Shenmue 3 was one of the many new games announced at E3 2015, though one of the few to be announced on stage with a Kickstarter campaign. That Kickstarter turned out to be one of the most successful ever, raising more than $6.3 million, proving the huge fan demand.
Shenmue 2, originally on the Deamcast, was released way back in 2001, but developer Ys Net secured the official rights to the Shenmue 3 license from Sega. The open world action RPG will be built with the Unreal 4 engine following the story of Ryo Hazuki as he tried to find his father's killer.
Shenmue 3 will have familiar elements from its predecessors plus new fight mechanics as the developer aims to achieve a new level of interactive storytelling. “Our ambition is to deliver a Shenmue experience that will draw in newcomers to the series and reward diehard fans with its deep story and rich gameplay.”
Here's what we know so far about the Shenmue 3 release date, price, platforms, and more. Plus you can watch the first teaser for Shenmue 3 at the top of this page.
When is the Shenmue 3 release date?
With the Kickstarter surpassing its $2m target extremely quickly (in just 9 hours), the game officially entered development in July 2015, with a planned release date of December 2017.
Unfortunately, fans will have to wait even longer than that, as in June 2017 the developers announced a delay until the second half of 2018. While some fans worried it wouldn't reach the US and UK, publisher Deep Silver came onboard the game in August 2017 - with a good track record on bringing relatively niche Japanese series like Yakuza to the West, it's a good sign that we can expect a release over here.
The development team at Ys Net say the Shenmue 3 release date is 'within reach' but warns that it could move.
“We unfortunately must delay its release,” designer Yu Suzuki said. “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.”
What platforms will it be on?
If you want to pre-order a copy, you can still do so through Kickstarter. A digital copy on either platform is currently $29, while a physical version costs $60, and there are various other tiers and backer bonuses available, including T-shirts, an art book, and the chance to be featured in the credits.
Shenmue 3 trailers
Despite the fact that the game was first announced two years ago, the first trailer was not announced until August 2017 (you can watch it at the top of this page).
We've embedded the original Kickstarter campaign video below, which additionally shows off some early game footage and illustrates the developers' vision for the game.
You can also see another early game environment in action in this brief video:
If you want to see more from the game, head to the Shenmue 3 YouTube channel, which contains a selection of videos created for the Kickstarter campaign, or follow the Kickstarter Updates for more recent footage.