Ys Net, developers of the upcoming, long-awaited and fan-financed Shenmue 3, announced today in a new Kickstarter post that another director who worked on the original Shenmue has joined their team.
Keiji Okayasu was program director on the first game and served through 70% of the second. He’s now president of a small Japanese development company, but he jumped at the chance to contribute to another Shenmue. Okayasu spoke in a new video accompanying the post.
“I have just recently joined the team. I thought I would be another fan waiting excitedly for the release, but as it is, I get to once again be a part of the team,” Okayasu said. “Of course I want to help finish the game, and do it so the fans will be satisfied. That means making it interesting for everyone who played I and II, and everyone who will be experiencing Shenmue for the first time.”
“What I personally want to stress for my part, is what makes Shenmue, Shenmue. The game has an utterly unique atmosphere, and I want that all to be breathed in. As you play along, you feel the ambiance, the milieu, from place to place, getting that full sensory experience. It is about that natural atmosphere, as best as I can call it, because Shenmue is a game where that is so important. With Shenmue III, that aspect will not be disregarded, and I will keep it alive and well as we continue development.”
As for development of the game itself, creator Yu Suzuki last spoke about it in June. “It has been six months since the project has really taken off,” he said then. “Battle and facial expressions are coming together, and cheers from the crew are growing. It makes me feel it will turn out to be a good game.”