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Yu Suzuki presents the long awaited third installment in the Shenmue series.
Yu Suzuki presents the long awaited third installment in the Shenmue series.
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69,320 backers pledged $6,333,295 to help bring this project to life.

April Report

Posted by Ys Net (Creator)


Hello Everyone,

Before getting into the main part of the update, we would like to respond to two issues brought up by the community—the Shenmue III logo and voice audio options.

First for the Shenmue III logo. There have been many comments from Shenmue fans wanting the logo to match the original logos from Shenmue 1& 2. We have heard your calls and will of course put it on the to-do list. This particular issue will take some time, however, as game development is currently taking a front seat to other design issues. Designers and other parties will also need to be consulted with, so before we can give a more definite answer, we would ask you please give us some time.

The second issue receiving a lot of attention concerns the voice audio options. Many people have asked for there to be an option to switch between Japanese and English voicing. We understand how strongly people feel about this feature, and it is something we would like to include as well, but the inclusion of a dual audio option will ultimately come down to budgetary limitations. Whether it will be added or not, will need to be decided as development progresses.

Thank you very much everyone for your input! Please keep contacting us here at Kickstarter with your ideas, comments and suggestions!

And now on to our inside look for April…

 Manabu Takimoto, Environment Architecture Designer for the Shenmue series and resident in-world character, is now fleshing out all the different set pieces that will become the backdrop for Shenmue III. If you missed his profile update during the campaign, the link is HERE, or catch his interview video below:

Let's drop by the office to see what he is up to!

 Manabu Takimoto at the drawing board.

 In a meeting session with Yu, Manabu puts form to the ideas on the spot.

The coloring process. Here the soil of Guilin gets tilled, giving the land that “lived-in” feeling.

 In a matter of hours, a page in the world of Shenmue takes form on the desktop.

Marco Balsamo, Ahmed Alsaleh, and 334 more people like this update.


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    1. Douglas Fraser Yeaman on

      @Patrick McGines
      He was just voicing his opinion, and in a lot of cases he is right about how bad Japanese to English dubs can be terrible when done wrong. Cheer up!

    2. Missing avatar

      Patrick McGinnes on


      Good for you.

      However some of us don't mind supporting voice talent in the U.S. and there are some shows that are actually better in English than Japanese. I know that may come as a shock to you, and you'll probably deny it, but it happens.

      If you have to please do another kickstarter for dual audio or ask Sony for help with Dual Audio.

      Granted the best way is to design a game from the ground up with dual audio in mind, which is why some developers (especially smaller groups) have a very hard time adding dual audio, but I can't believe that Dual Audio would be an "after thought"

      People get very riled up emotions about that, and the only reasonable answer is to be a flexible consumer. But you have insane people on both sides whose support of a game is dictated by a single, solitary decision on whether or not their extreme is represented.

    3. Missing avatar

      Drew on

      I'll take Japanese any day of the week. Period, can't stand dubs across the board. I watch movies and anime subtitled as well.
      I even completely turn off the voices in Atlus' SMT games, literally turn the voice volume to 0. If they don't have that option in a game I try to tune it out, hate it that much esp. if the character is speaking.

    4. Missing avatar

      Antoine Jones on

      this isnt 1990, PLENTY of games have shown that we can do English Voice Acting that isnt terrible

    5. Fernandez Kevin on

      I want original japanese voices, please it is important for me. It is all about the immersion, and i study japanese. Shenmue helped me a lot about my learning. Shenhua's voice was so mystical in japanese. When i heard her, she took me to another place...

    6. Missing avatar

      zgillet on

      I want the English voices BECAUSE they were so bad :)

    7. BlackGauntlet

      @Raiden - Corey Marshall had a nice smooth voice, yes... but the voice acting on all the English dubs were pretty wooden. I guess it was still a pretty new thing- voice acting for video games- back then.

      The Japanese voice actors were way more experienced with most of them being veteran anime seiyuus that require a lot of conveying of emotions.

    8. Raiden on

      please incude English Dialogue or Elsh Corey Marshall great work would be all lost :( i realy dont want a great guy like marshal to not have a part in shenmue

    9. Raiden on

      please incude English Dialogue i want to hear Corey Marshall voice again in shenmue 3
      :( you cant take him out of the game he is Ryo the one and onely :)

    10. Missing avatar

      Jason Hudson on

      Shenmue II actually felt more authentic with Japanese dialogue and English subtitles. One of the things that spoils the original Shenmue experience is the awful English/American voices. Please do NOT include English dialogue audio! Very Important. Many thanks.

    11. The King Of Wrong Style on

      Hopefully they'll have the refund situation worked out if they go Japanese over English ....did not enjoy max Payne 3 when it pulled that same baloney

    12. Missing avatar

      Tim van Dorp on

      Japanese voices with english subtitles are essential for me. I'd rather play with japanese subs and have my brother translate for me than play it with English voices. No offense to the voice actors, Shenmue 1 was ok...but the Japanese voices in Shenmue 2 were infinitely better. I would actually donate extra by now to make the dual audio possible.

