Yu Suzuki has always been open to a third outing for the series after an initial sequel in 2001, but Sega has never made it happen. At a Shenmue post-mortem at this year's Game Developers Conference (GDC) in San Francisco, however, he announced his plans.

Asked by Eurogamer whether he had considered crowd-funding the game with Kickstarter, Suzuki said: "Yes. I am researching it."

During the series' post-mortem earlier he had said that he would like to make Shenmue 3 given the "right opportunity".

Suzuki researching the possibility of Kickstarter is by no means confirmation of its use, and the legendary designer could not be drawn on how much the project would cost. The first two games cost $70m apiece, which equates to $98 million (£59.5m) today.

Suzuki created a number of iconic games for Sega during his time at the company, including Space Harrier, Out Run, After Burner, Daytona, Virtua Fighter and Shenmue.

Right now he's working on a mystery project. "I don't have anything I can say yet," he smiled. "I can't announce right now - but I'm making something."