Shenmue IV Will Happen - Here's Why!


Site Staff
Jul 24, 2018
Since the build up to Shenmue 3's release until now, there have been a ton of clues for Shenmue 4's existence. I thought id cover them in this thread and give my own commentary. Feel free to add your own in the following posts

Shenmue 4 Clues In Shenmue 3

Shenmue 4 Book

During the last quest in the castle, Yu Suzuki left a book on the self which says "Shenmue 4". There are also Shenmue 1,2 and 3 books displayed here.


Shenmue 4 Trainers

At one point in the game, you have to option to buy Shenmue 4 trainers.


Yu Suzuki's Letter At The End of Shenmue 3

Suzuki continues to make it well known that he wants to make Shenmue 4 and continue the series at the end of the game.


Yu Suzuki Doing Research In Shanghai For "Work"........(After Shenmue 3's Release) .... ;)





Taking a close up picture of a sign, a girl in a Chinese dress, a boat and a shop. These are all assets that are displayed in Shenmue. Pressumbly the close up shots can help with design, importing textures into unreal engine and concept art, etc.

Yu Suzuki's Plans For 2020

Yu Suzuki told Famitsu the following when questioned


This is probably the most obvious hint at Shenmue 4. I can't imagine Suzuki making a completely different open world game. That would make no sense.

Cedric Tweets & Comments

Cedric recently commented that he is happy with Shenmue 3 and we should move on to the next steps with a winky face


Its obvious to me what he's referring to. And its not his new manga. Although, i do encourage everyone to pick up a copy of Blitz to show support for our favorite hypeman, Cedric.

Cedric also has stated that there is a 50/50 chance for Shenmue 4 even if Shenmue 3 bombed.

Also, in an interview with Sega Satuno, Cedric gives a very indirect, direct, common sense answer to Shenmue 4

Sega Saturno " Would it be more appropriate to develop Shenmue 4 right after the 3rd chapter is released? You have the team already assembled and the necessary experience, along with assets. So maybe it would be best to start the next installment as soon as possible right?""

Cedric "if you plan on doing a 4th installment of a game, you have to keep your team, so you need to start as soon as possible. Otherwise the team would leave and you'd miss your opportunity to make the new game "

All of us have already speculated that if you have the assets, team etc in place, making another installment would be much easier and cheaper, and the most logical thing to do. Cedric confirms this theory.

Lakshya Digital Facebook Post

Lakshya digital (The team who made the Shenmue 3 models) posted the following on December 14th. It could just be a good will message, but when you put it next to all the other evidence we have, I think its obvious what's going on.


Koch Media Tweets

Koch media posted a very cryptic message the other day. Granted, this could be referring to the DLC as Shenmue 3 is still their game. Time will tell.


Epic Games Deal, Budget & Sales

Epic Games presumably gave 9 million+ to Deep Silver for Shenmue 3. This is going off how much they paid for the game "Control", an entire new ip. Shenmue 3's total budget was 12 million. If 7 million came from backers and 5 million from investors, then investors would have already made back their money back from the Epic deal. Assuming it was 9 million for exclusive rights, every copy Shenmue 3 sells from release onwards would presumably be profit?

Shenmue 3 appears to be selling decently. When you take into account the limit information we have, along with the total number of backers who purchased a copy in the kickstarter, we can certainly see there is an audience for the game. If it wasn't making any money, you'd have to wonder why they would keep teasing Shenmue 4 so much. The Shenmue HD collection also continues to sell.

Shenmue 3's Story

Shenmue 3's story was incredibly rushed towards the end. Given the perfectionist Yu Suzuki is, i can't imagine him ending his franchise like that, without knowing that a sequel would follow. If he knew Shenmue 3 would be the final game, I'm sure he would have made the ending much more Epic as he did with Shenmue 2. I believe at the time of Shenmue 2, he was told by Sega, that Shenmue 2 would be the last game in the series, hence he went out with a bang.

It also seems odd that Shenmue 3 is a massive build up chapter, with the big payoff yet to come. Its almost like Suzuki is following the same formula as Shenmue 1 and 2.

Shenmue 1 and 3 = Build up chapters
Shnemue 2 and 4 - Bash!t crazy over the top chapters.

Cut Content

There is a ton of cut content from Shenmue 3, mainly Baisha


In the "A Gamer's Journey" Shenmue teaser trailer, we see Ryo running around a circular building similar to the ones in Baisha. Notice the design of the building and placement of the door in the game, and then compare it to the concept art.


