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Team Yu
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Social media campaign to #SaveShenmueHD
Social media campaign to #SaveShenmueHD

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As part of our scaling back operations following the announcement of Shenmue I+II for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC, we will no longer be updating our least used outlets, namely our pages on Google+ and Tumblr.

We greatly appreciate all Google+ users who have interacted with the page during its lifetime, and would like to welcome you all to continue participating in our remaining activities via Twitter, Facebook, and https://TeamYu.net.

If you’re unable to follow us to any of those platforms, we hope you’ll still share in our excitement upon the release of Sega’s remasters and Yu Suzuki’s Shenmue III.
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For nearly 400 years, an improbable cherry tree has stood in Morioka, Japan. Improbable because in order to reach the sunlight and thrive, the delicate young sapling had to gradually break its way through a giant rock which remains cracked around the base of its mighty trunk today. The famous Rock-Splitting Cherry Tree, known as Ishiwari-zakura, is a testament to the timeless beauty that can be achieved through the power of persistance against seemingly immovable odds.

As cherry blossom season came to a close this year, another strikingly hardy perennial was brought to prominence as Sega announced the return of Shenmue 1 & 2 to modern gaming platforms. Due for release in 2018 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC, the double pack of Yu Suzuki's original, almost 20-year-old chapters in the saga will be enhanced to include a choice of languages and control systems, and a crisper resolution befitting current hardware.

As coordinators of the #SaveShenmueHD campaign, we cannot begin to thank each and every one of you enough for your tireless support over the last three years, not to mention the #SaveShenmue variant that preceeded the Shenmue III announcement in 2015. Just like Ys Net before them, when Sega confirmed their new project with the hashtag #ShenmueSaved, they acknowledged the dedication you have all shown for this aim with your unwavering chorus of tweets every 3rd of the month. "You've asked, we listened," read their response to your requests:

https://twitter.com/SEGA/status/984974525245747200

What's most remarkable about your latest effort is that most people would have understood if you'd simply put up your feet and called it a day after Shenmue III was successfully crowdfunded. The majority of campaign participants will have already played Shenmue 1 & 2 on Dreamcast/Xbox or through emulation, perhaps even still having the means to do so. And there was always the distinct possibility that new versions were in the bag before Sega even saw records being broken on Kickstarter. A lesser fan base would have congratulated themselves and left the rest to fate.

But you understood the importance of making these games available to a new generation of gamers so that the series, fully restored from its roots, may stand the best chance of blossoming into future sequels that complete the story. Furthermore, you honored the implicit pact we all made with Suzuki-san that if he found a way to take a chance on Shenmue III, we would support him all the way. You didn't down tools and walk away once you got what you wanted most - you continued to do what you could to ensure Ys Net's upcoming sequel has the best circumstances and fairest opportunity to succeed at retail.

And for that you deserve unreserved plaudits and to take deep satisfaction in a job well done. THANK YOU.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

So what now? Now that we really do have all we campaigned for?

We celebrate of course! May 3rd marks the 75th consecutive monthly Shenmue Tweetathon, the largest and longest-running social media event in gaming history. And what better way to thank Sega than by spreading the love with the hashtag they've chosen to promote their new release: #ShenmueSaved.

We'll be hoping to see your tweets about what it means to you to have Shenmue 1 & 2 freed from the obscurity of discontinued consoles, and the series as a whole finally back in production.

Throughout the day we will be giving away commemorative pin badges of the concluded campaign's familiar symbol, so look out for numerous contests on Twitter from @TeamYu. In the lead-up to the event we'll also be releasing a sneaky heads-up on our Facebook page on how to gain an advantage in winning those prizes. Preparation's not essential, but it will help...

And after May 3rd? That's when the monthly event will literally be the #Shenmue Tweetathon. With our campaigning done, the long-established tradition of tweeting about Shenmue every 3rd will still prove a useful tool for the community, maintaining momentum leading up to the launch of Shenmue 1 & 2 and subsequently Shenmue III. By keeping the name in the public eye with the most intuitive hashtag possible, fans can keep the hype alive and show all gamers that this is a highly anticipated series going from strength to strength.

So from June 3rd and every month thereafter, please tweet #Shenmue. But on May 3rd, it's all about #ShenmueSaved.

