The highly anticipated Shenmue 3, initially expected to be release in December, has been delayed to the second half of 2018.
Gamers who have been looking forward to the third installment of the Shenmue series will now have to wait much longer before they can continue the adventures of Ryo Hazuki and Shenhua.
The 'Shenmue' Franchise Returns
The first two games in the action RPG Shenmue franchise, released for the Sega Dreamcast, are considered as cult classics. Featuring massive open worlds and simulation features such as complete day-and-night cycles, Shenmue from 1999 and Shenmue 2 from 2001 garnered plenty of praise. However, when Sega exited the video game console business, fans of the series thought that Shenmue was dead.
However, the franchise was revived in 2015 through a Kickstarter campaign by developer Ys Net that looked to gather funds for the development of Shenmue 3. The campaign raised more than $1 million in just an hour, with Shenmue 3 eventually claiming the title as the most funded video game in the history of Kickstarter by raising more than $6.3 million.
Shenmue 3 targeted a launch date of late 2017 for the PlayStation 4 and PC. However, creator Yu Suzuki posted an update on the title's Kickstarter page that will dampen the spirits of fans of the franchise.
'Shenmue 3' Delayed To 2018
In a video posted on Shenmue 3's Kickstarter page, Suzuki said that the new technologies currently available allowed the development team to discover many possibilities for Shenmue 3. The game, according to the project director, has become bigger and more beautiful than he first thought.
Suzuki went on to say that the development team needs more time to deliver Shenmue 3 to gamers.
"In order to achieve the game concept you supported, and my sixteen-year long personal dream, we have revised the development schedule," Suzuki said, revealing that the team will move ahead with the plan to launch Shenmue 3 in the second half of 2018.
'Shenmue 3' Delay Not A Surprise
While the delay is certainly a disappointment for Shenmue fans, it could not be considered a total surprise. This is due to how little the development team has revealed regarding the game, plus the fact that it will not be making an appearance at the upcoming E3 2017.
Hardcore Shenmue fans will not like the news, but perhaps it will be an acceptable one. Shenmue 3 has already been 16 years in the making, so what is one more year to make sure that the game lives up to its high expectations?
The announced delay for Shenmue 3, however, is another evidence for previous reports which claimed that gamers have diminishing interest on Kickstarter-funded video games, largely due to project delays and cancellations despite successful campaigns. While Shenmue 3 is likely not in danger of being canceled, its delay may hurt the chances of other teams from acquiring the development money they need through crowdfunding.