Ys Net founder Yu Suzuki has confirmed that his team has delayed the Shenmue 3 release date into the second half of 2018.
The highly anticipated action-RPG was originally pencilled in for a December 2017 window on PlayStation 4 and PC. However, speaking in a new video update, Suzuki-san confirmed that the project has been pushed back as a result of the game needing more development time, though made it clear the game is shaping up nicely.
“By utilising new technologies, we have been able to discover new possibilities and expressions. In many ways, the game has become bigger and more beautiful than I initially expected. We do, however, need more time to deliver the game to you. In order to achieve the game concept you supported and my sixteen year-long personal dream, we have revised the development schedule.”
The delay perhaps isn’t a surprise considering we’ve seen little on the project in the last two years, plus the fact we already know Shenmue 3 won’t be making an appearance at E3 next week.
Shenmue 3 was announced as a Kickstarter project during Sony’s E3 2015 press conference, with Suzuki taking to the stage to unveil the game and count down the crowdfunding launch. The kickstarter was an unprecedented success, notching up one million dollars in record time and going on to raise an impressive $6.3 million by the end of the summer. The game’s announcement also resulted in a spike of second-hand Dreamcast sales.
The Shenmue series started out life on the Sega Saturn as an RPG set in the Virtua Fighter universe, before becoming a new IP and transitioning to the Sega Dreamcast. The original game was the most expensive video game ever made at the time of its release, and launched in Japan in 1999 and the west the following year.
Shenmue 2 followed in 2001, although due to the Dreamcast’s impending demise was only available in Europe and Japan for that system. The U.S. release was delayed and ported to the Xbox in 2002 complete with improved visuals and a cinematic recap of the first game.