Speaking about delays, unfortunately publisher Deep Silver has announced Shenmue III has been delayed and is now expected to be released in 2019.
In a short statement they said the extra time will be used to polish the game even further to the high standard it deserves. To be honest based on the few early shots available, a delay is probably a good idea. Given the sequel has been highly anticipated and about 15 years overdue, what’s another 12 months or so?
Yu Suzuki added this note to the backers of the project
“To all of our backers, we are very sorry for the delay. 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. We promise to use this time to improve the quality of Shenmue III. We cannot thank you enough for your enduring support”
Shenmue III is the most funded video game in the history of Kickstarter originally announced in 2015 with the original release date of 2017, making this the second time the game has been delayed. This isn’t new for the series; the original Shenmue was also more than a few years in development. A fun fact being that Shenmue ended up costing Sega approx $70 Million all the way back in the 90’s making it one of the most expensive video games of all time. By comparison, Shenmue 3 is a bargain.
Of course it isn’t all bad news for the Shenmue faithful. Earlier this year Sega announced that Shenmue 1 & 2 will be getting HD re issues later this year. In that sense the timing is great, allowing everyone to revisit Yokosuka and reacquaint themselves with Ryo Hazuki and company prior to sinking their teeth into the new one.
I don’t think anyone is surprised by the announcement that Shenmue III won’t arrive this year. The sequel was so long coming in the first place the fact that it is even in development at all is a good thing. The originals had unlimited budgets and the power of Sega behind them, whereas number III is being developed by Yu Suzuki and his smaller Y’s NET. If it takes extra time to present a game that feels, looks and plays AAA, then delay away.