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07/29/06- Shenmue Online at China Games Show

Shenmue Online has made a big splash at the China Games show. We have media from the trailer shown at the show. The game is now expected to be released sometime in 2007.

"As I'm the general director of Shenmue Online, I make a decision on everything. I'd like to create a game that satisfies myself, otherwise the players wouldn't be satisfied. I trust my team, and if we take sufficient time, our ideal work will be completed." ~Yu Suzuki~




YouTube Playlist- 14 Videos

Screenshots from official trailer: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 |
Pictures from the event: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 |
New screenshots: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 |
(more) 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 |

02/15/06- Kikizo Interview with Yu Suzuki

11/04/05- Yu Suzuki interview explains current progress
Source: GNN

"Shenmue online will take place where Shenmue 2 took place, specifically, Hong Kong and China. Yu says that without the characters of Shenmue, then it won't be Shenmue, so he promises all the main characters will appear in Shenmue Online as NPC's. They will take part in the story and act as central figures of the game to progress the players of the game.

Players will join 1 of 3 clans lead by Sha Hua, XiuYing, and WuYing, and go through the story by completing tasks given by the leaders. Or course, during the course of the story, each clan will interact with one another in both friendly and hostile situations. LanDi and Ryo will definitely make appearances in those situations as well.

Yu states that even though the Korean company JCE had announced their withdrawal from development, since Shenmue Online is a Sega venture, they will fulfill their duty of completing it. Yu says despite the internet rumors, development is well on its way and following their original goals and target. He adds that Sega Sammy will make an official announcement about it's progress in the future.

When asked about the various activities possible in Shenmue2 and whether they will make it into Shenmue Online, Yu says that the arcade games will definitely make it in, and 2/3rds of the things like working, collecting capsule toys, etc, from Shenmue2 will make it into Shenmue Online, along with much more contents exclusive to Shenmue Online. Yu adds that the game will take place not only in Hong Kong and China, but Macao as well, Yu smiled when he was asked what will the players be able to do in Macao. (Macao is Hong Kong's gambling and red light district.)

Yu says that QTE's will make it into Shenmue Online; but conceptually, it is impossible to implement the exact same kind of QTE into an online game. So in Shenmue Online, QTE's will be something geared towards an online MMO game, but since the implementation haven't been finalized yet, he can't go into specifics.

Yu states that Shenmue's world is very suitable for online play. Shenmue Online's world will be much bigger than the home versions thus far, including over 1200 buildings/locations, and it will be possible for each player to have his or her own house. Yu adds that he has always been very fond of Chinese culture, so he is very happy that Shenmue is liked by the Chinese gamers. This is why he is making this game for the Chinese market. But from a game perspective, Shenmue Online will include many things that all gamers will be able to enjoy.

The interview then talks about Yu's desire to bring Psy Phi to the Taiwan Sega locations. How he was injured by a drunken Bajichuan martial artist in China when he was doing research for VF4, and that he spent 6,000,000 yen to rent out Fuji Speedway for making Ferrari 355, etc.

Lastly the pictures provided by Sega Sammy are in real time, so the final game will be up to the quality of those pictures. Yu adds that he will try make an official announcement about the game's details as quickly as he can, to the Taiwanese gamers, and that Sega Sammy also have plans to make some announcements.

11/02/05- Shenmue Online still in devolopment
Source: IGN

Moving on to Shenmue Online, which was recently rumored to be cancelled due to development conflicts, Suzuki is quick to assure: "reports of a halt in development are completely unfounded. We have daily meetings and are currently working hard on the game's development. Rest assured." Shenmue Online is currently in development in Taiwan as a massively multiplayer Online title where players are placed in the world of Suzuki's Dreamcast epic, Shenmue.

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Platform: PC

Genre: MMORPG (massive multiplayer online RPG)

Release Date: Early 2006

Developers: JCE Entertainment Corporation / Digitalrex

System Requirements: Pentium4 2.0 GHz, 256MB RAM, GeForce 4 and DirectX 9.0 or higher

August 3rd, 2004, in Shangai, China, SEGA and JC entertainment have announced a business allience to co-develop and co-publish Shenmue Online. A massively multi-player online game (MMOG) for the PC platform with a 30 billion won (US$28 mil) budget. Also, SEGA has the basic agreement with T2 Technology Holdings Inc. to allow T2 technology to license China online game operations of Shenmue Online.

JC will manage the content development, Korea online game operation and marketing of Shenmue Online while SEGA will also be responsible for content development and supervise the ongoing of developmnt and licensing related to the online-game in each territory exept Korea. In addition, Yu Suzuki, the creator of Shenmue and SEGA's R&D Creative Officer, will supervise ongoing activities for the game.

