Yu Suzuki (that creator feller) was one of Sega's senior employees and a lead programmer. He was the creator of the Virtua Fighter fighting game franchise, which he poured a ridiculous amount of on the clock travel and research time into, just to make sure the characters were performing the moves the right way. Overall his higher ups felt that his track record and loyalty to the company warranted him lee-way to fun Shenmue. Shenmue would not have cost so much to develop had the development project continued for the Saturn version o the game, but Sega of America ruined things by messing up the Saturn launch, and ultimately killing off Saturn in North America six years before its natural extinction transpired in Japan and Asia causing the million of dollars worth of developement that had already been poured into making the unreleased Saturn game a total waste.
Here's a two more great Sega game franchises that need to be revisited; Streets of Rage and Zaxxon.