In a Facebook post shared in December 2019, Lakshya Digital, a studio that cooperated with Ys Net on animation and VFX for Shenmue III, hinted at a possible release of Shenmue IV in the future.
While it’s far from a confirmation that a sequel is currently scheduled, the post reveals that the team at Lakshya was encharged with the making of “83 characters over a period of almost one year” for Shenmue III and that they “look forward to working on Shenmue IV very soon.”
The choice of words looks way too specific to be just a wish. The studio claims they’ll be working on the next chapter in Ryo’s journey “very soon,” and even the title, “Shenmue IV,” not merely a generic follow up or any other game from Yu Suzuki really goes into details.
The post might be speculation only, but Suzuki himself, as a user posted on ResetEra, hinted at his will to craft a brand new game in the franchise in 2020 already. He said his keyword for 2020 is “a new project start,” and that he wants “to leverage my know-how from Shenmue III and focus on planning a world with even more freedom.”
The plan is already there for Shenmue IV, and the idea is to create “a world with even more freedom.”
That looks expensive, and in the recent Ys Net had to work with an external publisher, Deep Silver, to afford the creation of an open world for Shenmue III; Kickstarter funds wouldn’t have been enough. Could this also be a hint at Suzuki skipping crowdfunding this time and renewing his partnership with Deep Silver?
Last year we looked at Shenmue III‘s sales, and it didn’t look like they could lead to another game in the franchise. Luckily enough for fans, though, it seems that the plan for a sequel is already in place and Suzuki might be allowed, despite a strong commercial performance, to fulfill his vision for the series.