Yu Suzuki has been talking about the future of the Shenmue with IGN Japan, and how he sees it going. Translated by VGC it seems that Yu Suzuki believes that there will be a Shenmue 4, and it will be different to Shenmue 3. Shenmue 3 was described as a niche title by publisher 505 Games and that may have had an impact on sales. Regarding that Yu has said that Shenmue 4 will be made to appeal to a much broader audience, and will have additions that will help with that.
“With Shenmue 3 I created a game for the fans, but if I have the opportunity to make Shenmue 4 – and I think I will – I know how to satisfy casual users, so I want to make a game that everyone can be satisfied with.With Shenmue 3, I really responded to the fans’ voices, so I wasn’t necessarily thinking about making any money. But since I’m running a company, I have to think about what can sell if I continue. I’ve been seriously talking about it over and over again.”
Some of the things that Yu wants to add to Shenmue 4 are quest markers, fast travel, a much easier to understand user interface, and skip time features. He has also revealed that he would like to work on other projects too including more “intimate” open worlds. In our overview for Shenmue 3, Jim wrote:
From what we’ve played so far (and we’ve only scratched the surface) it has proven to be a faithful continuation of the beloved landmark series and one that’s benefited from some light modernisation without changing what fans found so magically alluring about Shenmue in the first place.
You can read the article here.