No matter how you feel about it, theres no denying that the Shenmue games are one of the biggest examples of cult classic in the gaming world. The notoriously flawed series of RPG games have amassed a massive following since its conception in the late 90s. Unfortunately, they dont intend to keep that ball rolling as the series creator reveals no concrete plans for a fourth game.
The man behind the games, Yu Suzuki, recently spoke with IGN Japan. This was part of a special event celebrating the franchise, taking place in Yokosuka, the real-world location that the games are based in. During the discussion, which covered topics like the most recent Shenmue 3 and the recently launched Shenmue anime series, eventually fell to the topic of a possible Shenmue 4.
Suzuki remarked that Shenmue 3 was very much made in service to fans of the series. This was a major reason for it being kickstarter funded, he explained. And while he was happy that long-time fans enjoyed the experienced, he noticed that this had created an underwhelming time for newcomers to the games. While he has no concrete plans on a fourth game at this time, he did state that it would be more open to newcomers in its design.
This isnt a hard declaration toward ending the series. Suzuki has said before that he would continue to make new Shenmue games for as long as there were people who wanted to play them. And with him thinking about how we would approach a fourth game, it sounds like he is still willing to develop them.
What this DOES mean, however, is that even if a fourth Shenmue game happens, its going to be a long time coming. Shenmue 3 was in development for at least four years, having been revealed in 2015 and launched in 2019. So even if they began development today, odds are it wouldn't release until 2026.
If youre a die-hard fan of the Shenmue games, you don't need to give up hope on more games. But you will most certainly need to be patient.