In a message sent out to Kickstarter backers today, series creator Yu Suzuki and publisher Deep Silver have announced that Shenmue III has been delayed once more. Thankfully it’s only for a few months, going from the previously announced 27th August launch to one on 19th November.
In the Kickstarter update, they explain:
Whilst almost ready, the game simply needs a little more refinement before being truly finished.
We feel that the extra time we have will help us deliver the true Shenmue experience players around the world deserve!
We thank you for your patience and understanding.
Shenmue III’s development was first announced way back at E3 2015, as Yu Suzuki was invited onto Sony’s stage and announced a crowdfunding campaign to get the project started. It was immensely popular on the platform, breaking records for fastest campaign to pass $1 million, largest video game campaign, amongst others.
Since then Yu Suzuki and his company Ys Net have been deep in development, but it’s taken longer than their initial, rather optimistic projections. With its initial late 2017 release window looming, it was first delayed until the second half of 2018, and then a year later delayed into 2019. Things seemed settled when they pinned a 27th August release date on it, but a project such as this was always bound to take longer than expected and it’s now been pushed back again.
Thankfully, the game has evolved considerably in this time, going from a first teaser that looked more like a proof of concept, to screenshots that look far more polished and modern, and trailers that show off some gameplay. The most recent trailer came at MAGIC 2019 in Europe back in March. It might not rival the likes of Naughty Dog for cinematography and fidelity anymore (when it was first released, Shenmue was a staggering graphical accomplishment), but it’s still looking decent.
Where do you stand on Shenmue III? Are you eagerly awaiting its release and planning another play through the remasters of the first two games, or is this one game series revival too far?