Several years ago, Sega lost the trademark for Shenmue, but ultimately the company managed to retain the rights by re-registering for them not too long after, and it has even gone so far as to secure the licenses for HD and remastered versions of the game earlier this year. While this has pointed toward the possibility of fans eventually being able to experience updated editions of the first two releases in the series, Sega has now officially confirmed that it is “actively pursuing” HD remasters of the title.
According to Sega Europe’s executive vice president of publishing, John Clark, plans for remastered Shenmue games have been something the company has wanted to put into motion for quite some time. Nevertheless, while the Sega executive has confirmed that it’s a project that the firm desires to implement, Clark stopped short of directly confirming that remasters for Shenmue 1 and 2 are presently in the works.
“It’s something we would love to make happen, something we are trying to make happen. I think we want it to happen as much as anybody out there. Yes, it’s a serious task and it’s not a task that we’re not working on, if that makes sense. It’s something we’re actively pursuing.”
Although Clark didn’t openly declare that Shenmue 1 and 2 remasters are currently in the process of being created, the phrase “it’s not a task we’re not working on” sounds like the exact kind of corporate double-speak that has to be used in public discourse in order to avoid revealing concrete information too soon. So, even though it hasn’t been locked in as an inevitability just yet, it’s safe to presume we will see HD updates of the games sometime in the near future.
Of course, with Shenmue 3‘s release having recently been delayed until the second half of 2018, there’s a chance that fans won’t be able to get their hands on remasters of the first two games until next year as well. After all, it would make the most sense for Sega to launch the HD versions of the titles sometime around the availability of the third entry in order to fully capitalize on gamers’ peak interest in the franchise.
While Sega is “actively pursuing” HD remasters of Shenmue, no official release date or platforms have been announced.