Shenmue Released Online. On Mobile Platforms. In Japan.

Upon its release, Shenmue was the most expensive video game ever made. Not surprisingly, Sega expected big success from Yu Suzuki’s pet project. The modern-day martial arts epic was a critical hit, but the Dreamcast was struggling in the worldwide market. A cult following and strong-enough sales allowed for a sequel to be produced, yet the Dreamcast didn’t last that long (Shenmue II eventually come out in the North American market for the original Xbox, Japan and Europe received a Dreamcast version).

Over a decade since inception and years of Shenmue Online rumors/delays/details, Shenmue has finally hit the Internet, in a legal sense. Shenmue City, produced and directed by Yu Suzuki, went live in Japan on Yahoo’s mobile gaming platform a few days ago. As you may expect from the platform of choice, Shenmue City is nothing like its predecessors. Set in the same world, actually during chapter one of Shenmue, the game sounds like numerous free-to-play browser games. Gameplay details lead me to believe it’s along the lines of a martial arts Shakes + Fidget with extra social aspects.

Now, you may be wondering why I’m talking about a game that (probably) none of us will ever play. It’s simple really; Yu Suzuki said that the future of the franchise rests upon Shenmue City’s critical and commercial success. That means our ability to continue Ryo Hazuki’s revenge tale ultimately depends on notoriously fickle mobile gamers.



  1. I’m so torn on this whole idea. Shenmue (and Shenmue II) is one of my favorite games of all time, I must have put hundreds of hours into the game simply because I found it to be that fun. Yet, this new online game is so different from the original play style of Shenmue that I just don’t know if I like such a deviation from the game I orginally came to love. But still, I want to support the only people that want to make Shenmue III. So I suppose, I’m left to praise a game I’m not entirely sure that I like myself. So, I’m with you iTZKooPA…


  2. i just hope it not too much like gta…. i loved shenmue and get nostalgic just thinking about it.. i i wish i could play it again *sigh*
    and although shenmue is the predecessor to gta and led the way in open-world adventure video games they might be looking at gta and what made it successful and possibly take attributes of it as well.
    fingers-crossed they dont but.. yea (ramble, ramble) :)

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