Sega: Shenmue 3 requests 'taken very seriously'
2nd Jun 2011 | 10:46
Every time we get in a room with Sega US and European boss Mike Hayes, we like to play the Shenmue 3 game on your behalf.
We ask when it's coming back, and we get a warm but non-committal response. Because Mike's a decent type, he always plays along.
Yet when we enquired about the game you all want last week, there was slight a change of tack from the genial exec's usual "never say never" line. (Okay, he did roll that one out too, but bear with us...)
Mike wanted to talk about the fans of the game, and make clear that Sega's higher-ups are very aware of the demand to see classic Sega IP reborn on modern day machines.
He was also keen to point out that they do actually read the pleas you type in capital letters under stories like this. Fire away...
"We take the comments from the fans very seriously indeed," Hayes told us, whilst being sure to add that there were "no plans at the moment" for a new Shenmue game on consoles.
"Hopefully, we've shown that we're listening to [those that love old Sega IP] because we have pretty much reduxed or reinvented all of it in one way or another. Look at this month - I can point to Shinobi and say the the main reason we've done it on 3DS is because a lot of people said they want to see Shinobi again and that platform was perfect for bringing that alive in a relatively moderate way.
"We take all of that very seriously but at the same time we've got to look at the market opportunity and the cost of doing it well. Look at all the things we've done as a software publisher: we relaunched SEGA Rally which was critically acclaimed, Samba Di Amigo which did okay. The Golden Axe remake we didn't do very well with, but we spent money on it - we listened.
"Trust me: We hear loud and clear about Shenmue, and we're not going to close our ears to it. Sonic and SEGA All Star Racing works into that too, specifically because we know people are fans we introduced the forklift truck as a downloadable vehicle and then created a trailer specifically for that one character. We do listen and I think that was the right time to give a nod and a wink to those guys.
"To be fair to use we've done Sonic 4, Afterburner, Golden Axe and Shinobi on 3DS. We do listen. It's not like we've got our fingers in our ears, we take that very seriously and value the small but vocal [Sega communities]. Sonic 4 was the perfect example that we're listening to those guys. Generations is too - and that will show when people get to see it for themselves."
We'll be having a gander at Generations at E3 next week. You'll be the first to know what we reckon...