Updated @ 7:50 a.m. on Nov. 29 with statement from Sega.
Many Sega Dreamcast fans have an undying passion for one of that platform’s biggest franchises, and that passion is going to continue to go unfulfilled.
“Sega has confirmed that the recent application for the trademark of Shenmue III is a fake and is looking into the origins of this application,” a spokesperson for the publisher told GamesBeat.
This filing follows years of silence about the cinematic open-world adventure property from the publisher. According to the filing, the “Sega corporation” filed for the “Shenmue III” name on Nov. 25 with The Trade Marks and Designs Registrations Office of the European Union. A filing for “Shenmue III” did not appear in any other international trademarking databases, and the OHIM office — which oversees trademark law in the EU — had not examined this filing.
Shenmue debuted in 1999 for the Dreamcast. It puts players in the role of Ryo Hazuki in 1986. Hazuki witnesses his father’s death and spends the rest of the game seeking vengeance. Shenmue is best known for its attempts to re-create the real world. Sega attempted to build a fully interactive environment. For example, Hazuki can open any drawer in the world, although most of them were only filled with mundane items.
After Burner and Spacer Harrier director Yu Suzuki produced the game. He originally planned the franchise as an epic 16-game series.
In 2001, Suzuki released Shenmue II in Japan for the Dreamcast. That game eventually game to North America for the Xbox after the collapse of Sega’s hardware business.