It appears that the third installment of Shenmue might not be the only title from the franchise that’s scheduled for launch this year. In a new report from Rice Digital, a trusted source close to Atlus USA revealed that there is apparently an HD remaster of Shenmue and Shenmue 2 in the works, and both titles are supposedly scheduled for release later this year on PC. The reported plan was to release both HD remasters at the same time as a lead-in for the release of Shenmue 3, which is rumored to be pushed back to 2018.
No official statement has been released about the supposed Shenmue 1 and 2 HD remasters at the time of writing, but this will come as no surprise to fans as this isn’t the first time these rumors have come up. Speculation over these potential re-releases began 10 months ago when it was reported that Sega were interested in remastering Shenmue, though nothing ultimately came out of it. However, the rumors kicked up again just two months ago when Sega of Europe registered a pair of online domain names, both of which alluded to a supposed Shenmue HD remaster.
Until these rumors are officially confirmed or denied by Sega, it is perhaps wise to take everything with a big grain of salt. Having said that, a remastered re-release of the first two Shenmue games could ultimately vital to the success of the upcoming third installment.
While Shenmue 3 is among Kickstarter’s most successful video game projects thanks to the support of long-time fans, 16 years would have passed between the second game and the forthcoming third game, meaning that newcomers to the series would be unaware of the events that have happened so far. Given the serialized nature of Shenmue‘s story, it would be in everyone’s favor for the re-release of the first two games in order to not only reacquaint older fans with the what’s happened so far, but to also draw in a new fanbase.
It is certain that Shenmue 3 will be coming soon (and potentially a Shenmue 4), but it remains to be seen whether a Shenmue 1 and 2 HD remaster is indeed in the works so stay tuned for more updates and announcements related to this story.
Do you think a HD remaster of Shenmue 1 and 2 is indeed coming? Let us know in the comments below.