Speaking exclusively to games™, Shenmue creator Yu Suzuki has revealed that he is currently planning to release the upcoming Shenmue City in English. When asked if the social network/mobile game might be converted to western-friendly platforms like iPhone or Facebook he teasingly replies, “There are plans but I cannot discuss them now.”
Shenmue City is a multiplayer social network game inspired by the hugely popular Mafia Wars. It is the first game in the Shenmue series since 2001 and is a side-story set during the time and location of the original Dreamcast game. “We’re building Shenmue City as a social game, and each individual player is the main character’, explains Suzuki. The story progresses as each player takes on the role of a student who works with Ryo at his dojo, called the Hazuki Bukan.”
Suzuki has also confirmed to us that Shenmue City incorporates many of the concepts originally developed for Shenmue Online, the Yu Suzuki produced MMO that was cancelled mid-development in 2006. “Two more stories will follow in the future’, he adds, “and if management likes our performance, more stories will be a possibility.”
Shenmue City is due to be released on Yahoo Japan’s Mobagetown service this winter and will presumably come to the west in 2011. For the full interview with Yu Suzuki, see games™ issue 104, on sale 23 December. To avoid disappointment, or for a handy Christmas gift, subscribe here.