For those still holding out a modicum of hope that Yu Suzuki would finally berate Sega into letting him make Shenmue 3, you might want to sit down and take a few deep breaths, because it's looking very much like that ain't gonna happen.
Today it was announced that Suzuki has signed a deal to slide into the role of Executive Game Producer at little-known Japanese studio Premium Agency, the makers of such games as Xbox 360 downloadable Death By Cube, and Naruto Shippuden: Kizuna Drive for the PSP. His job will be to advise on "a number of social and mobile" projects, though apparently his first game will be some manner of as-yet-unannounced fighting game for Kinect.
This would, on the surface at least, seem to mark the end of Suzuki's tenure at Sega. The exact nature of Yu Suzuki's role at the company has been in question for a while now. There was talk some time ago about Suzuki retiring from his post as the creative head of the Japanese publisher, but it eventually came to light that he was still at the company, just working in a less hands-on, more research-and-development-focused role with the publisher's coin-op division.== TEASER ==
He hasn't officially produced a game since 2008's arcade-only Sega Race TV, and frankly seemed to have little involvement in the company's operations beyond making periodic appearances at events for the expressed purpose of dangling false nuggets of hope for the possibility of Shenmue 3 finally happening, only to then disappear back into whatever netherworld of unchecked idealism he lives in and leave harried Sega PR reps to have to once again explain to the world that, yes, they know you really want it, but it's not in development, okay?
This bizarre game of Whack-a-Shenmue 3-Quote-from-Yu-Suzuki seemed to play out every few months for the last few years, but as of today's news, it looks like he's got other things to focus his attention on now.
Suzuki does also maintain his own company, YS Net, which last we checked, was still hard at work on Shenmue City, a PC title developed for the Japanese social games service, Yahoo! Mobage. I know that's not exactly Shenmue 3, but it's something, right? Right...?
Well, at least there's a new Kinect fighting game to look forward to. Unless it's another Naruto game. Then maybe not so much.