SEGA Was Thinking of Shenmue I & II Before The Shenmue III Was Announced
Sega Europe's Executive Vice President of Publishing, John Clark, has provided the first details about how the Shenmue I & II collection was actually built and revealed that the project kicked off before the third game was even announced.
"We saw the talk surrounding the announcement of Shenmue III, and we saw the demand for that game," said Clark. "(Ports of) Shenmue I & II had been a discussion pre-Shenmue III, but I think that it all helped raise the awareness internally and externally."
In particular, the move was due to the increasing popularity of Japanese video games in the Western countries, with a big focus on series such as Yakuza and Valkyrie Chronicles on top of other PC ports of older games.
"I think it was inevitable Shenmue I & II was going to come out; the Western market was expanding in its desire for more Japanese content," Clark added., as "that triggered renewed interest in the West for [Sega's] Japanese titles, and they started to go to a bigger audience in the West than they had, say, 10 years or 15 years ago."
"It was encouraging for us and for Sega in Japan to see that. I think that influenced and gave us leverage on the kind of titles we could bring out, titles like Shenmue."
Shenmue I & II is dropping at some point in 2018, most probably slightly before Shenmue III, which is also officially scheduled for this year. It carries a price tag of $29.99 and will launch with an Achievement Support.