Shenmue 3 is in the works, but what about Shenmue 1 and 2—which is to say, HD remasters that will let people dig into them without having to own a Dreamcast? Sega Community Manager Dan Sheridan said in a recent Q&A video that the publisher is looking into it, but warned that the job is more complex than you might think.
“Sadly, it's not as simple as porting the games to the current platforms, as we would need to ensure that any HD remaster lives up to the quality of the original titles. And with games as immersive as Shenmue 1 and 2, there are further complications from licensed products that were included in the original games,” Sheridan explained. “That said, we'd love to do it, and are currently investigating how to make it a reality.”
It would no doubt be a big job: As Engadget points out, the first two Shenmues had “a variety of promotional tie-ins and items” for both the North American and European releases of the game, and given their ages—Shenmue came out in 2000, Shenmue 2 a year later—they'd have no relevance (and likely no legal license) now.
At the same time, there's clearly demand for more Shenmue. Last year's Shenmue 3 Kickstarter pulled in a record-setting $6.3 million dollars, while the follow-on “Slacker Backer” campaign picked up another $230,000. It's currently expected to be out sometime near the end of 2017.