Sega Europe: Shenmue 1 and 2 remakes have our full attention

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Re: Sega Europe: Shenmue 1 and 2 remakes have our full atten

Postby Let's Get Sweaty » Sun Sep 04, 2016 10:39 am

Maybe we should all chip in for Sega's phone bill so they can actually call these companies and get their investigations done.

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Re: Sega Europe: Shenmue 1 and 2 remakes have our full atten

Postby Monkei » Sun Sep 04, 2016 10:48 am

Didn't they state somewhere that the licencing issues had to do with (parts of) the engine they used? The company which they licenced (parts of) it from doesn't exist anymore and it's some kind of legal clusterfuck, figuring out who owns what now? So the problem isn't stuff that's in the game, but the game itself?

Edit:
Here:
Ziming wrote:
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Edit:

Source: Rights Issues Hampering Shenmue Re-Release
by Tristan Oliver December 28, 2015

It may be one of the most successfully crowdfunded projects of all time. It may be far and away the industry’s surprise announcement of the year. But one of the most crucial elements of Shenmue III‘s future success may be introducing a new generation to the original franchise in the first place. Though it sounds as simple as re-releasing the original titles to current consoles–and indeed there has been and outpouring of support from the Shenmue community to do just that–a reliable source has told TSSZ it’s not that easy.

Our source indicates Sega has interest in re-releasing the original Shenmue to current platforms–and has wanted to for years, not just recently with Shenmue III’s Kickstarter success as a catalyst–but there are several hurdles to overcome. One of them involves rights issues with brands used in-game, like Timex and, in Japan, Coca-Cola. Those rights have to be re-negotiated. If they can’t be, the brands have to be purged from the title, and given how vast Shenmue is as a game, that is a “heavy” task, our source says. Still, it is something Sega is pursuing.

Even if that obstacle is overcome, there’s the matter of the game engine. Our source says that while the bulk of the core Shenmue engine was developed in-house by AM2, there are pieces of it licensed through a third party that Sega does not own outright. The trouble, our source indicates, is that the company in question–the name of which we do not know–has gone out of business since Shenmue‘s original release. Sega is attempting to track down who owns the technology. While we do not know how much of it was used in combination with AM2’s in-house work, not getting those rights means some additional coding will be necessary for any re-release to occur.

And what about Shenmue III? When it appeared as part of Sony’s E3 keynote this year, it was widely assumed Sony would offer a level of assistance to series creator Yu Suzuki and Ys Net, be it financial or otherwise. But our source tells us Sony’s agreement with Ys Net almost entirely involved that stage announcement. It does not appear Sony is financially supporting Shenmue III otherwise, and in fact our source says Sony had a similar marketing agreement with Sega on Yakuza 5‘s Western release where Sony only assisted with marketing. The good news is that, conceivably, there’s nothing stopping Shenmue III from being on platforms past the PC and Playstation 4 for that reason. The bad news is that, with a crowdsourced budget currently hovering under $6.5 million, the game’s success really is on the backs of its supporters. You can still contribute through its official website via PayPal.

We should note we’ve attempted to reach out to those connected to the Shenmue III project for comment on these matters, unsuccessfully. If you can help us, please tip us through email or Twitter.

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Re: Sega Europe: Shenmue 1 and 2 remakes have our full atten

Postby Spaghetti » Sun Sep 04, 2016 11:46 am

Man, I feel like a broken record saying this but:

The information in that post was never substantiated. News items talking about engine licencing issues cite that post, or repeat its claims under the guise of "Our source". Said poster never elaborated on the issue, and no second verifiable source has ever backed up their claims.

If an issue like engine licencing existed, it would have to been solved by now, or never even existed in the first place, for SEGA to even approach talking about Shenmue HD like they are now.

In-game branding licencing issues are a roadblock they've told us they're working on removing, but engine licencing issues could prevent the game being re-released indefinitely.

They absolutely would not talk about Shenmue remasters if there was a problem that large that already hadn't been solved, if it ever existed in the first place.

Before we get back into the paranoia about "It's a smokescreen", "They're lying to us", please consider that doing so would absolutely not be in SEGA's best interests, and would only serve to create a potential PR nightmare down the road that literally every marketing executive in the company would advise against.

Why are we chasing shadows when we've been told straight up multiple times that the very reasonable explanation for the delay is the complication with in-game branding? Instead we're going nuts about them lying to purposefully let us down because of some imaginary vendetta against the series, or believing bogus stories about engine licencing that has either been solved or couldn't be true in the first place for the reasons I've explained. SEGA has everything to lose by lying to us, so why the fuck would they do it?

