Random Shenmue IV Thoughts.

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That's not particularly true...Shenmue I sold around 400k each between Japan, North America, and Europe. From then on, the only real data we have to compare is Kickstarter backers for Shenmue III, and breadcrumbs of hard numbers, such as that one Spanish chart and that one Japanese chart for III. Anecdotally, Shenmue is more popular in the west nowadays than in Japan, but we don't really have any factual data to back that up.
This is true, although there are some slight indicators we can look at.

When it comes to Kickstarter backers for Shenmue 3, only around 3% of all total backers where based in Tokyo. Granted, this may have been skewed a little by Kickstarter being a Western site, but it was still heavily publicized over here when it was first announced and so most Japanese Shenmue fans were likely aware of it.

Likewise, the sales figure, although incomplete globally, clearly show a huge drop off in the number of Japanese people purchasing the game when compared to Shenmue 1 and 2. We can’t say how this compares to the rest of the world, but when establishing the series’ current popularity in the East, I think it shows an obvious trend.

To be honest, I’m not quite sure when/where @Tsukuyomimagi99 is quoting me from in his post, but I definitely agree with what he is saying. My previous job brought me into contact with a lot of Japanese people and I would regularly talk to them about video games. Pretty much all of them had heard of the Yakuza series, but very few knew of Shenmue; let alone liked it.

That said, I do disagree with some of the posts I’ve seen about the marketing of both Shenmue 3 and the Shenmue 1 and 2 remasters over here. A few people have said that there was very little promotion for them, but I saw a decent amount for both releases in a number of districts across Tokyo. Granted, there was nowhere near as much as there is for “big” releases like Smash, Monster Hunter and Animal Crossing, but for a remaster of two twenty year old games and a glorified indie game, I think they each got a very fair showing.
 

Revan

Excuse me...gorgeous
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Shenmue
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Die Hard Arcade...YIPEE KI YAY!
As you all know, most Shenmue fans (though certainly not all) are mostly now in their thirties and forties. As such, like a parent to a child, we have to pass down our passion to the next generation to have them understand why the series is so beloved.
Yay! I always wanted to have a Shendaddy.
 
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Let's take a look at the rough numbers: both S1 and S2 sold between 1 million and 1.5 million copies, with HD remasters combined. If you ask me, this does not seem THAT bad considering the amount of blood, sweat and tears Suzuki and Nagoshi san had to put into making them come to life. From creating over 300 unique characters, each with their own specific daily routine, to the inclusion of actual real-life meteorological records of 1986 Yokosuka, alongside the plethora of minigames, what is NOT to like about Shenmue?
But because of these maneuvers, Sega entered an 18-year development hell, and Suzuki san left the studio to create Ys Net, focusing solely on Shenmue, as well as some other projects. During these times, our society began decaying and spiraling into madness. For what people cherished back in 1999 and 2000 became a mere pushover, and today during the 2020s is targeted by viral drama Youtubers, such as the Jimquisition and Super Eyepatch Wolf.
ANYWAY... Back to the topic: in my opinion just because a video game did not sell well enough does not mean it is bad per se. 1.5 million copies of the first two games with HD remasters is A LOT. Imagine living in a city with 1.5 million people, where everybody owns a copy of Shenmue. Sounds like paradise, eh? Everybody is like "Excuse me!", or "You got a minute?" Hardly anyone is violent, because they're either busy with their schedule, or are on a lookout for some sailors and bikers.
Surely we all know, that the KS succeeded, but Suzuki san wanted to cater to the fans, and people nowadays are fucking snowflakes complaining about the miniscule details that everybody usually ignore and then make a mountain out of a molehill.
This is also one of the many reasons why I decided to give it a go with the franchise, but I went reverse, starting with the latest release. Was it perfect? No. Was it good? Yes. Was it playable? Yes. Does it have flaws? Yes (Unfortunately). Could it have been delayed for the greater good? Yes. Does it have room for improvement? (Looks @LemonHaze) Possibly.
And as for Shenmue 4? Will it happen? Only time will tell. But I'm positive that it will.
 

Truck_1_0_1_

I Don't Know, but I Have You!
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While I appreciate the younger generation of Shenmue fans like @Kenzo38130, I think we older fans have two responsibilities we need to take on for Shenmue's sake. The first being that we need to keep the series alive for the next generation and the second being the acceptance that Shenmue is a niche product.