Our website TeamYu.net will soon be updated to reflect these and other recent developments, including a new default message for AutoTweet users who will be able to edit or deactivate it should they wish to. We'll also be posting reminders of the upcoming Tweetathons during the transition between hashtags, and we look forward to publishing a short video on May 3rd that we've had in mind for some time.

But for the most part, compared with what you may be used to seeing from us since we launched the Team Yu project in January 2012, our role in the Shenmue community will now begin to reduce. Our remit has always been to campaign for the resurrection of Yu Suzuki's magnum opus, and not to duplicate the general Shenmue news-based content ably provided by some excellent resources available to fans at the following links, so please take a moment to follow, subscribe, bookmark, or otherwise attach your eyeballs to these highly recommended outlets:

SHENMUE DOJO
- www.shenmuedojo.net
- facebook.com/ShenmueDojo
- twitter.com/Shenmue_Dojo
- instagram.com/shenmue_dojo
- twitch.tv/ShenmueDojo
- youtube.com/channel/UCjvnGvNdVyOcXkYanOfmRoQ

SHENMUE 500K
- www.shenmue500k.net
- https://facebook.com/groups/Shenmue500K
- https://twitter.com/shen500k
- https://youtube.com/c/Shenmue500KdotNet

SHENMUE FOREVER
- https://facebook.com/ShenmueForever
- https://twitter.com/ShenmueForever

PHANTOM RIVER STONE
- www.phantomriverstone.com
- https://facebook.com/switchblog
- https://twitter.com/phantom_river
- https://plus.google.com/115746525453313250649

SHENMUE MASTER
- www.shenmuemaster.fr
- https://facebook.com/Shenmue.Master
- https://twitter.com/ShenmueMasterFR
- https://youtube.com/channel/UCrB02ZFp7bi6CadqWyWuHPQ

SHENMUE GUIDE
- www.shenmueguide.xyz
- https://twitter.com/da34ss

SHENMUE.DE
- www.shenmue.de
- https://facebook.com/ShenmueDE
- https://twitter.com/ShenmueDE
- https://twitch.tv/shenmuede

We'll save the teary goodbye speech until we're signing off altogether, which won't be until Shenmue III is on store shelves, so for now we just want to thank you all again for your amazing support over the last six years and we look forward to dishing out prizes and celebrating #ShenmueSaved with you on May 3rd, the seventy-fifth Tweetathon!

For over a decade, Shenmue fans were told by the industry, the media, and by their peers to abandon hope. To let Shenmue die. But together, a determined community helped this promising series crack through every obstacle and earn a chance to flourish, supported by a following that never gave up. May your triumph inspire others and generations to come.
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BOOM! And there it is. #ShenmueSaved

Sega has just confirmed a new Shenmue 1 & 2 collection by unveiling a brand new trailer during SEGA PES 2018 in Tokyo:

https://www.twitter.com/SEGA/status/984974525245747200

https://www.twitter.com/SEGA_OFFICIAL/status/984971035354124288

http://shenmue1-2.sega.jp

Updated versions of the first two games in the series will be released by Deep Silver as a single package on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. (Yes, you read that correctly: there will be an Xbox One version, despite the same publisher's Shenmue 3 by Ys Net launching on PS4 and PC only.)

The new collection will allow players to select between Japanese or English audio, as well as between original or new control schemes.

This announcement marks the conclusion of the #SaveShenmueHD campaign, which has been running since 2015 following the successful crowdfunding of Shenmue 3. We will have a lot more to say on this soon, including details of where we go from here as an organized community that congregates on Twitter every 3rd of the month. But for now, we are taking a short break! We'll see you back here in a week or so. Thank you so much for your support on the journey to this long-awaited announcement of Shenmue 1 & 2 on modern platforms.

In our brief absence please be sure to keep up to date with news and developments by following these reliable Facebook pages and Twitter accounts:

https://www.facebook.com/ShenmueForever
https://www.facebook.com/switchblog
https://www.facebook.com/ShenmueDojo
https://www.facebook.com/Shenmue.Master
https://www.facebook.com/ShenmueDE

twitter.com/ShenmueForever
twitter.com/phantom_river
twitter.com/shenmueguide
twitter.com/Shenmue_Dojo
twitter.com/ShenmueMasterFR
twitter.com/shen500k
twitter.com/shenmuede
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Sega will be hosting a two-day event this weekend in Tokyo, with fan engagement and special announcements.