We also have Ryo jumping off mountains, being chased by rocks and doing some intense QTEs across rocks



We also have the great wall of China which was only seen at the end of Shenmue 3. In the teaser trailer though, Mr Muscles (First name = Mr, last name - Muscles) and Ryo do battle on this structure. Perhaps its a similar set up to Chai in Chapter 2. Mr Muscles chases Ryo and friends onto the great wall and they have one final battle.



You can also see the Ryo model in the middle structure of the great wall if you zoom in close. I assume this means the great wall was playable at one point.


The boat cutscene below is nowhere to be seen in Shenmue 3? You would assume its the boat that takes Ryo and Shenhua to Niaowu, but then i have to wonder why this scene was cut? Perhaps this is the boat that takes our heroes to Baisha? Since Baisha is not in the game, it was cut. Then again, maybe Suzuki thought the scene wasn't appropriate for Niaowu, so he cut it. The boat does look different to the one used in the game, so who knows at this point.


The point being, there is a ton of content cut from Shenmue 3. I'd be willing to bet we'll see these scenes show up in Shenmue 4, similar to how we saw Shenmue 2 footage in Shenmue 1's promotion. It also seems as if a fair portion of Shenmue 4 already exists, be it concept art, research, beta environments, etc.

We have tons of teases and clues from Suzuki and Cedric. Cut content. Epic's money to secure the publishers investment. Assets, engine and the team already in place. I can't see how Shenmue 4 wont exist. Everything is set up almost perfectly for a sequel to take place.


Here's some additional info that I missed. I'll add it to the op.

1) In an IGN interview, Suzuki stated that he believes he'll be able to make Shenmue 4


2) Cedric and Yu Suzuki are looking for a bigger budget for Shenmue 4 to meet the standards of the modern market


3) Famitsu asked Yu Suzuki what his new year's resolution for 2021 was, and he replied with "The Sequel to"


4) Cedric stated during his Shenmue dojo interview with @spud1897 that there was a Shenmue 4 video being pitched to publishers which had a lot of improvements

5) Ysnet still has their development team working full time and some have speculated that they have moved to another office. (you don't pay a development team millions to keep the lights on if they are not working on something relevant, otherwise they would have disbanded once shenmue 3 was released).

EDIT: Forum member tomboz has added some interesting points to this last statement

"Several of the more experienced people who worked on Shenmue 3 have been credited as having worked on other games since the game’s release, and, given that most games take 2-3 years plus to make, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if some of the others are currently working on other projects that are yet to be released.

I was under the impression that most of the technical team who contributed towards Shenmue 3 were contract workers, which is pretty common practice over here and in the industry in general. Also, I’m pretty sure that YSNet has moved to a cheaper office rather than a bigger one, at least if the areas of the previous and new offices are anything to go by, anyway."

Cedric also stated that if you're going to work on a sequel, you want to keep the team together.

Cedric "if you plan on doing a 4th installment of a game, you have to keep your team, so you need to start as soon as possible. Otherwise, the team would leave and you'd miss your opportunity to make the new game "

As far as we know, the team is still together and they have a pitch video for Shenmue 4, meaning Shenmue 4 has 100% been worked on in some capacity. and is most likely being worked on right now

6) The Shenmue Anime is scheduled to be released in 2021. Previous Shenmue announcements have always been in sync with one another (Shenmue HD, Shenmue 3) - Releases linked to new trailers, etc

7) The official Koch media page continues to post about Shenmue. Although they post about a lot of other games, so this is most likely coincidental and should be taken with a massive pinch of salt


I'll add some more stuff later

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I couldn't agree more to be honest. I'm 100% confident that it will also happen. Yu isn't an idiot and I'm sure that when he was making any deals surrounding Shenmue III, he would have also taken the future of the series into account. All this bullshit about "bad" sales is just made-up estimations as we do not know the full development cost of the game, do not know the deals behind closed doors and also do not know any numbers whatsoever when it comes to digital PS4 or EGS sales.

Cedric's recent tweet saying that from his side, he is very happy with Shenmue III is all I need personally, as he is one of the people who are on the inside and one who actually knows the numbers etc. We know Yu wants to make IV, he has the office, team, engine and skills to make it, so the timing is perfect. Shenmue IV will be much easier, quicker, cheaper and more efficient to make than SIII and it really just comes down to the money. Cedric's (and Koch Media's to some extent) recent tweets, alongside Yu's confidence in relation to continuing the series proves to me that the ball moving in the right direction and it's just a case of waiting for them to announce it.

