Back in the early 2000s, Shenmue was one of the most ambitious video games ever attempted — but fans are going to have to wait a little longer to see where the story goes next.
After releasing Shenmue and Shenmue II on the Dreamcast (with Shenmue II also getting a release on Xbox), creator Yu Suzuki’s ambitious saga was sidelined for more than a decade. Until Suzuki turned to Kickstarter to try and get some support to mount his long-gestating third installment, and the campaign garnered more than $5.5 million from fans still clamoring to see where the journey takes Ryo Hazuki all these years later.
Suzuki has already been working on Shenmue III for two years, but has now announced that the release has been bumped to the back half of 2018. The reason? Suzuki said new technology has allowed them to discover “new possibilities and expressions” they can use in the game that will make it “bigger and more beautiful” than he’d ever imagined. It takes time to pull it off, though, so the development schedule has been extended. Word had already broken that Shenmue III would not have a presence at E3 this year, so this delay isn’t much of a shock.
The original Shenumue cost Sega $70 million to develop back in the early 2000s, and was the most expensive game ever created at the time. It was a sweeping, open-world tale of a man trying to find himself, and get revenge on a murderer, as he explores Japan circa 1986. When the game was released on Dreamcast in 2000, it was a revelation and precursor to the open world titles we know and love today. Shenmue II built on that success, expanding the story and world with innovations that would go on to influence video games for decades.
The game will be released on PS4 and Windows PC.
What’s your take on the delay? Are you eagerly awaiting this one all these years later?