In a recent interview on the Shenmue Dojo, Yu Suzuki has stated that the Shenmue saga is far from over and that he would need at least three more games to properly wrap it up. He also talked about the development process and porting the title from the Sega Saturn to Sega Dreamcast.
Yu Suzuki said the biggest problem for Shenmue III, is not Sega, but the funding. If the budget is not high enough the game’s overall quality will suffer. He said that he would work on the third instalment if he ever got the opportunity. The story is very far from completed, and that while he would love to make and if he could he would complete the story in Shenmue 5. Still because that is a lot of effort, he added that he’d try to finish it in the next two games.
In the interview Yu Suzuki talked about other elements of the original game. Some things were cut from the final game, such as the ability to make ramen or drive a bicycle. Other have been kept in the game despite their overwhelming complexity.
The daily life of NPC as a feature that was not initially planned. This task was very difficult to implement but in the end Yu Suzuki managed to create a world where people would leave their homes, go to work, have a lunch break at noon, and come back home later at night. Not only that, but the behavior of NPCs changed depending on the weekday and weather conditions. Each and every NPC has a name, age, height, weight, its partner and location, something still not seen in modern games.
Despite all this Suzuki said that all this was designed around real world standards and if 5 times more people really walked the streets he would happily added 500 characters.
It is estimated that the full game on the Sega Saturn would have needed around 50 CD-ROMs, but at the end when they moved the project over to the Dreamcast they compressed everything on 3-4 GD-ROMs.