Stoking the hype and the inevitable #SaveShenmueHD speculation are today's tweets by Sega themselves and the French arm of Koch Media (which owns Shenmue III publisher Deep Silver), linked here:

https://twitter.com/SEGA_Europe/status/984793771870126081

https://twitter.com/KochMediaFR/status/984800481229922310

For more details on the event and how to watch via Twitch or YouTube, check out this blog post:

http://www.phantomriverstone.com/2018/04/sega-fes-event-schedule-14-15-april-2018.html

Of course it could be anything - only time will tell. But if you want to tune in just in case, the link above will help.
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Alongside Shenmue Forever, we had the honor of interviewing Yu Suzuki at MAGIC 2018 about Shenmue III, and also met a number of supporters of the #SaveShenmueHD campaign!

https://TeamYu.net/Shenmue.III?action=yu_suzuki_interview_magic_2018

Check out our report on this collaboration and find out what Suzuki-san had to say about Deep Silver's contribution, Shenmue IV, and a range of other topics relating to the upcoming game.
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On the 6th anniversary of the first ever Shenmue Tweetathon, fans were once again out in force yesterday in the ongoing effort to #SaveShenmueHD in time for the launch of Shenmue III. Massive thanks to everyone who turned out with your tweets, pictures, videos, and all around community spirit to spread the word and be heard on the 3rd. Your undying support for this campaign is what makes Shenmue fans the greatest, most extraordinary fan base in all of gaming.

We all hope that Sega has things under control behind the scenes, with remasters of the original chapters primed and ready for release at whatever they deem the most opportune time. But given their track record with this franchise and many others, it behooves them to put fans' mind at ease and publicly commit to a sensible course of action that is no longer taken for granted. Tireless supporters of the series need assurance from the brand that neglected the saga for so long, that bringing the first two games onto modern platforms is one thing we can all check off the list of requirements for the much desired success of this resurrected IP.

After all, without newcomers gaining an interest in the story by playing it from the beginning, Ys Net's crowdfunded sequel is disadvantaged in its goal to sell enough copies at retail to warrant a deal for Shenmue IV. Sega would have first dibs on profiting from any future entries in Yu Suzuki's epic, so it's in their best interests to support its revival by satisfying the demand for Shenmue 1 & 2 HD. But the good will of the fans can only last so long if the company is not open about its intentions and sympathetic towards the time and energy being put into campaigning for this confirmation month after month.

The next event, as six years of Tweetathons may have taught you, is of course on April 3rd. If you're new to the routine and think you might forget to tweet on that day, simply pre-load a customized AutoTweet at https://TeamYu.net and that'll be one less thing to worry about.

Do keep an eye on this page in the coming days however, as we'll have several community interviews with Yu Suzuki to share with you, from Shenmue 500K (https://facebook.com/groups/Shenmue500K), French website Shenmue Master (http://ShenmueMaster.fr), Spanish website Sega Saturno (http://SegaSaturno.com), and from ourselves and Shenmue Forever (https://twitter.com/ShenmueForever). We look forward to bringing you all of Suzuki's answers to the questions posed to him last weekend at MAGIC Monaco!
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Two new interviews with contributors to the Shenmue games have been recently published, offering insight into the creation of the original Dreamcast titles.

French fan site Shenmue Master has spoken with three composers of the series' much celebrated soundtrack: Takenobu Mitsuyoshi, Yuzo Koshiro, and Ryuji Iuchi. One of their favorite tunes to record? The Tomato Convenience Store jingle, of course! You can read this interview in two languages at the links below:

FR: http://ShenmueMaster.fr/page.php?cat=fans-saga&page=interview-des-compositeurs-de-shenmue
EN: http://ShenmueMaster.fr/page.php?cat=fans-saga&page=interview-with-shenmue-s-composers-(en)

Meanwhile, the Phantom River Stone blog has partly translated into English a Sega Interactive interview with Norikazu Hirai, formerly a designer on Shenmue II. Amongst the topics discussed, it's revealed that when designing the Sword of Seven Stars (seen briefly in the game's cliffhanger ending), he got away with straying from Yu Suzuki's original intention of a dagger.