I cannot wait for the DLC, and I'll be waiting patiently for an announcement somewhere down the line at a big game show, hopefully this year, but probably next :D
This post is stretching. But it all comes down to funding. If they get the funding, we'll get Shenmue IV. If not, nothing of the above matters.

I think the point of the post was to argue that these clues are enough to indicate a deal is already made. A stretch? A bit, but it's nice to see everything compiled into one post. I think we have plenty of encouraging signs so far.
I think the point of the post was to argue that these clues are enough to indicate a deal is already made. A stretch? A bit, but it's nice to see everything compiled into one post. I think we have plenty of encouraging signs so far.

I'd love to hear the announcement of Shenmue IV, just as most people here. But I think OP is reading a bit too much into these small details at this point.
It's just a fun look into the stuff we know that's out there. I wouldn't say its reading too much into it. The evidence does point towards an Shenmue 4 but of course nothing is set in stone
Besides, if fans still wants SIV...we should make some noise and start a demand for it if nothing shows up after a year. Since this franchise now lives or dies by it's fandom, we need to try our hardest to help it(the saga) reaches the finish line. I personally feel that Shenmue still have many things to teach us about ambitious game design/philosophy(A way of life)/& many other forms of inspirations to explore. Suzuki's magnum opus once completed will be a great classic for any dev's/enthusiasts/mature gamers willing to study & embrace it. Hopefully, it'll influence them to help carry the torch of progress forward in this stagnated industry.
Agreed on all points. I see far more obscure games keep getting new entries. Romance of three kingdoms keeps chugging for example and I've never met anyone whose played them. Something like Ace Combat has a relatively niche appeal but they do enough to keep making them. It's THQN's approach to Darksiders that have swung it for me. DS 3 was obviously a mid budget production, and they've just come out with a new one to much better reviews. Shenmue's a key IP in the Deep Silver portfolio, who wouldn't want a series with a dedicated ravenous fanbase pre installed for relative peanuts?

Think a Shenmue 4 collectors edition with high quality extras would sell to a lot of previous high tier Backers. I know I would get one without a second thought.
I think the key piece here is Yu actually visiting Shanghai for research purposes post launch, that coupled with his explicit remarks to continue would point to S4 at least being in initial development... I don't think it's anywhere but early stages (except for bits cut from S3 obviously).

The one bit I think needs reeling in from the evidence is the $9m figure Epic may have paid to make it exclusive... With nothing but Control to base that on. It must have been substantial but we shouldn't guess the figure...

Raises a question though- that deal came fairly late in development didn't it? It was certainly announced late so I'd say safe to say wasn't finalised or paid until late.... If Yu ran out of money was the money from that Epic deal actually to partially fund and have exclusivity on S4 as well?! Not sure if that's been discussed before, apologies if so...
I think it will happen. I mean, the thing made 6 million in the Kickstarter alone. All up with Deep Silvers investment, it was what? 12 million to make? That sounds a lot to you and me, but for game development? It's nothing. It's a minor budget. Considering Koch didn't really spend all that much in marketing it, maybe they see it as profitable enough to keep it going under a strict budget? The ground work is done. You have the assets in place. Really all that has to be done for a sequel is new assets like new maps, recraft NPCs, maybe some new moves, refinement on the combat system (throws?), new voice recordings, new cinematics and so on. But if you keep the assets you already have Yakuza style and keep building on top then really, what's stopping them from keeping this going on a similarly tight budget? Don't go full hock, spend as much as you need and no more. Keep the budget low. They know they have an inbuilt audience who will see it through until the end. Keep the budget low and just keep building on top of what they have.

Other games have done worse in sales and still found themselves getting sequels. Deadly Premonition is getting a sequel! I mean if that game can get a sequel considering it apparently didn't do well financially on release (it since has grown an audience and made some money or following to justify a sequel obviously) then surely Shenmue can!

I too think it's entirely possible. I think Koch Media/Deep Silver probably had realistic expectations for Shenmue III, and they obviously know more than we do in terms of how well it did actually do sales wise. I think it's entirely possible they keep it going...for at least one more instalment... IV could be the last ditch effort; as in 'we're giving you one last chance, make it count!' But who knows?

I still think it is possible we get to IV at least. Whether the series continues after IV remains unknown. Will he be able to see it through to his grand vision? Or will he have to compromise and try to make it work for IV? That remains to be seen.
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