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Shenmue Sound Creator Responds to Shenmue City Announcement

Osamu Murata does not believe new game represents true intentions of creator Yu Suzuki.


When you heard the first utterance of "Shenmue City" for Yahoo's new PC-based "Yahoo! Mobage" social gaming service, did you find yourself flagging the news with the old "do not approve"? Then your reaction might not be too far off from a someone a bit closer to the franchise -- sound creator Osamu Murata.

Murata responded to the news on Friday via his Twitter account. In addition to not appearing too favorable of the new project, he makes some surprising allegations based off conversations he claims to have had with people at Sega.

Wrote Murata on Friday following the announcement, "I have complicated feelings about Shenmue appearing on Yahoo! Mobage. I actually worked on Shenmue, working quite a bit with Yu (Shenmue creator Yu Suzuki). However, Yahoo! Mobage is being started up by a friend of mine.

"What makes this complicated for me is that Yu has lowered the quality. Shenmue above all else required top quality. There was no compromise for quality in Shenmue, and if there was compromise, Yu would get extremely angry as us. It was by being tossed around by this that the creativity of my current self was born. When I think about the the current state of Sega and Yu that required Shenmue to become a light game, I have complicated feelings."

Continued Murata in a following message, "I'm certain that he wanted to release Shenmue on PS3 or Xbox. This is definitely not how Yu feels about Shenmue. The sound of the bikes, the sound of glass, the facial motion of kids, how the flags were made to stand, the walking motion, the running motion, the pursuit of beauty for the female characters. He worked so hard even if he would collapse or get sick."

Murata claims to have spoken with people at Sega who told him that Sega does not officially recognize Shenmue City. From what he's heard, the game is being made as a venture between Yahoo! Mobage and another company that was formed by Yu Suzuki.

Wrote Murata, "The Yahoo! Mobage Shenmue is not Sega. I'm not sure what will happen at the time of formal release, though. If it looks like it will sell, Sega will probably make it official."

It's doubtful that a company as big as Yahoo! would publicize an unauthorized IP, so the way I'm reading Murata's statements is that Sega has officially authorized the creation of Shenmue City, but they'll be keeping quiet about it until determining its chances of success. It's notable that the announcement only came from Yahoo! and (Yahoo! Mobage partner company) DeNA. Sega has yet to mention the project anywhere on its official site.

Incidentally, throughout his Tweets, Murata refers to Yahoo Mobage! as "Yabage." It's typical to shorten and combine words in a long Japanese name, but in this case the term could be taken to mean "bad game." I'm not sure if that's Murata's intention, since he says the service was started by his friend.

[Seen at Hachimaki]

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