This coming Monday is September the 3rd and if you’re a frustrated Shenmue fan, you know what that means: Shenmue Tweetathon!
The campaign was started in January of this year by “Team Yu.” It was inspired by an interview with Shenmue creator Yu Suzuki in which he claimed that if he could get the license from Sega, he would be interested in completing the saga (most likely with his development studio, YS Net).
In response, Team Yu set off on a campaign to persuade Sega to give Suzuki the Shenmue license by encouraging fans to tweet the hashtag #GiveYuTheShenmueLicense on the third of every month. The movement has been growing each month and has even attracted the attention of the mainstream gaming press.
Initially I was a bit torn about the campaign, mostly because as an unabashed Sega fan, it was difficult for me to see the company portrayed as an antagonist of sorts. On one hand, I love Shenmue and want to see the series completed. On the other, I can empathize with Sega for not wanting to give up a brand that still potentially holds some value to them, even though they may not have the resources to do anything with it right now.
That said, I still support this movement for three reasons. One, it has an intelligent and sensible goal. Two, it is carried out by true Shenmue fans in a grassroots fashion. And finally, perhaps most importantly, it has raised/reignited awareness and interest of not only the issue regarding the series’ conclusion, but the Shenmue name in general.
So I encourage everyone to tag a tweet or two with #GiveYuTheShenmueLicense on Monday- not just because it’s an important issue for fans, but also because it’s a fun way for those of us captivated by Ryo Hazuki’s unfinished quest to interact and share our love of the series.
Campaign resources and information:
Facebook: Team Yu, Shenmue 500k, Shenmue Fans
Twitter: Team Yu, Shenmue 500k, Shenmue Stare, Shenmue UK
The web: Shenmue Stare, Shenmue Dojo, Shenmue UK
The reason why Suzuki is not making Shenmue 3 is not because SEGA is holding the license, is because he doesn’t have the money and nobody has the money. When he gave that interview, what he wanted to say is, “if i have the money to do Shenmue, SEGA is okay”. The prove is that, SEGA did not hold the license when he did Shenmue Gai and the same for a recent VF card game.
For some reason i don’t know, people just assumed that SEGA is stopping the dude and now every month they spam this to SEGA, even if SEGA probably already blocked everyone for spamming and is not receiving the messages.
In a perfect world, Shenmue is a series that comes every year and sells 20 millions of copies, however, we don’t live in a perfect world and unfortunately, the problem with Shenmue 3 is way bigger than “SEGA holding the license”.
PS: you have an awesome blog.
Yeah, I can definitely see that side of the issue as well. You make good points about the Shenmue and Virtua Fighter social games that YS Net made; not sure if Sega contracted those or what. But I really don’t know anything about how industry stuff works so I’m not even going to pretend to understand the financial issues involved or whether YS Net has the resources to make Shenmue III, heh.
Like I said in the piece, I hesitate to vilify Sega in this scenario, because their hands may be tied in innumerable ways in regards to the property. You’re right, the “Shenmue III problem” definitely may be bigger than a simple withholding of the license.
That said, I still support this movement. It’s the most noteworthy and vocal push for Shenmue III that we’ve seen yet, and it’s being led by some clever, friendly, and hardworking fans.
Personally, I grew up with punk rock, so I think I’m naturally blindly attracted to positive activism when it’s something that is important to me, regardless of how potentially misguided or hopeless it may be. I think the fact that people are talking about “the future of Shenmue” right now, implying that it has a future, is a powerful thing, and a testament to the success of this movement.
The reality of the situation may be extremely complicated and the focus of the movement may not even be applicable, but it’s showing Sega and Yu Suzuki that there is an incredible amount of support for the series, and the movement has potential to evolve and become more effective. Plus, it’s giving us Shenmue fans something more to do than just sit around despondently and make sailor jokes, haha.
Anyway, thanks for sharing your thoughts and checking out the site; I really appreciate the compliment!
So tell me then Sega_fan, if Sega does not have the money to make Shenmue 3 (and according to you nobody does), whats the harm in giving it to Yu. He wants it and we want them to give it to him. Even if nothing else comes from giving him the license, at least Sega will have salvaged a little respect in the eye’s of many gamers.
And it will at least at least give Shenmue 3 a fighting chance. Do you think Sega would ever give their blessing to a Shenmue 3 kickstarter while they legally still hold the license? Of course not. Could it happen if Yu had sole ownership over the IP? It’s a genuine possibility the.
As you can see, it least gives Yu some options.
Fair points, bluetrain. I wonder about the Kickstarter potential (regardless of who has the license). It seems unlikely to me, but I guess stranger things have happened with Kickstarter in the past year. I wonder if that’s something that either YS Net or Sega is even considering? I’m not really sure how Japanese companies view it. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!
PS: great avatar; Ghibli rules!
Thanks, Ryan. It’s impossible to say how Yu Suzuki feels about Kickstarter, but personally if worst came to worst and his “many interested investors” didn’t come through, I would hope he would consider a kickstarter, as I’m certain Shenmue could generate the biggest kickstarter pledge we’ve seen yet. As for Sega, I’m almost sure they will never consider a kickstarter, they are a big publisher with a long history, it’s just not something I could ever see them even thinking about.
I do agree with much of what you wrote in your other reply. For me, the most exciting thing about this campaign is that it is steadily building a solid and active Shenmue campaign group (something we have not had in a long time), as long we have that, the campaign can always adapt, change and grow. The main thing is that just that we are active and showing both Yu and Sega are support for the franchise.
And much like you, I’ve always been a sucka for positive activism! It beats sitting around and hoping for the best.
No one really wants Sega to just give the license to Yu, Everyone would much rather SEGA did it themselves, of course. The whole point of the tweetathon is to show our dissatisfaction with how they treat the series. If they can’t do it, then let Yu. Yu Suzuki has stated that there are investors, he wants to do it, and that the main hurdle is SEGA who own the IP. This was said in an interview with a smaller website, I believe. We can dice over words all we want, but the tweetathon’s only real purpose is to spread Shenmue awareness and fan discontent, by circumventing normal channels. It doesn’t matter if Sega blocks everyone. The point is to get the public’s attention by getting the phrase to “TREND”. And if that happens, it will garner the attention of someone important in Sega’s hierarchy. There’s a reason companies pay good money to advertise their hashtags on Twitter, ya know.
And Sega_Fan is right. This blog is awesome. Glad to see you back at it! You’ve been pumping them out pretty frequently, too. Great stuff.
Thanks! I’m really enjoying working on it again!