For years, Shenmue 3 was a sequel that would never come. Like Half-Life 3 and Earthbound 64, many had lost hope for an eventual release. Shenmue 3 defied those odds, however, and returned with a record-breaking Kickstarter campaign. As the game nears its release, developer Ys Net announced that Deep Silver will act as global publisher.
Deep Silver made the announcement on its website, confirming that the game will release exclusively on the PlayStation 4 and PC. The release date is currently scheduled for the second half of 2018.
“I am very pleased to secure this global partnership with Deep Silver, which is comprised of incredible men and women who have a deep passion for bringing Japanese titles to the rest of the world,” said Yu Suzuki, director of Shenmue 3. “Throughout this process, Deep Silver has expressed a deep passion for Japanese games, the Shenmue franchise and its fans — this gives me further confidence in Shenmue 3 and that we have found the best partner possible.”
This would not be the first time that Deep Silver has picked up a high-profile Kickstarter project. Previous projects include Keiji Inafune’s Mighty No. 9. While Inafune’s attempt was less than successful, Deep Silver has also been behind more popular games such as Metro Redux, Dead Island, and Saints Row.
When Shenmue 3 launched on Kickstarter, its campaign ended at the highest-ever figure for a video game. Almost 70,000 people pledged a total of $6,333,295. Because the game was revealed during Sony’s E3 2015 press conference, some fans were worried about how this would affect funding. Ys Net was quick to clarify that Sony would provide “assistance on the production and marketing end” and “some publishing support as well. As far as money was concerned, Sony would not t see “a cent of your Kickstarter dollars.” It is unclear whether Sony’s arrangement remains in place following this deal with Deep Silver.
For those who are worried about catching up on earlier Shenmue titles, playing is about to get easier. Rather than digging out an old Dreamcast or Xbox, or illegally playing a ROM on the PC, Sega is supposedly planning to release HD remasters of the first two Shenmue games. Little has been said about these rumors since they began circulating, but we do know that more Shenmue 3 news is expected next week at Gamescom 2017.