Shenmue fans may have some significant announcements to look forward to from Sega if all goes well. The company, when responding to a recent fan question about possible HD remasters of the Dreamcast's seminal 1999 role-playing game Shenmue and its 2001 sequel, expressed that it's "currently investigating" the idea.
Sega community manager Dan Sheridan addressed the question in a video, explaining that the company would "love to release" HD ports of Shenmue and Shenmue 2 "tomorrow," but that it's not as simple as porting the games over to current platforms. "With games as immersive as Shenmue 1 and 2 there are further complications from licensed products that were included in the original games."
With a variety of promotional tie-ins and items that were altered for both North American and European releases, it's easy to see why this might cause an issue as far as licensing goes. That doesn't make it any less frustrating, but at the very least it's not out of the realm of possibility.
Of course, with Shenmue 3 on the horizon by way of series creator Yu Suzuki and a Kickstarter having raised a cool $6.3 million, the idea of HD ports isn't so daft by any means, licensing issues or not. The demand is obviously there. Sega just has to figure out a way to make it happen.