In an interview with 1Up.com, the creator of the classic Shenmue series confirmed that the concept for a possible third installment in the franchise has already been created. While he did not indicate whether the game is currently in production at Sega, he did say that in comparison to the first two installments in the series, the game would focus a lot more on the player than the actual in-game world.
A lengthy quote of Yu Suzuki can be found after the jump, as well as a link to the full interview.
When asked what direction Suzuki would like to take with a possible third installment, Suzuki stated:
“The concept for Shenmue 3 already exists, so… […] The world of Shenmue 1 and 2 expanded outward. So, for example, in the original games, of all the data used for dialogue in the game, the main characters’ dialogue was about 20%. The remaining 80% was dialogue by characters other than the two main characters. But Shenmue 3 doesn’t expand outward, but inward. A lot of the dialogue is used for the main character and especially dialogue with Shenhua. They talk about a lot of different, deeper things. For example, and I can’t say too much, but here’s an example.
This is not actually in the game, but as an example to give you an idea of what I mean by deeper dialogue, when Shenhua and Ryo are at home, Shenhua will ask Ryo if he would like to drink tea or coffee and the player will select one or the other. Or, Shenhua will ask Ryo a hypothetical question like: “There are four animals; a monkey, cat, dog and bird. You are crossing the river but you need to leave one behind. Which one will you leave behind?” And the player has to choose one. Shenhua will ask lots and lots of questions like these and the answers will get stored in the game and affect the outcome of the player’s relationship with other characters. It’s like a personality test. For example, the person who leaves behind the monkey is the type of person who leaves their wife.”
The full interview can be found here.