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Re: Sega Europe: Shenmue 1 and 2 remakes have our full atten

Postby Hyo Razuki » Sun Sep 04, 2016 11:55 am

This engine post has become the kind of urban legend which is very hard to get out of the world once it is out there. Thanks again for clarifying, Spaghetti.

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Re: Sega Europe: Shenmue 1 and 2 remakes have our full atten

Postby Spaghetti » Sun Sep 04, 2016 12:00 pm

Hyo Razuki wrote: This engine post has become the kind of urban legend which is very hard to get out of the world once it is out there. Thanks again for clarifying, Spaghetti.

I mean hey, it's believable at a glance, and I know I thought it was the truth until SEGA actually started talking about Shenmue remasters recently. Once that happened though, it just didn't hold up to scrutiny anymore.
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Re: Sega Europe: Shenmue 1 and 2 remakes have our full atten

Postby mrandyk » Sun Sep 04, 2016 2:24 pm

15 months. You can clear up any licensing issues in 15 months.
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Re: Sega Europe: Shenmue 1 and 2 remakes have our full atten

Postby Peter » Sun Sep 04, 2016 2:56 pm

That's my view. Not mud slinging or saying my opinion is better than others. It's quite simply that.

15 months.

On top of that, it didn't even take them that long to churn out Crazy Taxi without its licences. Coca-Cola, Pizza Hut, Levis, KFC, Fila, and the Offspring Soundtrack all easily ommitted. If they didn't renegotiate the licences for that game, why do it for Shenmue?

Sega say they want to recreate it as best they can? It has their full attention? That's cool. But don't say that when you tried to drastically undercut it like they did with Blitworks, and don't say it's got your full attention 15 months after an extremely successful Kickstarter campaign, which they did absolutely nothing to help or encourage.

That's not even being salty or negative. That's cold hard facts, and the reality of what has happened to this present day.
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Re: Sega Europe: Shenmue 1 and 2 remakes have our full atten

Postby Yokosuka Martian » Sun Sep 04, 2016 3:14 pm

I believe they mentioned Shenmue once or twice during that Kickstarter campaign (or immediately thereafter). It's a possibility that it takes much longer than that to get licensing issues cleared up...

SEGA somehow release Yakuza 0, Yakuza Kiwami, and Yakuza 6 within a short time window so I don't see how they can't release the two games prior to Shenmue III's release. It's a possibility Shenmue III could get pushed back to Spring 2018
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Re: Sega Europe: Shenmue 1 and 2 remakes have our full atten

Postby Spaghetti » Sun Sep 04, 2016 7:14 pm

Peter wrote: That's my view. Not mud slinging or saying my opinion is better than others. It's quite simply that.

15 months.

On top of that, it didn't even take them that long to churn out Crazy Taxi without its licences. Coca-Cola, Pizza Hut, Levis, KFC, Fila, and the Offspring Soundtrack all easily ommitted. If they didn't renegotiate the licences for that game, why do it for Shenmue?

Sega say they want to recreate it as best they can? It has their full attention? That's cool. But don't say that when you tried to drastically undercut it like they did with Blitworks, and don't say it's got your full attention 15 months after an extremely successful Kickstarter campaign, which they did absolutely nothing to help or encourage.

That's not even being salty or negative. That's cold hard facts, and the reality of what has happened to this present day.

It's worth noting SEGA did a very bad job on that port (and other early Dreamcast ports) because they really didn't give a shit about preserving those games properly by giving them the attention they needed. It showed a total lack of respect for their IP catalogue, and SEGA got roasted for it. The ports were so embarrassing they went back and cleaned them up somewhat on PC out of nowhere.

Crazy Taxi's port is arguably greatly diminished in lacking crucial licences like the soundtrack, and their learning experience for that spurred them to work towards mostly undoing the legal knot that was Jet Set Radio's soundtrack.

They're extending that mentality to Shenmue's legal holdups with in-game branding, even if effectively they're non-essential to the overall experience. I know we're all sick of waiting, but it's really encouraging how seriously SEGA are actually treating this by not immediately going for the path of least resistance.

As for not promoting the Kickstarter, I think that was likely a conscious decision between YSnet and SEGA to do so. If the "OMG SONY FUNDING SHENMUE 3" stuff happened without any real provocation, can you imagine if SEGA actively promoted or commented on it?
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Re: Sega Europe: Shenmue 1 and 2 remakes have our full atten

Postby mrandyk » Sun Sep 04, 2016 11:46 pm

If the licensing issues in question really are limited to the in-game brands then this is simply inexcusable. The only one I can even recall right now in the US version is Timex and I won't be the least bit disappointed if they swapped it for the same generic Sega branding they put on everything in the Tomato store. I am aware that more brands than Timex were in the US release but my point is that there were very few and they made zero impact on the game experience (unlike Crazy Taxi where it was very cool to be driving to stores that existed in the real world). 15 months has been more than enough time to settle this issue - assuming that the issue at hand is just the real-life brands in Shenmue and not music and technologies.

