Yu Suzuki, the father of the Shenmue series, said that he designed the franchise for multiple games (at least five, according to what he said on Reddit four years ago), and the third one, which had a big run on Kickstarter (gaining more than six million dollars) in 2015 (followed by multiple delays, as well as becoming a controversy with its PC port, as Ys Net and Deep Silver, the publisher, decided to not only add Denuvo to the game, but also move Shenmue III altogether over to the Epic Games Store, even though the campaign offered Steam keys, and back then, EGS did not exist yet), is not the end of the series yet. Suzuki doesn’t consider it as such either.
„If Shenmue 3 sells well it will make things easier [with Shenmue 4], but I think it will rely more on what kind of partners we will be able to secure. There might be something [happening regarding Shenmue’s IP]. But since the IP you mentioned are owned by SEGA, I would need to work with them. I am a special consultant with SEGA, but we will need to talk,” Suzuki told VGC. VGC also asked him if he wanted to return to two other franchises he previously worked on at SEGA (namely Virtua Fighter and Out Run), Suzuki said yes. (Outrun could be an interesting idea – Outrun: Coast 2 Coast was an excellent game in its time when it came out in 2016.)
Shenmue III, after multiple delays, will launch on November 19 on PlayStation 4 and PC. On PC, the game will be exclusive to the Epic Games Store, so we can’t see the classic Dreamcast games’ sequel any time soon on Steam. (At least Suzuki and co got a ton of cash by re-releasing the first two Shenmue titles on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.)