Shenmue Dojo Interviews: Cedric Biscay

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Great interview! Based on Cedric's assessment of deep silver and the fact that they are trying to get investors through their S4 presentation, it makes me think that both Deep Silver AND Sega aren't interested in Shenmue 4's current budget plan/concept.

It might suggest that the anime is the only hope to generate interest for a larger budget and if that fails it's an S3 level budget or something very different.
 
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That was a great interview, and I always love listening to Cedric, but I can't help but feel a bit disheartened after it. Based on his assessment of deep silver and the fact that they are trying to get investors through their S4 presentation, it makes me think that both Deep Silver AND Sega aren't interested in Shenmue 4's current budget plan/concept.

It might suggest that the anime is the only hope to generate interest for a larger budget and if that fails it's an S3 level budget or something very different.
I understand your logic, but it doesn't necessarily mean that Sega & Deep Silver aren't interested entirely. They could still be putting up some money, just not all the money to fund the whole game. YSnet could have a deal with Sega/DP for a partial amount, but would also need to find additional partners for extra funding. We can see from Shenmue 3 that this strategy was used, and I'm sure they would use it again. At the same time, I like to believe that Sega would be involved in some way, hopefully more than they were in Shenmue 3. They have finally taken notice of the Shenmue brand again, and in the last year+, have started to realise how important old IP are for their business.
 
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I understand your logic, but it doesn't necessarily mean that Sega & Deep Silver aren't interested entirely. They could still be putting up some money, just not all the money to fund the whole game. YSnet could have a deal with Sega/DP for a partial amount, but would also need to find additional partners for extra funding. We can see from Shenmue 3 that this strategy was used, and I'm sure they would use it again. At the same time, I like to believe that Sega would be involved in some way, hopefully more than they were in Shenmue 3. They have finally taken notice of the Shenmue brand again, and in the last year+, have started to realise how important old IP are for their business.
Hopefully that's the case! Especially with Sega. Although, I can't imagine Cedric would so eagerly throw DS under the bus if they were still partners.
 
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Hopefully that's the case! Especially with Sega. Although, I can't imagine Cedric would so eagerly throw DS under the bus if they were still partners.
Agree re Deep Silver but I’d be very surprised to see a company as large as Sega only putting up a percentage of the budget. If they don’t end up fully financing the project then I can’t see them putting in anything.
 
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spud1897

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Hopefully that's the case! Especially with Sega. Although, I can't imagine Cedric would so eagerly throw DS under the bus if they were still partners.
He's been quite open in the fact he isn't a fan of Deep Silver, I think it stems from 2017 when they came on board and we had that teaser trailer & if you look closely Shibuya's name isn't on the end bit.

And again in March this year he was quite open around his opinion on how things went marketing wise for Shenmue III, something which he repeated to me.

That said Deep Silver did reach out to the community to help set-up the special stream we did following the Steam release. My general feeling is (and seems to be confirmed) that Deep Silver will not be publishing Shenmue 4.
 
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Finally listened to the full interview. First of all, EXCELLENT job with your questions and conversational skills @spud1897. A bad interview because of boring questions or tactless approach can be super frustrating to listen to, so I'm glad that wasn't the case here. And like you yourself said, I'm happy Biscuit was so forthright with his answers where he could be. I'm kinda ashamed to admit this, but I didn't realize he was such a legitimate fan until now. I always just assumed it was really more business for him and he merely had respect for the property + Yu from an entrepreneurial standpoint.

Now with that said... I know this is extremely unhelpful and pointless to point out, but it's been triggering my autism so I feel I have to say it anyways. Around the 9:45 mark, I think he was talking about QTE Title in the arcade rather than street fights. You probably realized this after you said that in the interview and the whole thing is completely trivial, but you know, my petty monkey brain just wouldn't let me stay quiet on this.
QTE_Title.jpg
 
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spud1897

spud1897

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Finally listened to the full interview. First of all, EXCELLENT job with your questions and conversational skills @spud1897. A bad interview because of boring questions or tactless approach can be super frustrating to listen to, so I'm glad that wasn't the case here. And like you yourself said, I'm happy Biscuit was so forthright with his answers where he could be. I'm kinda ashamed to admit this, but I didn't realize he was such a legitimate fan until now. I always just assumed it was really more business for him and he merely had respect for the property + Yu from an entrepreneurial standpoint.