You can read more here: http://PhantomRiverStone.com/2018/02/interview-with-shenmue-ii-designer.html

Expect more interviews to emerge with Suzuki-san himself following his trip to Monaco next weekend for MAGIC 2018. For more details on the event, check out recent posts at https://facebook.com/TeamYu.
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Three weeks before the unveiling of new Shenmue III content by Yu Suzuki at MAGIC 2018, fans took to Twitter yesterday to keep up the public demand for Sega to remaster Shenmue 1 & 2 in time for the new game's release.

Huge thanks to everyone who took part in the #SaveShenmueHD Tweetathon, proving once again that there's nothing quite like the Shenmue community for rallying together when it matters most. The next event of course will be on March 3rd (always the 3rd!), and you can be sure not to miss it by customizing a pre-loaded AutoTweet at https://TeamYu.net today.

More details about Suzuki-san's appearance at MAGIC will emerge as the conference draws nearer, and we will share whatever becomes available before, during, and after.

Kudos to Aldo J.H. for the attached artwork published amidst yesterday's flurry of tweets: https://twitter.com/InspiredFatty/status/960024683088433152

And speaking of Twitter, you can win an official Shenmue Yokosuka guide map by entering @Phantom River Stone's contest here: https://twitter.com/phantom_river/status/959074971619241984
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A primary school for underprivileged children in Guilin, China, has recently received a donation of 166 books, paid for by Chinese fans of the Shenmue series of video games partly set in the remote area.

It's the latest chapter in a remarkable story that began during Shenmue III's Kickstarter campaign in 2015. Two American brothers volunteering at the elementary school donated substantial personal funds to the crowdfunding appeal, hoping to use the associated perks to draw wider attention to the school and its needs.

Before such rewards could even be finalized, media coverage of their intentions caught the eyes of the Chinese Shenmue fan community, which set about honoring the brothers' contributions to the game by donating equipment and materials to the school.

In December of that year, 200 books were delivered to the young children, followed in May 2016 by a brand new projector. One fundamental snag, however: the school's bare external windows made the classroom too bright to see the projections - so by the end of the year fans had also donated curtains!

The latest donation of a further 166 books really highlights the scale of compassion and generosity inspired by Yu Suzuki's Shenmue saga, with a fan community so committed to giving these kids in Guilin a better start in life.

If you'd like to see the teachings of these games reach a wider audience amongst today's potential players, the monthly #SaveShenmueHD Tweetathon brings you side by side with a global community of fans requesting of Sega that Shenmue 1 & 2 be made available on modern systems.

The next occasion is tomorrow, February 3rd, and you can pre-load a customized AutoTweet for all future events at https://TeamYu.net.

Thanks to our friend Li of the Shenmue bar on Baidu Tieba for helping us share this great story.
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2/2/18
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Reaction to the new Shenmue III images released yesterday has been overwhelmingly positive, creating a real buzz amongst fans for both the game and Shibuya Productions' upcoming Magic Monaco event on February 24th, where new information will be shared by Yu Suzuki himself.

Today, the Phantom River Stone blog examines the finer details of each image unveiled at the pre-Magic press conference in Paris: http://phantomriverstone.com/2018/01/examining-3-new-shenmue-iii-screenshots.html

French fan site Shenmue Master attended the conference, and filmed the occasion for us all to experience: https://youtu.be/1f5M6u51wpo

Our previous Facebook posts about the images can be found here: https://facebook.com/TeamYu/posts/1885824688096228

Shenmue 3 can be pre-ordered for PC and PlayStation 4 at https://shenmue.link/order

Meanwhile, these mouthwatering images make gamers even hungrier for the chance to relive Ryo's journey from the beginning on modern platforms. After 18 years, Shenmue remains a Dreamcast exclusive until highly requested remasters of those original chapters are confirmed by Sega.

To customize a pre-loaded AutoTweet for the next monthly #SaveShenmueHD Tweetathon on February 3rd, visit https://TeamYu.net today. For Ys Net's sequel to receive the support it deserves, from a generation of gamers with no easy access to the first two games, it's again up to fans to spread the word and be heard on the 3rd!
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1/17/18
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