This sucked. I loved Shenmue . . . well, not like the story or anything, but I sure had a hell of a time feeding kittens and playing Space Harrier.
I agree that I'd love both games in one bundle though. Never got around to Shenmue 2 due to the lack of an XBox.
Well, the Xbox one is on the 360 backwards compatibility list, but as with most entries on said list, it barely counts as compatible. But at least it's upscaled.
They probably relocated him to the closet after Shenmue tanked and Sammy bought them out. Japanese corporate doesn't appear to be very nice to those that create massive losses for the company, no matter how important their contributions were before (see: Gunpei Yokoi).
I'd say they could have reused existing materials and cannibalised a new game in the series (which they most probably were doing), but in Sega's mind Nagoshi's already taken up the Shenmue slack with Ryu ga Gotoku.
Still a shame, though. At the time he started to disappear, arcades were already on the way side, so the best situation would've been to continue making console games (with a more down to earth budget, of course.) Sword of Vermilion and Rent a Hero on the Genesis and Fighter's Megamix on the Saturn are his, so it's not like he doesn't have the experience. Not to forget Digital Dance Mix on the Saturn either, here's a blurb from Segagaga Domain:
Many people say that Digital Dance mix was a test program to see how detailed AM2 could make a 3D polygon character look in real time. The reason for this research was to aid them in the making of Virtua Fighter 3 for Saturn. So in a way we could take Digital Dance Mix as a beta test for Saturn Virtua Fighter 3 which never did see the light of day even though it was fully completed twice using two different graphic engines.
...Coupled with development for Shenmue originally starting on the Saturn as well, the ingenuity these guys had is just mind-blowing.
Going back to Sword of Vermilion, despite what Ethan "We didn't put Sword of Vermilion / Wonder Boy in Sonic's UGC because no one cares about them" Einhorn thinks, I can still sit down and enjoy it. I guess I like Etrian Odyssey for the same reasons I like Vermilion.
All in all, I think Suzuki and AM2 in their prime best represented the essence of Sega. Those of us that have forgotten what it means to be a Sega fanboy thank you sir.