taxi for me was just one of those once off games that came at the right time ect , kind of like Get Bass .

I’m sorry I don’t think they’re the best examples , games like SOA, D2 ect would be far more better examples

As for cost , You’ve not need to tell me, I’ve been trying to make people wake up to the 70 million $ price tag for the series , and if we’re honest about it the DC (bar NA@MI) so never have happened either , but the point is they did, and left people wanting more .

If Shenmue had finished the series , they’ll be no need , but it just left people wanting more and now over time as grown and grown , and maybe SEGA should think about tapping into that . I really can’t see the project getting as out of control as Shenmue I on the DC in terms of man power and cost .

I’m not one of these asking or expecting a Shenmue III, but if we’re talking sales , I can see that a Shenmue III could sell a million copies , weather or not that’s enough for SEGA to take the time , money and effort to make it , is another point .
I myself would rather see SEGA make more games (like Burning Rangers II and finally make a racer to take GT grown once and for all, but that’s me .

Ok fair points, but Part II was rather good, there’s that at least :).

Did the Shining Saturn games sell any better than the Panzer Dragoon’s in Japan , to me they were both cult fav’s that sold in the 1 to 200 k brackets.
Now after saga being the e-bay darling and now almost the stuff of legend I really find it puzzling like SEGA is so keen pushing the Shinning Series , rather than a new Saga, full on Phantasy Star RPG or Dragon Force game , more so when for many of the fans , they’re not even fit to carry the shining name (and that’s only going to change when Camerlot make them again)

Oh I’m not sure about that , Mass Effect was a million seller in the USA some 2 weeks after going on sale , I’m pretty sure it sold a lot better than KOTR , but it did bomb in Europe .

I just think it was a broken game , wit Bio TM bugs and a horrible combat system . Also when you have so called Chinese people speaking it perfect English and with lovely Canadian accents , its completely ruins the traditional ancient Chinese setting the game was trying to create (I think this hurt Shenmue II, Yakuza as well)

I completely agree, Shenmue was dull , boring and unfinished , and just when it started to get going it ended It was a 5 out of 10 at best ., I’m not joking the intro was the best bit of the game for me
The Sequel was anything but , and was a master price and just like playing a interactive Hong Kong film, and oh my disc is quite unlike anything I experienced before in a video game , it was magical (oh the music)

I don’t agree with that , maybe for a Modern day Kung Fu film in modern days settings , but Kung Fu Films set in ancient China and traditional settings and dress The likes of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon?,

I’m not sure in 80’s or early 90’s America they would have done as well, until the USA got a taste for Hong Kong style action - one takes and camera angles

And I’m sorry to be such a geek , but RedOctane 1st published Guitar Hero. Sorry you’ve got a life , I haven’t :slight_smile:


#20

[quote=“Team Andromeda”]Given that Sonic Adv was A). Rather Good, B) An established brand that sold well in the West C) A Launch game
I think Sonic was always going to sell more
Sports games can make or break a console and seeing as NFL 2K was a gem of game and came not long after launch , next to no rival on the DC , it was a given it would be a huge seller .
Crazy Taxi for me was just one of those once off games that came at the right time ect , kind of like Get Bass .

I’m sorry I don’t think they’re the best examples , games like SOA, D2 ect would be far more better examples [/quote]

My point is that while Sonic may be more of a guaranteed seller, you don’t spend the kinds of money that Sega spent on Shenmue without hoping for a mega, mega hit on the order of millions and millions of units. That is what Sega is hoping for. Even if Shenmue sold 600K or whatever it did in the US, it was still a failure because it failed to reach its goals.

Not even the first Shenmue sold a million copies in any territory, and that’s on a console with nothing but Sega fans. What makes you think a Shenmue 3 on a different console would do better?

That, I don’t know.

Perhaps sell-in. Right now, sell-thru of Mass Effect is sitting at 980K in the US. KOTOR has sold 1.3M so far.

Not really. Would you rather have them speaking in Chinese accents? How is that authentic? It’s never made sense to me when you dub something in a different language, and give them an accent… if they aren’t speaking English to begin with, why would they have an accent? Besides, it would be EXTREMELY hard to do a game with an accent that is well done enough not to offend people. In addition, Jade Empire wasn’t China, but rather was a combination of various Asian cultures.

On top of it all, the vast majority of the populace prefers things in English anyway (dub, not sub).

That is the most successful kung fu movie of all time, I believe. And even then, it pulled $200M worldwide box office ($128M of which was in the US, which is very good, mind you, but not in the same league as other blockbusters). The only other Asian-themed movie that pulled similar numbers is The Last Samurai… and frankly, that’s not really a wu xia film.

I’ve actually done the research on this :smiley: Another great kung fu movie? Hero. Only did $54M US, but did $175M worldwide. House of Flying Daggers? $11M US. Kung Fu Hustle? $17M.

Camera angles and style are a different thing all together.

And, well, you are partially correct. It was a co-publishing deal with Activision.