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Shenmue City shuttered

Another gut punch for faithful fans of the series doomed to never make any money, ever.

Andriasang reports Shenmue City closed down on December 26, just one year from launch. Probably another nail in Shenmue 3's already thoroughly secured coffin.

The Japan-exclusive social title - also called Shenmue Gai, Town or World - was restricted to the mobile version of Mobage, but was expected to come to browsers eventually. It was free-to-play and supported by microtransactions.

Shenmue City was the debut title from developer Ys Net, but was directed by series creator Yu Suzuki.

The Shenmue franchise has achieved notoriety over its sporadic history; the first game was the most expensive ever developed at the time of its 1999 launch as a flagship Dreamcast property, and the series's critical praise but lacklustre sales have strong analogies with the Dreamcast itself. A promised third entry has become something of a running joke as fans leap on every hint and rumour while Sega repeatedly issues denials.

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