Keiji Okayasu, the director of the original Shenmue, is returning to the long awaited third installment of thefranchise.

What is Shenmue?

For the uninitiated, Shenmue is a classic Sega franchise that followed the exploits of a young man named Ryo Hazuki, who seeks to avenge the death of his father.To confront Lan Di, the martial arts expert who killed Ryo's father in front of his very eyes, he travels across the world meeting many unscrupulous characters.

When did it release?

Shenmue was one of the first 3D openworld games, predating Grand Theft Auto III by two years.

At the time, Shenmue was the most expensive game ever developed. It was originally released on the Sega Dreamcast in 1999 to rave reviews and poor sales. It was the title that many hoped would save the dying Dreamcast. After the death of the Dreamcast, Shenmue II was released on the original Xbox in 2001. Some copies of the game included the original title as a bundle.

An unresolved plot.

The developers planned out an epic tale that would span four games. Unfortunately, the low sales prevented the whole story from being told and the series laid dormant for many years.

For many years, the story of the series was unresolved.It was then at E3 2015 where the long awaited third installment was finally announced. The game is being partially funded by crowdfunding and Sony.

Who is returning?

In an update on Shenmue III's Kickstarter page, Developer Ys revealed Keiji Okayasu's involvement in this installment. As previously mentioned, Okayasu was also involved in the development process of the original Shenmueand about 70 percent of Shenmue II.

In ashort interview video on the Kickstarter update, Okayasu reveals that when Shenmue III was announced at E3 of 2015, he thought that he would just be another fan eagerly awaiting its release. He didn't imagine that he would actually be part of the Shenmue III team. He also says that the goal of Shenmue III is to make it enjoyable for people who did not play the first two Shenmue games.It is encouraging that a remnant of the original titles is being retained in the development of this new title.

Shenmue was a game well ahead of its time. Now that the open world genre is the norm rather than the exception, it'll be interesting to see if this series can stand the test of time.

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