At the very least, and for all we know this may be the situation, Sega should be developing the remakes right now regardless of how the licensing issue turns out - again, assuming the issue is the in-game brands.

Maybe the remakes are in development. I still wouldn't expect Sega to announce remasters until Shenmue 3 is a bit closer to release. In my mind the best time to release these would be 3-6 months prior to Shenmue 3 and an announcement would make most sense about 3-6 months prior to their release.

I hate to hear these lame excuses though, I'd rather hear nothing at all from Sega than see a statement saying they still can't figure out licensing after 15 months.
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Re: Sega Europe: Shenmue 1 and 2 remakes have our full atten

Postby Kintor » Mon Sep 05, 2016 12:17 am

mrandyk wrote: If the licensing issues in question really are limited to the in-game brands then this is simply inexcusable. The only one I can even recall right now in the US version is Timex and I won't be the least bit disappointed if they swapped it for the same generic Sega branding they put on everything in the Tomato store. I am aware that more brands than Timex were in the US release but my point is that there were very few and they made zero impact on the game experience (unlike Crazy Taxi where it was very cool to be driving to stores that existed in the real world). 15 months has been more than enough time to settle this issue - assuming that the issue at hand is just the real-life brands in Shenmue and not music and technologies.

At the very least, and for all we know this may be the situation, Sega should be developing the remakes right now regardless of how the licensing issue turns out - again, assuming the issue is the in-game brands.

Maybe the remakes are in development. I still wouldn't expect Sega to announce remasters until Shenmue 3 is a bit closer to release. In my mind the best time to release these would be 3-6 months prior to Shenmue 3 and an announcement would make most sense about 3-6 months prior to their release.

I hate to hear these lame excuses though, I'd rather hear nothing at all from Sega than see a statement saying they still can't figure out licensing after 15 months.

You say that you'd rather here nothing from Sega but I find that hard to believe. Over the years I've seen plenty of harsh language and scorn directed at Sega for apparently neglecting the Shenmue franchise. Yet now Sega is actively talking about making Shenmue 1 and 2 HD and they're still getting criticised for it.

I'd say that it's a no win situation, a 'dammed if you do, dammed if you don't' sort of thing, but there's really no reason the discussion has to take this tone. All we have here I Sega keeping touch with the Shenmue fanbase, letting us know that Shenmue 1 and 2 HD are on the way, even if they aren't ready to make any official announcements; which should hardly have been grounds for this sort of heated and negative speculation.
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Re: Sega Europe: Shenmue 1 and 2 remakes have our full atten

Postby fittersau » Mon Sep 05, 2016 4:05 am

Jet Cola or bust!
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Re: Sega Europe: Shenmue 1 and 2 remakes have our full atten

Postby Peter » Mon Sep 05, 2016 7:30 am

Kintor wrote:I'd say that it's a no win situation, a 'dammed if you do, dammed if you don't' sort of thing, but there's really no reason the discussion has to take this tone. All we have here I Sega keeping touch with the Shenmue fanbase, letting us know that Shenmue 1 and 2 HD are on the way, even if they aren't ready to make any official announcements; which should hardly have been grounds for this sort of heated and negative speculation.


It's not a case of that at all. That's the problem, they are not "doing" anything. Almost a year and a half later. Looking into licences for 15 months? Justify it, please, because it's either a case of thay they are dragging their heels, or have no motivation to put the proper time and effort into getting this thing going.
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Re: Sega Europe: Shenmue 1 and 2 remakes have our full atten

Postby SMDzero » Mon Sep 05, 2016 7:42 am

I really wish Sega would just sell the Shenmue IP.

They could really use the money and they aren't really the sort of company that has the tools (financial or creative) to make AAA games anymore.
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Re: Sega Europe: Shenmue 1 and 2 remakes have our full atten

Postby Kintor » Mon Sep 05, 2016 10:32 am

Peter wrote: It's not a case of that at all. That's the problem, they are not "doing" anything. Almost a year and a half later. Looking into licences for 15 months? Justify it, please, because it's either a case of thay they are dragging their heels, or have no motivation to put the proper time and effort into getting this thing going.

I respectfully disagree, just because we can't see anything at the moment doesn't mean that Shenmue 1 and 2 HD aren't happening. We're at an unusual time; it's just as long from E3 2015 until Shenmue 3's planned release date in 2017. I don't expect any major announcements right now. I figure Sega will finally announce there plans once the release date for Shenmue 3 has been properly confirmed.

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