Friday, September 29, 2023

Yu Suzuki Confirms Desire to Make Shenmue IV (TGS 2023)

Yu Suzuki's Livestream with IGN Japan 

Yu Suzuki attended the Tokyo Game Show last week to promote the upcoming release of the YS Net arcade game Air Twister for the PC and consoles, having been originally released last year for Apple devices.

On the third day of the event, Suzuki appeared as a guest on a livestream with Esra Krabbe of IGN Japan.

While the talk was centered around Air Twister, Suzuki made comments about future ideas, touched on a new unspecified project YS Net has underway and even spoke briefly on Shenmue. This post picks up conversation snippets of particular interest.

Yu Suzuki Classics Re-imagined

With Air Twister having its roots in Yu Suzuki's classic arcade game Space Harrier, Suzuki was asked if he has any plans to develop further games similarly inspired by his other past hit games such as Out Run, Power Drift, Hang On, After Burner and so on.
Yu Suzuki: I'd like to make a kind of set of around six games... that's if discussions happen about something like that. It would be nice to have them collected together, don't you think? Like a series.


Air Twister Special Edition: Yu Suzuki Interview Booklet

It was highlighted that the Special Edition of Air Twister will come with a booklet containing an extended written interview with Yu Suzuki.

Esra Krabbe:
I was the one who conducted the interview with you, and it lasted for about three hours if I recall correctly. While the booklet is for Air Twister, I have a feeling it also touches on Shenmue quite a lot - my bad! It has a lot about your upbringing and contains stories that we haven't heard before, doesn't it.
Yu Suzuki: Yes, it has quite a few in-depth stories.

Esra Krabbe:  I think we spoke for around three hours. I think that your fans can look forward to both the actual game as well as the interview.

New Project In Progress


Esra Krabbe: Recently you've announced Air Twister, but are there still various other games you're planning to create going forwards?

Yu Suzuki: I can't talk about it yet, but we're working on something.

Esra Krabbe: Oh, really? That's big news just to mention casually! I hope it was okay for you to say it.

Yu Suzuki: [laughs] I can't say any more than that.

Esra Krabbe: Well, hearing that there's something else to for fans to look forward to is really good news.

Yu Suzuki: It's still in development right now, so...

Esra Krabbe: I'm looking forward to it!

Shenmue's Influence

Esra Krabbe: I myself of course love Shenmue, and at the session just a little while ago there was a Japanese game set in the 1980's, so I asked them whether it had been influenced by Shenmue. And that turned out to be the case*! They said that they started development when they had been playing Shenmue I and wanted to incorporate the atmosphere of Japan in the 1980s. Recently do you also come across a lot of people who admire or have been influenced by Shenmue?

Yu Suzuki: Being at the game show today, I've been meeting a lot of different people who have said things like their life was changed by Shenmue, or that they started creating games thanks to Shenmue. I'm extremely happy to receive comments like that.

 *Note from Switch: the game being referred to is "Last Time I Saw You". There is a free demo currently out on Steam. I've made an introductory post about it here.

Yu Suzuki On Shenmue IV

Esra Krabbe: There are a lot of people who have been influenced by Shenmue in this way. We'll soon be coming up to 4 years since Shenmue III [was released]. Are you still wanting to continue on with Shenmue? 

Yu Suzuki: Yes, of course. Because it's still partway through.

Esra Krabbe: So it sounds like you have a lot of possibilities and things you'd like to do, such as Shenmue, arcade-style games, as well as a lot of other ideas?

Yu Suzuki: Yes, there's a lot I'd like to do... it's a matter of having the opportunity. If I meet the right people, or can find the right partner.

Esra Krabbe: Publishers, if you are listening...! I'm looking forward to what you will surprise all the fans with next.


IGN Japan Video

IGN Japan's full Air Twister segment with Yu Suzuki, from which the above interactions were extracted, is embedded below. Auto-translate captions are available.

Air Twister for PC & Consoles

Air Twister will become available in both physical and digital formats for Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4 & 5 and digitally for Xbox and PC on November 10, 2023. There will also be a Special Edition that comes with extras.

The Air Twister Special Edition, at right, includes soundtrack, interview booklet & art

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  1. "there was a Japanese game set in the 1980's, so I asked them whether it had been influenced by Shenmue. And that turned out to be the case!" - Do we know which video game Esra is talking about?

    1. Update: the video game Esra is referring to is called "Last Time I Saw You" and can be seen in the IGN Japan livestream two segments before Yu Suzuki. You can download a free demo on Steam. I'll make a short post about it too.