YS Net has announced Shenmue 3’s first DLC, Battle Rally.
According to publisher Deep Silver, Battle Rally introduces “fresh gaming activities in a race unlike any other,” as contestants engage in head to head battles whilst racing their way through a course.
For the first time in the series players will be able to play as a character other than protagonist Ryo Hazuki, with a choice of either Wuying Ren or Wei Zhen.
Battle Rally will release on January 21 for $7.99 / £6.49.
Designer Yu Suzuki has pledged to continue making Shenmue games “as long as there are those who wish to see Shenmue live on.”
The commitment is made via an in-game letter to fans shown during Shenmue 3’s staff credits.
In the letter, Suzuki says he will “never give up” on his ambition to complete the overall Shenmue story, which has previously been estimated to be less than 50% complete by the end of the third game. In a 2015 AMA, Suzuki said he would like to complete 11 story chapters across at least five games.
Suzuki says in the letter: “For as long as there are those who wish to see Shenmue live on, I will never give up on my own personal journey to complete its story. As with Shenmue 3, the Shenmue story is with you.
“I sincerely hope that, together, we can continue to spin the tale of Ryo and his adventures in Shenmue 4.”
The designer told VGC at Gamescom 2019 that plans for Shenmue 4 would be made easier if sales of the third game are good. However, he added that the future of the series would be more dependent on which partners he can secure.
In the same interview, the veteran Sega designer suggested he could be in discussions to return to his classic series Virtua Fighter and Out Run.