A crowdfunding campaign for the long-awaited Shenmue III was announced nearly three years ago at E3 2015, and since then, we’ve seen numerous developer updates and release date shifts. It appeared that the game would finally make it into the wild in 2018, but publisher Deep Silver has decided to push it into next year.
“The extra time will be used to polish the quality of the game even further, to the high standards it deserves, and release the product in the best possible timeframe,” Deep Silver said in a post on its website.
Director Yu Suzuki released his own statement on the game’s Kickstarter page, as well, expressing his apologies to those who backed the game.
“After much discussion with our partners, Deep Silver, we have concluded that extending the release will allow us to deliver Shenmue III at its best,” Suzuki said. “We promise to use this time to improve the quality of Shenmue III.”
The estimated delivery window for Shenmue III is still listed as “December 2017” on the Kickstarter page — as the game was announced alongside the crowdfunding campaign, it was revealed to the public much earlier than game traditionally is. More than $6 million was raised on the platform, far above the $2 million goal, in addition to the funding provided by Deep Silver.
The $6 million is likely a drop in the bucket when you consider the cost of modern AAA games. Shadow of the Tomb Raider cost between $75 million and $100 million to develop, according to Eidos Montreal head David Anfossi.
The decision to delay Shenmue III will hopefully result in the game better utilizing the power of the PlayStation 4 and PC. A teaser trailer released back in 2017 was criticized for the bizarrely blank facial expressions of its characters. They were then reworked later that year, but still displayed a stiffness we don’t expect to see from something on current-generation systems.
If you’re looking for a similar game to tide you over until (or if) Shenmue III eventually releases, consider checking out the Yakuza series. The latest game, Yakuza 6: The Song of Life, recently launched in the West, and a remake of the second game, Yakuza Kiwami 2, is scheduled to arrive this arrive this August.