Now with that said... I know this is extremely unhelpful and pointless to point out, but it's been triggering my autism so I feel I have to say it anyways. Around the 9:45 mark, I think he was talking about QTE Title in the arcade rather than street fights. You probably realized this after you said that in the interview and the whole thing is completely trivial, but you know, my petty monkey brain just wouldn't let me stay quiet on this.
View attachment 10087
Thanks for the awesome feedback, much appreciated. I'm glad the interview came across well. I'm a personal fan of those conversational type interviews so I'm glad it's reflected here. The questions were ones that were tweaked a few times actually, my staff offered some good suggestions which improved this no end.

Cedric is 100% sound. Talking to him before, during and after was a total pleasure and we're hoping to touch base in the new year for a round 2, once we get some more Anime news (which I didn't touch on here) or maybe Shenmue 4 related news (one can dream!).

Haha I know I listened to it back when editing and thought "bugger" I mis-understood what Cedric was talking about at the time. I am in agreement though with QTE title being addictive.

I've got a couple more of these coming up & while I can't promise future ones will be with people so "high up", for want of a better word, I do hope they're just as interesting for everyone.
 

Revan

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Just been listening to this again because I'm starving for Shenmue 4 news (and its only 10 January!).

Considering that Cedric says Shenmue 4 is now being pitched to a variety of publishers, I wonder if Epic Games Publishing (a soon-to-be multiplatform publisher announced in March 2020) is on YS Net’s list of choices?

Consider the following:
  • If Shenmue 4's funding is the problem, the publisher promises to cover up to 100% of development costs (salaries, QA, localization, marketing, and publishing costs).
  • YS Net and Epic Games have already worked together on Shenmue 3's PC version.
  • The publisher will allow developers full creative control, something important to both Yu and Cedric.
  • Shenmue 3 and Shenmue 4 (if it's based on Shenmue 3 assets in the pitching materials) are using Unreal Engine, a free engine provided by Epic Games.
  • Yu intends to work with Unreal Engine 5 in the future, saying the following to IGN Japan (obtained from Shenmue Forever): “I can't wait to actually work with this forward leaping engine, and learn how it feels to work with it in actual development."
  • Epic Games did YS Net a massive favour by footing the bill for Shenmue 3 backer refunds, a gesture which must have earned them some major respect from YS Net.
I mean, they make the most sense to me as a publisher considering the history between both studios and how what they're offering perfectly aligns with what YS Net needs.

We shall see who they decide to go with.
 
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spud1897

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Just been listening to this again because I'm starving for Shenmue 4 news (and its only 10 January!).

Considering that Cedric says Shenmue 4 is now being pitched to a variety of publishers, I wonder if Epic Games Publishing (a soon-to-be multiplatform publisher announced in March 2020) is on YS Net’s list of choices?

Consider the following:
  • If Shenmue 4's funding is the problem, the publisher promises to cover up to 100% of development costs (salaries, QA, localization, marketing, and publishing costs).
  • YS Net and Epic Games have already worked together on Shenmue 3's PC version.
  • The publisher will allow developers full creative control, something important to both Yu and Cedric.
  • Shenmue 3 and Shenmue 4 (if it's based on Shenmue 3 assets in the pitching materials) are using Unreal Engine, a free engine provided by Epic Games.
  • Yu intends to work with Unreal Engine 5 in the future, saying the following to IGN Japan (obtained from Shenmue Forever): “I can't wait to actually work with this forward leaping engine, and learn how it feels to work with it in actual development."
  • Epic Games did YS Net a massive favour by footing the bill for Shenmue 3 backer refunds, a gesture which must have earned them some major respect from YS Net.
I mean, they make the most sense to me as a publisher considering the history between both studios and how what they're offering perfectly aligns with what YS Net needs.

