Legendary game developer Yu Suzuki has said SEGA will "probably" let him create Shenmue 3.
"Probably SEGA will let me make it," he told an audience at the Game Developers Conference. "I think. It's simply a problem of budget."
SEGA put an end to the expensive, revered Shenmue series after a second Dreamcast instalment. Simply, sales didn't justify the investment.
"Well, I want to make it," Suzuki said of a third game in the series, as reported by Gamasutra. "About 200 people will buy it, I think. But funding is an issue."
The first Shemue game, apparently, "only" cost $47 million to make – and that was in 1999. "Well, maybe I shouldn't say only," he joked. "We spent it on development and marketing... actually where did we spend it again?"
Last year Suzuki tantalisingly teased that Shenmue 3 was much more than a fantasy - it existed. "The concept for Shenmue 3 already exists, so..." Suzuki said.
"Shenmue 3 doesn't expand outward, but inward," he said at the time. "A lot of the dialogue is used for the main character and especially dialogue with Shenhua [the girl]. They [Shenhua and Ryo] talk about a lot of different, deeper things.
"This is not actually in the game, but 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."
Shenmue 2 was released in 2001, and may have been the most anticipated Dreamcast game ever.
Get your first month for £1 (normally £3.99) when you buy a Standard Eurogamer subscription. Enjoy ad-free browsing, merch discounts, our monthly letter from the editor, and show your support with a supporter-exclusive comment flair!