New Interview with Yu Suzuki - Brought to you by Shenmue Dojo and Phantom River Stone


Jul 24, 2018
Favourite title
Shenmue II
Currently playing
Destiny 2, Shenmue HD ;)
In this exclusive interview with Yu Suzuki himself James from Shenmue Dojo and Switch from Phantom River Stone join forces to bring you an all access interview conducted at YSNET Offices

Topics covered:
Shenmue 4
Future of the Series

Interview Link:

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Man, I hope all this talk about "if we can find a partner" is just code for "we can't say anything right now" and not an actual sign of they're struggling to find a partner.

But I don't know. The lights are still on at the offices of YS Net so something has to be going right for them atm.

Cheers lads, it was an excellent read. I know the emphasis was on Shenmue here but I kind of would of liked to have seen you guys ask about VF a little as well. Still, cracking good read.

Some very interesting tidbits in there. Especially regarding the second Shenmue tree.

Here's hoping IV and V will happen. I still hold hope. I haven't given up in 20 years and I won't give up hope now.
The biggest takeaway I got from that fantastic interview was that Yu still has the intention of making Shenmue IV & V - That it won't all be condensed into one last game! I'm so glad the ambition is still held for the series.

Like other posters have said, I would too be interested to know of other parties that have conversed with YS Net about the game - still think a collabroation with Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio would bring the buzz needed to really set t he project alight.

I'm also interested to hear more about Suzhou as a future location, I've heard plenty of talk regarding Baisha, Meng Cun & LuoYang but not so much about Suzhou.

Thanks to James, Phantom-River & everyone else involved... i can't be the only one who was getting desperate for any scraps from YS Net at this point.
Fantastic interview. Really great that James actually got to go to the offices and ask all sorts of obscure questions about Shenmue. Must have been an amazing day.

I guess I'm just a little unsure about what is actually happening with Shenmue 4. He talks about it like it's an actual possibility, but it seems like it's not actually in development, as he said it would take 5 years to make from now, and 10 years for both 4 and 5.

If it's not in development already then that's very concerning, especially as we close in on 5 years since the release of Shenmue 3. He talks about it assuredly but perhaps that's just optimism with no real plans in place which is disheartening.

It does make me wonder what they're working on if the offices are still open and they're actively working there.
Wonderful interview, thank you so much! It warms my heart to know that a) Suzuki still wants to make Shenmue IV and b) that his passion for Shenmue has not diminshed. I can tell that he treats fans like us with respect and so I feel happy.

It was a great idea to show the community games to show how much Shenmue means to us (and props for the Yu-san Shenmue II question!)

It would be nice to have asked if there's anything more we can do as fans to help other than what we're doing at the moment, but I daresay there's not much at the moment.

Can I ask how this was set up? Did it take a long time for this to be set up and was there any questions you asked that couldn't be answered (NDA level?)

I can only hope that if Shenmue IV never comes to fruition that the story will be released somehow. The novel will be a small solace if nowt else. Whilst it's disappointing to hear that nothing has been made re SIV, I can only hope that he is being sincere when he says that there are interested parties wanting to publish the game.

Finally - great to see Shenmue World Issue 3 sneakpeak!

Well done guys. Fucking love this community <3
Does anybody still not find it interesting and maybe it's just me reaching but how he says assuringly that "S4 is in the planning stage." Surely that would of been done ages ago? don't know. I'm just glad he is still optimistic, we have a big scrap of news to sink our teeth into and can have debates and ponder amongst ourselves. Again brilliant work. 👏👍
Great interview and thank you. Glad to see that a novel exists but clearly he wants to make the games first and then release the “full” story thereafter. Best case, the games won’t be done for another 10 years, but more likely longer or never. Even if the games are made, it is clear from his answers that a lot of the in-depth storylines will not be fleshed out in the games. This will no doubt frustrate a lot of fans who have waited a lifetime to know all about these characters and find out what happens. Given the somewhat unique position Shenmue is in, I still believe releasing the full story as soon as possible is the better path forward. The games, if made, will still have the potential to be engaging in a way that reading a story cannot do. It wouldn’t impact any future sales for the game and would likely even increase demand.
Wow, awesome interview! Fantastic work, guys. You asked some really interesting questions which brought us some really insightful and fascinating responses from Yu Suzuki.

Man, it's frustrating seeing how passionate he is about the series and how much thought he has put into the story and no one is biting his hand off trying to get these games made. There's so much love, passion and heart and soul that has gone into Shenmue from Suzuki.
Wow, what an outstanding opportunity to be able to interview the legend himself. So much great new information!

