Sega fans hoping to rejoin Ryo Hazuki in his fight to avenge his father's death in Shenmue might just have that opportunity.
Speaking to CVG in a recent interview, Mike Hayes, the president of Sega West, said that there is a possibility that the franchise could be making its way back to consoles.
"While at present we have no plans for the franchise [on next-gen consoles]...the Shenmue legacy ignites a lot of passion among fans. Never say never," he told the gaming publication.
If Shenmue does come back, it would be a long time coming. The original installment of the game launched in 2000 on the Sega Dreamcast. The player controlled Ryo Hazuki as he attempted to avenge the death of his father at the hands of antagonist Lan Di. The title instantly became a classic on the console.
After the Dreamcast was discontinued, Sega released Shenmue II for the Xbox in 2002. The game did not sell well in the United States. And Sega decided to stop producing follow-up titles that continued the game's story line. Since then, Sega has been relatively tight-lipped about the possibility of releasing Shenmue 3.
But even a glimmer of hope that Shenmue may come back could be enough to excite the legions of fans. Those fans have been pressing Sega for years. In fact, one petition on PetitionOnline has nearly 64,000 signatures from folks hoping to see the franchise return.
With Sega finally saying it's possible, the chances of a new game in the franchise seem higher than they have been in years.