    13. Sebastian Wientzek on

      Is it possible to up my pledge? I'd like to get the next tier.

    14. Carlito's Waypoint on

      I'd much prefer the English audio to the Japanese. It wasn't the same for me playing Shenmue II in Japanese but it would be nice to have both options to keep everyone happy.

    15. Missing avatar

      Li Hao on

      Nice works!

    16. Jeffrey Lewis on

      As someone who suffered through the English voice acting in Shenmue 1, I'm more than happy to have the original Japanese dialogue with English subtitles. If adding English voice acting is going to tack on 6 months to development and $X to the project budget, scrap it.

    17. Missing avatar

      blujay on

      Can't wait to see more of this game. I don't care about the language options because I'm pretty certain "English" will be an option

    18. VentNord on

      On the dubbing voice, the better the Japanese and subtitled.

      The English does not have importansia, in his day me I played the Dreamcast, Shenmue II was a tower of babel: the voice was in Japanese, English subtitles and the bloc in castilian.

      And enjoy a lot.

    19. Missing avatar

      - on

      It seems some people are getting the wrong end of the stick here.

      Both English and Japanese voice tracks are going to be recorded. This is set in stone.

      What the update is addressing is the possibility for being able to switch between the language tracks.

      So why is it a budgetary concern? I'll tell you.

      The Japanese script will be recorded as-is seeing how it is the native language of the writer, but the English version will need localisation to restructure things so they sound right in English, as both languages are very different. This may include some larger changes to bits of the dialogue, even though they'll still have to convey what was there in the original Japanese script.

      The cost part is in translation and subtitling. It seems some people are forgetting this game is going to be subtitled in 5+ languages. Two sets of translation and subtitles per language to cover the changes between the Japanese and English dubs can get expensive.

    20. Missing avatar

      Bruno Albino on

      Japanese & English voices would be the best.
      But I would be also happy with Japanese voices and English subtitles.

      And I also prefer the classic Shenmue logo.

    21. Paul Burke on

      Japanese audio only and choice of Japanese and English sub.

    22. Missing avatar

      月海星霜 on

      As a Chinese, I get used to hear Japanese or English from games, movies, animations········

    23. Nadim Alam on

      Whatever audio options you go for please make sure that you include the english voices, its a must!!! I dont give a crap about the japanease audio, just having the english dub is much better.


    24. Missing avatar

      Batosai on

      Would most certainly want to play the game in Japanese with English subtitles, am currently learning to read/write Japanese text (have reasonable competency speaking/listening) and would wait till i was more proficient in that if it was English only Dub. While I would love to play the English version for comedy value and nostalgia the Japanese voice overs from original game really do convey the story properly in both tone and delivery,

    25. Erik Goyenechea on

      Shenmue English dubs are actually awesome and are a big part of what made it so classic. ["I'm looking for some sailors....], but dual audio would be best. If I had to pick one though, I'd say English audio. I'd never say that about any other game lol

    26. Gareth Simpson on

      I'm just glad the game is being created :) thanks yu Suzuki and the talented team creating this amazing game. I would suggest have audio packs as additional dlc :) so itll help fund further games in the series

    27. Akule

      I would like it if we had Japanese with English Subtitles. :)

    28. maneauleau on

      At the minimum I would like Japanese voices with English sub please. Thanks!

    29. Missing avatar on

      I'll be very (very) happy with Shenmue III full stop, no matter how big or small, no matter what voice options. So long as the story continues and Yu Suzuki is at the reins with such a talented team. Really looking forward to it. Best wishes and thanks to you all. I love Shenmue!

    30. Adam Clark on

      I really hope they can do Japanese voices with English sub. The English voices aren't terrible, it just sounds better and more natural in Japanese. They may do it as a DLC option that you have to pay for but I wouldn't mind that..

    31. wei803 on

      Japanese voice with English sub please.

    32. Alex Like on

      I don't speak Japanese but I would prefer it over the englisch dub.

    33. Missing avatar

      Dave Frear on

      I'm a lot more tolerant of the dub than some people, but I'd decided on subbed for my first playthrough. Now I'm concerned that this won't be an option. If it's a case that switching back-and-forth between the two will cause problems, then I'd just echo the comments of others and hope that you give us the option of which version to install.

    34. Missing avatar

      Eric Schumacher on

      As long as there is an option to choose an audio language to install I am fine. Alternatively, give us an option as to which version of the game we will receive. You can include the same subtitles to all versions for foreign players at no extra cost.

      I do NOT want English audio under any circumstance. I will regret backing this project if I'm forced to take it with English dubbing just because I am in the US.

    35. Missing avatar

      Nicholas Miller on

      I was always a big fan of the way Shenmue's buildings felt, particularly in Shenmue II where the buildings seemed to be realistically falling apart. Not like a ruins, but just broken enough to get the sense that you're in a very poor place. Glad to see that level of detail and thought being put back into Shenmue III.

      I prefer the old logo mostly for continuities sake, but the new logo just seems a little too plain. I'm assuming this is just a placeholder anyway, so no big rush to put the new one in guys.

