The Shenmue III development team has today bolstered its ranks with the acquisition of the programmer behind the Shenmue HD fan project.
Ys Net confirmed earlier that it has hired NoconKid, a South Korean modder who has spent the last several years remastering the original Dreamcast game in Unreal Engine 4. An image of the programmer alongside studio head and franchise creator Yu Suzuki accompanied the announcement, which is no doubt good news for Shenmue 3 but does leave the existing fan project somewhat in limbo.
While such a move may seem unprecedented, it’s not the first time a Sega-owned franchise has turned to the fan community for programming support. In 2013, the corporation approached leading mod community members Christian ‘The Taxman’ Whitehead and Simon ‘Stealth’ Thomley to remaster their iconic Sonic the Hedgehog 1 and 2 Genesis titles for mobile devices.
Shenmue III, whose development comes over a decade since the release of its predecessor, was made possible by a record-breaking $6 million Kickstarter campaign earlier in the year. It is scheduled to release on PS4 and PC in December 2017.