We shall see who they decide to go with.
To add to your point regarding Epic think about this for a moment:

Ryan Payton is good friends with Fumito Ueda, he also was a key negotiator on behalf of Fumito's new studio for the Epic publishing deal they announced last year. Check out Part 2 of that interview for the reference :)

While I'm only joining the dots and have zero evidence to back this up, I'd bet that Epic are on that list of people to pitch to.

Ryan has a relationship with them already as stated above, they've worked with YSNET (in some level) before. I'd be wholly surprised if the Epic name wasn't even discussed for a Shenmue 4 publishing deal.
 

Kyo_JP

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Just finished it today, please keep this kind of interviews coming!
 
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A fantastic interview! With Yu pitching IV to various publishers I firmly believe someone will pick them up. Hopefully we'll get a announcement by the end of the year or possibly next year. Also with the anime on the horizon the future is bright for the franchise.
 
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I'm not too worried about them targeting a bigger budget because, at the end of the day, these are negotiations. Anyone who has ever asked for money, even a pay rise, knows you go in high (most of the time), with the expectation you may get undercut or met half way.

I'm confident they can make a better Shenmue game with the same budget as last time for reasons mentioned here and in the Paton interview:
  • Established team -- even if only 50% of the contractors return, that's 50% more experience and cohesion than last time
  • Established gameplay systems -- sure, some of them need tweaking, but that's much simpler than starting from scratch. The combat is the only system that needs a lot of work, I'd say (reducing the lag may require an overhaul of how they read player input, then there's throw moves), and even then they already have a ton of moves to work with. There's loads of stuff they can virtually leave untouched from S3
  • More predictable scope -- the mixed funding methods of S3 meant the scope was always in flux. Hopefully with S4 they'll have one solid budget to work with
  • Aware of S3's "mistakes" -- Yu and team don't live in a bubble. They know players expect more story moments. They know the combat needs work. They know a lot of players didn't love the stamina system in its current implementation. They know a lot of players found the money gates too intrusive
If/when Shenmue IV gets picked up, I think we're on track for a great game.

If S4 is when we see the "warring factions" system originally meant for Baisha, I hope it ties in with the investigation/exploration gameplay, and isn't just a completely detached mini-game. I'm having flashbacks to FFVII's garbage tower defense mini-game :p
 

Revan

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If S4 is when we see the "warring factions" system originally meant for Baisha, I hope it ties in with the investigation/exploration gameplay, and isn't just a completely detached mini-game.
Just a theory of mine: I think Baisha holds too much of a special place for Yu and we will definitely see it in Shenmue 4. Yu probably decided to save Baisha for Shenmue 4 because he realised that with the limited budget he wouldn't be able to do it enough justice.

Yu said early on that if the Kickstarter reached $5 million something he "really wanted to do" would be achieved. This turned out to be the character perspective system for the warring kingdoms event. Baisha also has its own fleshed-out Akira RPG script book which looks fairly dense, a load of concept art from the 90s, research notes from Yu when he took a trip to see the Fujian Tulous, early environmental builds and the location's name has been popping up through ought Shenmue's history (What's Shenmue? loading screens, Shenmue Online chapter map).

I know they want us to believe this, but you don't just bin all that work for a 20-minute Niaowu Castle epilogue. I suspect its definitely being saved as a surprise for the next game.
 
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Agreed, only cuts so far are transitions such as boat rides and brief stop at a Miao Village and a train ride; but not such a big part of the overall story such as Baisha. Also expecting to be a major setting in Shenmue 4.
 
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Agreed, only cuts so far are transitions such as boat rides and brief stop at a Miao Village and a train ride; but not such a big part of the overall story such as Baisha. Also expecting to be a major setting in Shenmue 4.
Well, from the chapter cards, I think a full chapter in Shanghai was cut too.
 
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