As you all know, most Shenmue fans (though certainly not all) are mostly now in their thirties and forties. As such, like a parent to a child, we have to pass down our passion to the next generation to have them understand why the series is so beloved. Because as Iwao Hazuki once stated "Parents often die before their children.... it's the law of nature." We aren't going to be around forever especially with all the major responsibilities we have as older adults to 'save Shenmue' if you will.

As I mentioned in a previous post a while ago, we have to accept that Shenmue is a niche product. The sales of Shenmue III and the sales report from Embracer are a testament to that fact. There's also the reality that Shenmue II did not sell like hotcakes on the original Xbox, Shenmue online and city went nowhere, and the HD collection did not catch on.

Lastly, Shenmue has to compete with Ryu ga Gotoku. The problem for Shenmue is that it hasn't had its Ryu ga Gotoku Zero moment. Therefore, we have to continue to extoll the virtues that make Shenmue unique from Ryu ga Gotoku, something I think Virtua Bros did phenomenally well.

At the end of the day, the only reason Shenmue has even re-entered the gaming zeitgeist is because of our insatiable passion for this series. It's why Shenmue III broke Kickstarter records, it's why we got a Shenmue I & II HD re-release, the Dragon/Phoenix collection is being developed, and why we're getting an anime. I want this series to burn bright indefinitely after us older fans and Suzuki are gone. That's the least we can do for a series we all love.

Wonderful post and I agree wholeheartedly... except for the RGG part.

The series DOES NOT need to compete. At all.

It doesn't need a, "0 moment," that would be horrible. We as a fanbase have created our own little memes and homages, etc. 0 has turned that wonderful series, a gritty, hard-hitting and (fairly! lol) realistic Crime Drama set in Japan, into fodder for Western casuals and its entire meaning/point has been misconstrued and ruined, thanks to the (Western) masses.

I don't want an entire reddit sub to consist of sailors memes or Delin falling into the river, etc. and have that become the one or two (or three or four, etc.) things that the series is known for.

That is absolutely NOT the legacy that the series, Yu Suzuki or Sega/YS Net, for that matter, deserves or needs.
 
Joined
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Shenmue
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Strider (2014)
Wonderful post and I agree wholeheartedly... except for the RGG part.

The series DOES NOT need to compete. At all.

It doesn't need a, "0 moments," that would be horrible. We as a fanbase have created our little memes and homages, etc. 0 has turned that wonderful series, a gritty, hard-hitting, and (fairly! lol) realistic Crime Drama set in Japan, into fodder for Western casuals and its entire meaning/point has been misconstrued and ruined, thanks to the (Western) masses.

I don't want an entire Reddit sub to consist of sailors memes or Delin falling into the river, etc., and have that become the one or two (or three or four, etc.) things that the series is known for.

That is NOT the legacy that the series, Yu Suzuki or Sega/YS Net, for that matter, deserves or needs.
My apologies for not providing the context surrounding Shenmue's competition surrounding Ryu Ga Gotoku. Please correct me if I am wrong in making this assumption, as I also want this series to be treated by the fans with the dignity it deserves. However, Suzuki wants to broaden Shenmue's appeal to a larger audience.

Then there's a simple reality that the series needs to sell. So either the niche fanbase needs to buy multiple copies of a potential Shenmue IV, or a larger audience needs to be brought in. Also, while I believe gamers and SEGA are misguided, that does not change the fact that Shenmue and Ryu Ga Gotoku are continually being compared even though they are entirely different beasts.

Fortunately, this is where we can come in to extoll the unique attributes Shenmue possesses. Once again, let me emphasize that I want Shenmue to be treated with the utmost dignity and respect. Much like I wish Ryu Ga Gotoku should have been. So when I am referring to its "Zero Moment" I mean it's Renaissance as a AAA martial arts epic that it was meant to be.

Finally, while I am not a fan of memes in general, they are going to happen whether I like them or not. I mean, I roll my eyes every time people make jokes about Shenmue being nothing but sailors or forklifts. So I just accept it as-is. However, as I said before, this reply is me assuming what you said, so please feel free to correct my ignorance.
 

Truck_1_0_1_

I Don't Know, but I Have You!
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I agree, but the series is still under-the-radar enough that the sailors and forklift stuff has fallen by the wayside, for the most part. I watched a video of all the swearing in the dub of the first Yakuza game (which I noted at the time, was SO hilarious and over the top, but watching it again now :D:D:D:D:D), on Friday evening and all of a sudden a bunch of videos from the series are showing up on my YT suggestions and the like.

EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM, has been fan-made videos poking fun at 24 Hour Cinderella and Judgement (not the game, the song) or Bakamitai memes or Majima dressed as a woman. I'm talking 2 dozen videos, all about that, not 3 or 4.

After 21+ years, try finding 2 dozen videos about 'mue memes and the like, in regards to sailors and forklifts; it'd be hard, even with the expansive library on YT.

But yes, I see what you mean now and again, I agree wholeheartedly. Maybe though, make it so that it sells-enough to get enough new fans, but not enough to blow up? Unless it's the last title :)
 
Joined
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Favourite title
Shenmue
Currently playing
Strider (2014)
I agree, but the series is still under-the-radar enough that the sailors and forklift stuff have fallen by the wayside, for the most part. I watched a video of all the swearing in the dub of the first Yakuza game (which I noted at the time, was SO hilarious and over the top, but watching it again now :D:D:D:D:D), on Friday evening, and all of a sudden a bunch of videos from the series is showing up on my YT suggestions and the like.

EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM has been fan-made videos poking fun at 24 Hour Cinderella and Judgement (not the game, the song) or Bakamitai memes or Majima dressed as a woman. I'm talking 2 dozen videos, all about that, not 3 or 4.

After 21+ years, try finding 2 dozen videos about 'mue memes and the like, in regards to sailors and forklifts; it'd be hard, even with the expansive library on YT.

But yes, I see what you mean now, and again, I agree wholeheartedly. Maybe though, make it so that it sells enough to get enough new fans, but not enough to blow up? Unless it's the last title :)
Well if there is consolation I can provide, you won't be seeing me make any memes about the Ryu Ga Gotoku franchise. Jokes sure, but not memes if that makes any sense. Because like you, I was a fan of Ryu Ga Gotoku before Zero, and I appreciate the series for its strong writing by blending comedy and drama so well. Or the vast amount of in-depth gameplay.

However, I'll stop here and apologize to the moderators for going off-topic in a Shenmue thread.
 

shengoro86

Please Kill Me.
Joined
Jul 27, 2018
Location
New York City, USA
A random thought I was pondering today.
I believe in an interview somewhere somewhen Yu Suzuki stated that Shenmue 3's story borrowed elements from future chapters of his original VFRPG/ProjectBerkeley timeline or something like that.
Makes me wonder how far Shenmue 4 deviates from that original story. Or if it does at all. Only Yu-san and his team truly know.
 
Joined
Jul 27, 2018

Anybody get invited?



Seems like it got potential for the random NPC side of things, but I wonder how it fares with less realistic characters like Ryo/Ren/Shenhua... Would like to test it out
 
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Anybody get invited?



Seems like it got potential for the random NPC side of things, but I wonder how it fares with less realistic characters like Ryo/Ren/Shenhua... Would like to test it out
I imagine having to make all those NPCs takes up a huge portion of the budget, this could potentially be a real money saver.
 

ShenSun

Site Staff
Joined
Jul 24, 2018
I've got in the Early Access..

First impression is that it's a powerful tool in terms of facial structure and skin, but there is a very limited set of hair/eyebrows, etc... It got potential... will probably mess with it more tomorrow



That is very cool
 
Joined
Sep 21, 2018
Glad I wasn't the only one who had a go with Shenmue in mind.



Incredible creation tool. Being able to get results like this in about an hour or so is amazing, but being able to do it from a web browser? Game changer.

YsNet should definitely be investigating this tech as a possibility for Shenmue IV, though there's no guarantee it'll be right for the approach they want to take in regards to the art design. Remembering the many debates through Shenmue III's development about how accurate Ryo did or did not look, a shift to realism would probably mean encores based on personal subjective taste.

In any case, the full release of the Metahumans platform will allow for downloading the source file of the models you've created, meaning game artists can change designs to exact specifications in 3D modelling software - so characters can look more like themselves if the creation tool can't get them all the way.

Shenmue IV using this tech would unfortunately mean having to wave goodbye to the hyper-stylised stuff we saw in III, depending on how far you can push the rigging before it breaks. I'd really like to see a matured 'Gen 2' version of that style (assuming that's what the current Shenmue IV pitch looks like) using current builds of UE4 or even UE5 when it releases, but in terms of creating great looking characters fast... not sure Metahumans can be beat.
 
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