Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Famitsu Interview with Yu Suzuki | Full Translation | 22 Aug, 2017

This is a full translation of an interview that was held with Yu Suzuki by Famitsu at Gamescom on August 22nd. (The accompanying images are not from the original article).

The interview begins below.

Q: To start with, could you tell us about the current state of the development?

YS: When we announced the revision to the release schedule the other day, our discussions with Deep Silver were already advanced. With Deep Silver to become our partner, I realized that we would be able to aim even higher than our initial goals. However, for that additional development time would be needed, so in order for us to adopt these, I set the release timing to the last half of 2018.

Q: Could you recount for us how you came to make a partnership with Deep Silver?

YS: During our search for partners, Deep Silver was recommended to us by several people. After I spoke with them in person in Munich, I became sure that I would like to partner with them, and formed my decision.

Q: Has anything changed about the development environment after gaining the new partner?

YS: Going back to what I mentioned earlier, it has enabled us to enrich the content of the game. Although revising the schedule may have caused concern, we have had a lot of encouragement from people who are excited the game will be enhanced, which I am happy about.

Q: In the latest trailer that you have released for Gamescom, the starting scene appears to show the ending of Shenmue II... can we assume that the story of Shenmue III will start from that scene?

The cave where we left Ryo and Shenhua at the end of Shenmue II.
The cave where we left Ryo and Shenhua at the end of Shenmue II.
YS: By reproducing the cave from the final scene of Shenmue II using technology that's 15 or 16 years on [from Shenmue II's release], I wanted to show the difference compared to the second game; by increasing the expressiveness, I believe the story's message is heightened. Shenmue III's story starts from the day after the final scene in Shenmue II.

Q: So it really is just after, then. By the way, how do you envisage supporting game fans that have not yet played the first two games?

YS: My thought is to create a visually-based digest that introduces the past story. I haven't yet decided whether this will take the form of a movie or not, however.

Q: Something like the digest movie that accompanied Shenmue II?

YS: I think it will be something simpler than that one.

In addition, Ryo is now following the tracks of his father, so within the story there are times he recalls things from the past, and in the game he can also make international phone calls to characters from the past games. At these times the game may include his reminiscing - "I remember that time with them...".

[When dealing with the story from the past games,] relying on a single movie isn't elegant, so I think it's better to spread it out. I believe we have to make it enjoyable also for people starting from Shenmue III, but at the same time there are parts that will bring a smile to those who have played I and II.

Q: Next, I'd like to ask about the systems [games, jobs etc] in Shenmue III. You have previously talked about Bailu Village, Choubu and Baisha, and stated that there will be different ways to have fun at each. Could you give a little more detail about what those would consist of?

YS: I can't comment in depth yet, since there may be changes as we tune the game, but at the moment, for example, we're putting a lot of effort creating them in Choubu. They also include some "Shenmue-esque" elements. Such things as tortoises, ducks and frogs will be making an appearance! [laughs]

Q: Meaning there will be some kind of game that uses them?!  There was a duck race in Shenmue II, but...

YS: There will also be a race. And I also want to include lure fishing. I have a system planned where various people will tell you about fishing spots, and you can sell the fish you've caught to earn money.

Q: Are there any other ways to make money?

YS: There will be wood-chopping.

Q: Wood-chopping! And how about forklifts...?

A forklift reference contained in the December 2017 Kickstarter Update.
A forklift reference contained in the December 2017 Kickstarter Update.
YS: Forklifts... if I don't include them, everyone will be upset with me. [laughs] Forklifts are being readied.

Q: We can't wait to find out more. Speaking of which, we'd also like to find out more about battles...

YS: It's a part that depends on playing skills, and I'd like to incorporate a new system for that. Of course, I'm also considering a new version of QTEs. Moves will become usable through a kind of skill tree, but moves will be gradually accumulated through normal play; I don't plan to make it difficult to learn new moves.

Q: Next, I'd like to ask about the characters. New characters were introduced in the Development Reports, but what kind of roles will these characters have? For a start, there was a girl holding a broom...

YS: She is someone whose existence I would like to make similar to Fang-mei in Shenmue II. I don't know to what extent we will be able to implement that aspect however...

Q: How about the lady who looks like a "Mom"? [see image below]

Character introduced in the end-of-June update.

YS: She's a hotel owner. So you will be able to meet her on a daily basis [laughs]. Having such distinctive qualities in a character is great, isn't it.

Q: Going forward, what kind of schedule do you have planned for releasing new Shenmue III information? Will you be at the Tokyo Games Show?

YS: There's no plan to participate in the Tokyo Games Show this year. I think full-scale promotion will be a little further in the future.

My attendance at this Gamescom event is due to Deep Silver becoming a partner, and because I wanted to let everyone know that development of the game is making good progress. We will be expanding into global marketing going forward, with the year-end likely to be the earliest.

Q: I'm curious about the timing of the scheduled distribution of the trial version [reward] to backers...?

YS: Regarding the trial version, I'd like to spend time considering the best form for it to take. Ideally, I'd like it to be something along the lines of the trial version for Shenmue I.

Q: How were the reward dinners that you held with backers?

Yu Suzuki & backers at the Japan Dinner in 2016
Yu Suzuki with backers at the Japan Dinner in 2016
YS: It truly touched my heart. They were attended by passionate fans, and their feedback was "Yu-san, please make a game that you will be happy with".

I really feel a deep sense of responsibility.

Q: Finally, could you give a message to everyone as they look forward to the game's release?

YS: The point I'd most like to communicate is that we have gained a strong partner in Deep Silver, which has allowed us to aim for a "beefed-up" Shenmue III. Thank you to everyone for your support.

Source (Japanese):
Translated by Switch @

If quoting from this translation, please include a reference back to this page. Thank you.

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  1. Thank you for keeping us updated on all the Shenmue 3 news specially from japan. Thanks Switch.


  3. Great interview thanks for posting, It's really re-assuring to hear that budget for game development has increased with the Deep Silver partnership.

    1. Yes, it's very positive news for the project.

  4. Switch - many thanks for this. Excellent translation. iyapol

  5. Thank you, mate. For all of this. For making available all of this rich info. to all the fans around the world. Thank you.

  6. Thank you to everyone for leaving your comments and feedback!