In a recent interview, legendary Japanese game designer Yu Suzuki—who’s currently hard at work putting the finishing touches to the much-anticipated Shenmue 3—stated that he’d “like to” work on new Virtua Fighter and Out Run games. Suzuki was instrumental in shaping both of these classic Sega franchises, and though he’s since moved on and founded Shenmue 3 developer YS Net—which is partnered with Deep Silver for publishing on the game—it isn’t unheard-of for Sega to outsource their IP if the situation is right.
Out Run is a cult arcade racing series that’s spent most recent history sitting on the shelf, whereas Virtua Fighter has been slightly more prevalent, with the most recent iteration of the fighting franchise being 2012 PS3 and Xbox 360 release Virtua Fighter 5: Final Showdown. Of course, Yu Suzuki said that he “can’t answer” definitively on whether he’s working on either of these two classic Sega properties already, though when further pressed by Video Game Chronicle he conceded that “there might be something” in the works.
That’s a promising sign for anyone interested in new installments of Out Run and/or Virtua Fighter, as is the fact that the “need to talk” with Sega regarding any potential collaboration should be accommodated easily enough since Yu Suzuki still serves as a consultant to his former employer. His storied history with the Sonic the Hedgehog studio, having led Sega AM2 and created not just the aforementioned Shenmue, Out Run, and Virtua Fighter franchises, but also Space Harrier, After Burner, and Virtual Cop could potentially means he holds some significant sway within Sega.
Until that time comes, Yu Suzuki and his independent team at YS Net will continue to work on Shenmue 3. The partially crowdfunded fan favorite is scheduled to launch November 19 on PS4 and PC via the Epic Games Store. According to the Steam store page, it’s scheduled to arrive on Valve’s digital distribution platform exactly one year later on November 19, 2020.