Shenmue Online is an MMO Action Rpg in which tens of thousands of players will participate in the virtual world of Shenmue staged in China including Hong Kong in the 1980's. Players acting as militants will use mysterious powers, Kung-Fu, Chinese weapons and Qigong in real-time fighting action.

Sept 21st 2004 update: New information comes from Yu Suzuki in a press conference in Korea.

*The development staff of Shenmue Online consists of 35 JCE employees,10 SEGA employees and 30 others, that makes 75 in total.

*There're three types of fighters: "Martial artists" who fight with bare hands,"Kyokaku" who fight with weapons and "Sendo" who fight with magic or qigong.

*Shenmue Online will consist of 150 quests, which will surpass the original Shenmue's 120.

*According to Yu Suzuki, the most notable part of this game is the fight scenes that are based on the knowhow of Virtua Fighter. Unlike Virtua Fighter, Shenmue Online can be controlled easily with keyboard and mouse.

* The English translations for the "Kyokaku" and "Sendo" groups are unknown as of now.

Sept 7th 2004 update: New information from the Shenmue-Online official website, translated by Kiyuu.

*Shenmue Online is developed mainly (90%) by JCE, under the close supervision of SEGA.

*At first, Yu Suzuki approached US companies about the collaboration in developing online
games. Till that point, he had no particular intention of making Shenmue an online game.

*When he chose JCE as a partner eventually, JCE said they wanted Shenmue, nothing else.

*SEGA accepted to supply all the necessary technical supports to JCE, and the profit
would be shared between them by 50:50.

*Yu Suzuki and JCE spent about one year to discuss over the project before starting
the development. And now, he's supervising the development fairly closely.

*The Shenmue Online universe will be 3 to 4 times larger than that of the original
Shenmue. The locations will include some major cities in Korea, and China.

Game information
In Shenmue Online, you do not play as Ryo Hazuki. Instead, the player will be who they want to be. Shenmue Online does not continue the Shenmue story, nor is it related to the actual story. The player will meet and interact with characters of the Shenmue series along with tens of thousands of other players in an alternate reality. Acting as militants, players will use a variety of Kung-Fu, Chinese weapons and mysterious Chinese powers.

(Translated summary of Yu Suzuki unveiling Shenmue Online)
We released Shenmue 1 in 1999, and Shenmue 2 in 2001. I’d been interested in MMO very much, but I had no chance to materialize it as there’s not much know-how on MMO in Japan. But finally, I made this project come true with the help of JCE in Korea. As Shenmue involves vast fields and plenty of characters, as many as 1300 people, I believe it’s the best suited game for MMO.

We’ll import about 150 events from the original games to cover the whole story and we’ll add 100 - 150 new events. We’re also planning to include our “mini-games” as we did in the past. People tend to think Hong Kong is the main stage of Shenmue, but originally, the story should be unfolded mostly in the main land China. It begins in Hong Kong and expands into the other areas, such as Guilin, Suzhou, Xian and so on, both in the minor version-ups, or the major version-ups.

This game will contain all the general MMO components, such as communities, level-ups, items, etc, but the most distinctive feature would be “the battles.” It’s the battle-centered game featuring the Chinese martial arts, for I’ve been craving to introduce the martial arts into MMO properly. But, we won’t make it as maniac as Virtua Fighter, but would like it more suitable for MMO that can be played by anyone.

The characters that were already employed in the original games would appear as “the Game Masters,” and we’ll make new playable characters as “the player characters.” Players will pick out one character from the three groups of militants and customize it. The first group includes the fighters that use traditional martial arts. The second group consists of the street fighters. Some of them use weapons that we’ve never allowed in the past. The third group includes people who use mysterious powers, such as qigong, magic, etc. We also have a group of ghostly “enemies,” strange characters for Shenmue as variations.

www.shenmue-online.com
A new website dedicated to the Shenmue Online title was opened on August 3rd, 2004.

Shenmue Online Artwork


CG promo and misc screens

Release Date

As of now, Shenmue Online is only slated for a release in Korea and China, it has been in development since Feb 2003. There have been no known plans of other territory releases. Beta testing of Shenmue Online will take place in Korea starting this November, followed by a period of open beta testing in early 2005. The game is scheduled to launch in Korea in Summer 2005 and in China sometime later that year

Sept 24th 2004 update:During the Shenmue Online presentation at Tokyo Game Show 2004, word was given that Shenmue Online is unoffiically looking to start service in Japan by the end of the year 2005.

Sept 19th 2004 update:In the Korean conference on Sept 17th, it was said that the possibility for release in other territories like the U.S, Japan, Europe and Taiwan is being investigated.

 

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