Saturday, August 26, 2017

4Gamer Interview with Yu Suzuki @Gamescom | Full Translation

We're pleased to present another fresh interview with Yu Suzuki from the Gamescom event, this one by the Japanese site 4Gamer.

The interview translation begins below.

Release Date Extension For a "Pretty Positive Reason"

Q: Thank you for your time today. To get started right away, there was a teaser trailer released to the public for Gamescom. Why Gamescom and not E3?

YS: If the contract with Deep Silver had been completed prior to E3 2017, that might have been an option.

Time was needed for the final signing, so the trailer's release timing ended up being Gamescom.

Q: Oh, that's how it was.

Now, could you tell us afresh the reason for choosing Deep Silver as publisher?

YS: After announcing Shenmue III, we immediately launched a Kickstarter campaign, and that turned out a success.

However, as far as creating an open-world game, even with that the budget wasn't sufficient. So I continued to look for a company we could partner with, and among the several names on my list was Deep Silver.

Q: What was the deciding factor?

YS: Deep Silver had collaborated with SEGA before, and also they were recommended by someone I trust. So I decided to pay a visit to their headquarters, with the end result being that a contract was agreed. I'm feeling relieved we were in time for Gamescom.

Q: After the release date extension was announced there wasn't a lot that seemed to happen, so fans may also be relieved at learning about your partnership with Deep Silver.

YS: In fact, when I announced the change to the release date, the prospect of a contract with Deep Silver was looking promising. Since I made the decision to increase the game's scale and go with an open world, we had more to do and so the extension came about as a result.

Q: I see. So it wasn't due to the negative reason of development running late.

YS: No, the extension is for a pretty positive reason. In an open-world game, a certain quantity of physical things are necessary. When Shenmue III was at a stage prior to forming a contract with Deep Silver, it was slightly too cramped to be called open world.

Q: Through realizing a partnership with Deep Silver, you are "closer to the ideal" then, would you say?

YS: Yes. To demonstrate with a simple example: the number of NPCs in the second town you reach had been planned at 50 ~ 60, but after increasing the game's scale that number will now be around 200.

The Aim is "Reality", Not "Realistic"

Q: In our interview with you 2 years ago, you commented regarding the trailer released at Shenmue III's announcement that it had "ended up with a California humidity". Is the new trailer closer to your ideal humidity?

YS: Yes, we've reached the point where you can feel the humidity. Going forward, I'm aiming for graphics you can smell.

Q: Graphics you can smell?

YS: We were able to do it with Shenmue and Shenmue II, so I would like to realize it for Shenmue III as well. Like if some meat has been left out in the blazing sun without being stored in a refrigerator, then just looking at it makes you go "Ew!" - that kind of thing is something I think we'll be able to realize right away.

Q: Would the ideal goal be something like being able to look at scenery that has no characters present and know it's Shenmue III, no matter which part you pick?

YS: Yes, that's how I want to make it.

Q: What's the reason for your focus on humidity?

YS: I'd have to say creating a reality. Just being realistic isn't interesting, so my approach is to embellish it a touch further.

Around the time of the first and second Shenmue games, everyone wanted graphics that were as realistic as possible. However now, we're in an era where achieving that is taken for granted.

Q: Does that mean you're aiming for something that goes beyond "realistic"?

YS: For example, something like a realistic facial expression is something that can be readily realized through face capture.

However, with that you're limited to being able to portray someone who actually exists. If the goal is something that will be interesting as entertainment, then rather than depicting something that exists as-is, I think you have to exaggerate from there, to a certain extent.

The Story Starts 6 Hours After the Shenmue II Ending

Q: Please tell us a bit about the story. How long after the ending of Shenmue II is Shenmue III's story?

YS: A day, or more precisely 6 hours later.

Q: So, that is to say it's set straight after the ending of Shenmue II.

YS: Yes. More than 15 years have passed since the release of II, but in the game only 6 hours have gone by. [laughs]

Q: If that's the case, mightn't it be hard for people who haven't played I and II to follow?

YS: Of course, for new players we have a mechanism in place that so that they can understand the story.

Q: What sort of thing is that, more specifically?

YS: You will be able to telephone characters from I and II, and scenes that you recall will be introduced.

Q: Oh, so rather than forcibly showing a movie partway through, it's a system where those who want to learn more can check it out?

YS: That's right. 

However, the content of the conversations you have with the characters will be interesting, so people who have played I and II will also be able to enjoy them.

Q: There are still a heap of things we would like to ask about, but since our time is almost up, could you please give a message to all the fans looking forward to the release?

YS: Through the partnership we have formed with Deep Silver, I believe we will now be able to deliver a game that pursues an open world nature. Thank you for your continued support.

Thank you very much.

Source (Japanese): 4Gamer
Translated by Switch @

If quoting from this translation, please include a reference back to this page. Thank you.
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  1. It is comforting to know he is still aiming for a distinct graphical aesthetic for Shenmue III. Here is hoping he and Ysnet can pull it off.

    Thanks again Switch.

    1. Thanks Jc. Yes, and it sounds like the additional funding from Deep Silver will help allow him give it his best shot.

  2. These are great news. I can already feel the "Humidity". [laughs]

    1. The environments are already have a very Shenmue feel. don't they!