In what is fast becoming a yearly tradition we looked towards the Famitsu New Years Messages with developers for any hint of Shenmue related activity from Yu Suzuki.
His responses are below, translated by Phantom River Stone
Q: Your Keyword for 2023?
YS: Light AI.
Q: Your New Year’s Resolution / Aspirations for 2023?
I’d like to try taking a light-hearted approach to AI, without pretentious logical thinking. The answers that an imperfect AI, including bugs, can come up with should be fun. I’m setting out on a journey to seek new ideas using AI. [Suzuki adds a “w” at the end of his response, indicating smiling or laughing].
Q: Status update
YS: In 2022, Apple Arcade released my new game, Air Twister, and in 2023 I am also involved in overseeing the characters for a project called “OASYX”.
Q: What will you be keeping an eye on in 2023?
YS: I have high hopes for the evolution of AI technology and the emergence of entertainment with visual images that transcend the human imagination, as well as for initiatives to find original value in digital data.
Yu Suzuki has previously stated an interest in AI technology with a most recent reference mde to IGN Japan at the premiere of the movie ‘Free Guy’ which focusses in on the life of a gaming NPC.
As we know 2022 saw the release of Air Twister with 2021 and 2022 words (shooting and mix respectively) looking like this was a giveaway for the title to come. Hopefully Air Twister makes its way to other formats in the future!
In more controversial circumstances we see Yu Suzuki move onto the OASYX project which an NFT (Non-Fungible Token) project. Certainly in western circles these have carried large reputational damage to firms and individuals with many being quietly canned in the process. However in Japanese circles these seem far more accepted and this project is backed by some big hitters such as SEGA, Square Enix and Namco-Bandai. Yu Suzuki will oversee the general character art and overall theme for the project going forwards.
There was no direct mention of Shenmue or even a hint (though AI coudl be related to Shenmue NPC’s) at this point. There could be many reasons as to why this is but the situation remains the same. Get out on the 4th of every month and #LetsGetShenmue4