Sega representatives have announced plans to enter the Chinese market with a PC-based portfolio consisting of Phantasy Star Online: Blue Burst
and the previously unannounced Shenmue Online
The latter title is being produce in collaboration with Korean massively multiplayer online developer JC Entertainment and has not yet been confirmed for release outside of China. The title has apparently been in development since February 2003 and has a budget of around 30 billion won ($25.7m).
This seems an extraordinary sum considering Sammy’s (the company’s majority shareholder) disdain for home consumer products and the commercial failure of previous Shenmue
The fact that the game is apparently being aimed primarily at the Chinese market is an additional curiosity and an indication of how important that market is now becoming.