I'm guessing they had a hard time coming up with a transforming vehicle for him that would fit in the Shenmue universe.
You think? I think that forklift is a perfect fit, and it would be hilarious to see it transform into a plane/boat. Maybe that would look too goofy, but if Thunderhead can ride a turtle and bird, Ryo can drive a forklift.
Also, I have been watching these tweetathons closely, ShenmueLives, and have been very heartened and impressed with the support you've all managed to build. It's that element of Sega's fan community that really sets us apart--we are passionate, and will do the work to show our love for some of the best franchises of all time.
My concern is that Sega won't take a risk on anything that's isn't almost certainly profitable ahead of time, so pressuring them is useless at this point. I highly doubt we'll see any physical releases from the company next year, other than Anarchy Reigns, Colonial Marines, Rome II, a new Sonic, and maybe
Bayonetta 2 (though I have a feeling that won't be coming until 2014). I don't mean to suggest that a Shenmue III would come out that quickly; I just mean to say that Sega looks like they're really sticking to their support of the big four (Aliens, Sonic, Football Manager, Total War), and really aren't interested in putting down any unnecessary cash on epic games at the moment. Even Yakuza, a franchise that absolutely does not fill the void but at least touches on Shenmue's flavor, will likely no longer be coming stateside, as it just doesn't prove profitable for the company.
I like the idea of getting behind Nintendo to financially support the game though, as they stand to gain a really huge exclusive for hardcore gamers if they do. The hard part of this is convincing them that all this momentum is being gathered not by a fairly large fringe group of very vocal hardcore fans, but by a genuinely sizable audience across the gaming community. Shenmue has never been profitable for Sega, and has in fact lost them record amounts of cash in the past. Therefore I imagine convincing Nintendo to inject their own money in a sequel is especially challenging, when the numbers just don't look good on paper. Fan support is absolutely essential, but I just don't know if it's enough to convince a company that such a sweeping, epic undertaking will finally make some money.
Having Shenmue at the top of the DLC request list is certainly helpful, but I have a feeling that it's only proving to Sega what they already know--hardcore fans of Sega (fans that actually visit the Sega forums and vocalize their most wanted sequels all over twitter) want Shenmue. But the general public? That might take a little more finagling.
Now, that said, I am OBSESSED with the Shenmue storyline, and the concept of finally having it completed would heal a decade-old case of videogame blue balls that's been driving me insane. I want it just as much as the next guy, but I think we need to be a little more clear-headed about how big of a task it is to really convince Sega and/or Nintendo that this game is wanted by more than folks who spend an hour writing an extended forum post about the game (i.e., us). Once we find a way to spread it to the larger gaming community, then we might have something on our hands.