The cancellation of Shenmue II for the Dreamcast in North America came as a harsh blow to the throngs of Sega's followers. A lot of people have taken the decision, which ultimately is better for Sega (and thus Sega fans), very personally, and Sega is all too aware of this. The company has issued a sincere apology, which goes a little something like this:
To our Sega fans,
First, I want to thank the legion of loyal Sega fans for their unwavering enthusiasm and support over the past years - your dedication has truly been invaluable.
As you all undoubtedly know, this year Sega is transitioning from a hardware manufacturer into a platform-agnostic third party publisher. During this change, Sega has had to make some very difficult business decisions, including the cancellation of Shenmue II for Dreamcast in the U.S. market.
I realize that this announcement is a difficult one for many people to swallow, and I sincerely apologize. While I cannot detail all of the reasons that led up to this decision, I can tell you that it was made with the long-term interests of Sega fans in mind. No matter how difficult it seems, I want you to understand that any difficult choices that are made during this transition time are based on one bottom line: ensuring the longevity of beloved Sega franchises, including Shenmue. Sega is working hard to make the necessary decisions to drive our business forward while at the same time continuing to support our loyal fans.
Although the company may be changing -- we are still Sega. Although the ride has sometimes been rocky, our promise to our fans is this: We will continue to push the boundaries of gaming with new content and technology. We will continue to deliver new and innovative games. We will continue to put out the games that no one else can. We will continue to be Sega and bring you only the best that gaming has to offer.
Bear with us - the ride is going to get a lot smoother...
President & COO, Sega of America
Though the apology does not make the situation any more bearable, it will hopefully allow some of the more frustrated fans to realize that the decision really is for the best. Look for more coverage as development continues on Shenmue II ahead of its late-2002 Xbox release.