      I vastly prefer the Japanese audio, but the English one is tolerable once you get used to how bad it is. Once I play Shenmue I or the Xbox version of Shenmue II for a while, it begins to feel like that that's just how this world talks, like an accent. Of course, the Japanese voice acting does away with the "getting used to this" part, so it's easily my prefered way to play. Dual audio would be a blessing, and I would gladly donate another $300 just to get it.

    36. Missing avatar

      Jay A on

      I certainly hope a dual audio option will be put into the final product. I just wish that, should the other English voice actor originals in addition to Corey Marshall be brought back (such as Eric Kelso, Paul Lucas, Lisle Wilkerson and Akasha Scholen), that they would be given high quality voice direction to live up to the scenarios being played out in Shenmue III's story. I'm sure some these English voice actors from the first two games can do a good job on their performances if they are directed properly, unlike before when their acting in Shenmue I and II ranged from decent to bad.

      Just some comments to strongly consider for this.

    37. Hakim Kermani on

      i am simply getting twisted bowls when i hear english absurd dubs not to mention that most of the time they are just so lame overall they aren't convincing in the end i'd pick the japanese voices over the english

    38. KazeNoBlast on

      Personaly I don't care the US audio, but if we can't get the JP audio, I'll get rid of my copy... or I'll just destroy it because of rage, don't know yet =^]

      I've been so disappointed with some games about this audio matter lastly (Xeno X, FE Fates, God Eater R and Rage Burst...), I thought it would not be such a matter anymore in 2016...

    39. Missing avatar

      Ruben Iversen on

      Hmm, i wonder how much they need for dual audio.

    40. Missing avatar

      Village Monk on

      To be honest having played Shenmue 1+2 on the Dreamcast, I prefered the Japanese dubbing and english subtitles in the sequel, it feels more natural and the english dub performances weren't great. I would rather if you didn't overstretch your budget by adding english voices.

    41. Missing avatar

      Scottyoh on

      If it comes to one or the other for an international/western release, obviously focus on an English dub experience.

      I will only ask to please avoid censoring too much content/dialogue, and having accurate localization (one major disappointment with Xenoblade Chronicles X, and done well with the original Xenogears - times sure have changed).

      As much as I've grown to appreciate the charm of the voice acting in the original English dub, I'd pay for a Japanese-dub-with-English-subtitles DLC.

    42. Nilo C. Salgado on

      Japan for quite a time stopped been the "central of great games and great producers" like in the 90's... so I think most gamers are in the america's and new welcomers would prefer english dub. Not doing it would be negative for sellings...

    43. Missing avatar

      Seth Sipe on

      I'm going to be sorely disappointed if there aren't English voices from the original voice actors. Yeah, many people say that the English voices were "bad," but I feel that's part of their charm. If I wanted good voice acting, I would have played another game entirely. To me, cheesy voices are as much an iconic part of Shenmue as things like capsule toys and playable arcade machines. The game wouldn't be a Shenmue to me if it lacks the same tone I experienced in the first two games.

    44. David Brown on

      From what I understand they've already said that both of the original voices of Ryo Hazuki would be re-hired no? So they are just talking about putting both audio tracks on the same disc I believe.

    45. Missing avatar

      Jean-Marie La on

      Japanese voices. Otherwise, if there's still some funds, why not English voices, even if I prefer to use taht money for more subtitles (the more the merrier, not everybody can understand english or japanese)

    46. Vyse Legendaire on

      The illustrations look quite nice, I have high hopes for the art direction.

      As for the logo, thank you for taking notice of our complaints. The original, cursive logo is preferable to almost anyone with an esthetic sense, I think. The newer logo - while easier to read - looks like the logo for a children's cartoon, I think.

      For the audio options, I think many players will prioritize English subtitles over English audio, if it comes down to budget and time constraints.
      Over the last several years, when it comes to localizing Japanese games, it has become a trend to start with Eng. subtitles w/ Jp. audio as the basic feature, and to only include a dub is an surplus bonus over and above that - and many games released overseas today reflect this.

      That's why I think many purists would be disappointed if this game prioritized a English dub over Eng. subtitles for the original Jp. recording.

    47. Missing avatar

      CROS on

      Ryo is Japanese, so Japanese dubbing and multilingual subtitles (do not mind English subtitles by default though)

    48. John Rockefeller on

      Good update. Very clear. Thanks!

    49. Carter Lance on

      Honestly, having played through Shenmue 1's english dub on the Dreamcast, and then playing through Shenmue 2's European Dreamcast release with Japanese voice and subtitles, I have to say I prefer Japanese voice with English subs - especially if the cash used to record an English dub takes away development fund that could be used to flesh out another part of the game.

      I know many of us may find nostalgic charm in the goofy English voice acting from the Dreamcast original and Xbox sequel port, but if this series is to continue it must also find a new audience, not just rely on nostalgia. And honestly, stilted English dialogue will take you out of the moment when Japanese dialogue should not.

    50. Ramón Guzmán on

      I am looking forward to have the original English dub voice actors to give Shenmue its unique sound we are accustomed to. Keep posting sketches from the design process. Thank you!