“I know you are all eagerly anticipating the release of Shenmue III, however, we unfortunately must delay its release,” Suzuki said in the video.
Suzuki stressed that his team has been using “new technologies” for the game and that it has become “bigger and more beautiful” than he had anticipated. He added that more details would be revealed in the Kickstarter Backer Report coming later this month.
“Thank you very much for your understanding and continued support,” said Suzuki.
Shenmue III received more than $6 million in crowdfunding from nearly 70,000 backers in 2015, with additional funding coming from private sources, including Sony. Stretch goals for its campaign added features like Portuguese, German, and Spanish subtitles, a skill tree, and expanded combat system. The game’s story will take Ryo Hazuki to China, seeking revenge for his father’s murder. Its development team includes many former Shenmue and Shenmue II staff members, including writer Masahiro Yoshimoto, director Tak Hirai, who had served as programmer previously, and composer Ryuji Iuchi. Corey Marshall, the voice of Ryo, will also be returning to his role.
Shenmue III will release on both PC and PlayStation 4 in 2018. Anyone who pledged $60 or more to the Kickstarter campaign will be able to choose a physical or digital copy of the game for either platform. Those who pledged $100 or more will be able to try out the game through a trial version. We’re hoping to hear more information at Sony’s E3 presentation next week.