Update, May 16: Shenmue III has been delayed once again, and will now release in 2019.
Deep Silver say that "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."
The original Shenmue was one of the first-ever open-world games. Sample its legacy in the best sandbox games on PC.
Series director Yu Suzuki told Kickstarter 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."
It's certainly not the first delay Shenmue III has received. In June 2017 (see original story, below) Suzuki revealed that the game had been pushed to late 2018. Now, one year later, the game has been delayed again to 2019.
At least PC owners should be getting some Shenmue this year, as SEGA plan to re-release both Shenmue I and II in 2018 - unless that gets pushed back too.
Update, January 2: Shenmue III is still scheduled for release in 2018.
Shibuya Productions president Cedric Biscay says Shenmue III will be out in 2018. That’s this year, in case the whole calendar thing still has you reeling.
Ys Net partnered with Monaco-based Shibuya Productions to help produce the third instalment in the adventures of Ryo Hazuki. Biscay’s tweet also happily implies that the PlayStation 4 and PC versions of the game will be coming out at least somewhat close to one another.
The original Kickstarter suggested that Shenmue III would release in December 2017, but as with many crowdfunded videogame projects, the title was delayed. The new release target was set as the “second half of 2018” according to director Yu Suzuki, and it looks like the game’s still on track to meet that date.
Original story, June 8 2017: Shenmue III has been delayed. It’s now due for release in the second half of next year.
Project director Yu Suzuki - the creator of the original Shenmue - delivers the news in a new video on the project’s Kickstarter page.
“I know you are all eagerly anticipating the release of Shenmue III, however, we unfortunately must delay its release,” he says. “We are moving ahead with a plan to release the game in the second half of 2018. Details will be revealed in the backer report later this month.”
This is disappointing but not entirely surprising news. It's been just two years since E3 2015, when Shenmue 3 was announced and its Kickstarter launched. Even with its huge crowdfunding of $6 million, a release date this year would be a pretty quick turnaround for a full-sized open-world game, which is what Shenmue III really ought to be. Alarm bells should've rung for even the optimistic a couple of weeks ago, when we learned the game will not be at E3 this year.
On the upside, Suzuki says the team has been able to discover “new possibilities and expressions” using new technology, and that “in many ways, the game has become bigger and more beautiful than I initially expected.”