TBH, I thought Xiuying and Ziming would definitely be in future mainline Shenmue games. I mean, both are on the chapter tiles. Maybe there were written out because of the necessity of making the story shorter, so it fits into two more game. It would be an unfortunate cut, though. I think Ziming in the Shenmue II comic showed so much potential for what could come next.

Obviously a little sobering, considering Suzuki-San confirmed that they are actually not working on Shenmue IV. I really hope they will find a partner for it soon...
Great Interview Guys! Thanks a lot for all the effort.

The interview is a bit sobering but what I generally really liked is the planning aspect Yu is talking about. The timeframe for two installments within 10 years makes perfect sense considering his age and stuff.

What my general believe and wish is that they are working on Virtua Fighter at the moment and that they can implement the system in the new Shenmue IV. For that reason I think partners are more curious about the franchise. That would be the optimum going forward. But who knows.

The most exciting thing is that the man is still active and planing to do it. Also that a full book release is in that plan. A good day to be a Shenmue Fan.
Very informative interview. Everyone deserves respect for this one : the Shenmue Dojo team, Switch, and Joel Tess.

It was very disappointing regarding Shenmue IV, and its lack of current development; I was really hoping that YS had been working on the game in secret for years, but that really does not seem to be the case here. At least the story's ready!

I hope they eventually find a good partner who's willing to work on Shenmue IV as well as an Unreal Engine 5 remake of the first two games. (YS mentioned having had candidates express interest in the past; I wonder what went wrong....)
Marvellous read, thank you.

I know it confirms nothing is in active development, but he sounds pretty positive, there’s been a fair bit of interest it seems, cause for optimism.

The unknown CYM member and the vague hint that maybe Shenhua does indeed have some kind of powers were the two main bits for me.

Amazing interview, great work to everyone involved!

It's always nice to hear from Yu Suzuki and it seems like he is still really passionate about getting Shenmue done one way or the other. I'm also happy to hear he seems to really consider releasing the full novelisations as well, especially as it seems like if there is only a Shenmue IV and V, it won't be able to cover everything so those novels can fill in all the gaps. Really interesting to hear the next location would be Suzhou which we don't know a lot about, did I remember correctly that the chapter card with Ryo and Ren on the train was believed to be them heading to Suzhou?

Hearing that Shenmue IV is not in development, well it is sad to hear but could it also be possible that he can't actively say they are working on it yet, even if they were? Maybe it's a little wishful thinking to me. Either way, it's good to hear there seem to have been multiple interested partners

Also, it's kind of funny to me in a way that it could be 10 years until Shenmue V... I will have to wait until I am 50 years old to finish a game series I started when I was 17 :eek:
After reading the latest interview with Suzuki-san, I am amazed of the bond Shenmue fans have. A lot of franchises preach about love and friendship, but Shenmue fans embody it. After all, how many fans get to meet the creator and treat them as their neighbor? We often idolize creators like Shigeru Miyamoto, but the truth is that they are human like the rest of us. Thank you very much for this informative interview as it makes me hopeful for Shenmue IV and V.
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First of all, excellent interview and great questions! It was refreshing to get specific details regarding the story pinned down. The one thing I would have liked to hear Suzuki pressed on is reducing the "scale" of Shenmue from a development perspective because he made it seem like he's willing to sacrifice the story (he mentions cutting areas and relegating Ziming to side content) in order to get it done in 5 games. I would have liked to hear his thoughts on making Shenmue cheaper to develop, particularly if he's had interest and turned it down.
First of all, excellent interview and great questions! It was refreshing to get specific details regarding the story pinned down. The one thing I would have liked to hear Suzuki pressed on is reducing the "scale" of Shenmue from a development perspective because he made it seem like he's willing to sacrifice the story (he mentions cutting areas and relegating Ziming to side content) in order to get it done in 5 games. I would have liked to hear his thoughts on making Shenmue cheaper to develop, particularly if he's had interest and turned it down.

While I can not speak for the man, I think this is a given. During the development of Shenmue III, he scaled the game based on budget. In this interview, he clearly states he would do a pragmatic adaptation of the source material.
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Thanks for all the positive messages so far everyone and really pleased that you all seem to have enjoyed the interview! Some really interesting discussion points for sure regarding future story and clearing up some old things that we had been wondering about for a while! The positivity surrounding Yu’s final message is so reassuring and I really hope that they can find the right partner that they seem so intent in finding.

The mentioned location of Suzhou was originally the 3rd chapter tile, so that answer alone sparked excitement from us! I’m also personally happy to hear that he was still reluctant at times to give any spoilers away and mentioning what he still wants to cover shows to me that he still wants to do right by Shenmue, and not compromise for the sake of it, he really cares about finishing the series in the best way possible.