Thursday, June 8, 2017

Kickstarter Update #68: Shenmue III Rescheduled for 2018

Yu Suzuki announces a change in release date for Shenmue III

Yu Suzuki announced today that the release date of Shenmue III has been moved back to the second half of 2018. For me, this did not come as a great surprise, given the recent announcement that the team would not be participating in E3 this year in order to focus on development.

In Yu Suzuki's Words...

Although the official English captions in the video do accurately reflect Yu Suzuki's meaning, here is my slightly fuller translation of his explanation for the need for a reschedule (the areas in blue are omitted from the official translation):

My Translation:

Yu Suzuki: "By taking advantage of new technologies, we have discovered new possibilities and things we couldn't express in the previous games, and so the plan for Shenmue III has grown to be both bigger and more engaging than originally planned. We do, however, need more time to deliver this 'bigger and better' Shenmue to you" .

Official Caption:

Yu Suzuki: "By utilizing 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".
When you listen to the video, you may notice Yu uses the words "power-up" to express the enhanced plan for Shenmue III!

Yu finishes by letting us know that more information about the rescheduling will be coming in the June Kickstarter Update (which should be at the end of the month if the usual schedule is followed).

Why a Delay is a Good Thing

I believe this decision is for the best. Although a delay means we fans will need to wait a little longer to see the finished product, in my eyes the decision is a positive thing in the long term, taking into account the following:

  • The initial release date of December 2017 was set prior to the outcome of the Kickstarter, meaning it was not tailored for the actual final Kickstarter funding figure (which far exceeded expectations, and has been increasing further thanks to Slacker Backer funds) and accordingly limited scope. There is no point in the team rushing out an incomplete or unsatisfactory game simply to meet this arbitrary date.
  • Since the game will not be appearing at E3 this year, it opens up the possibility of a spectacular public showing at next year's event.
  • It will allow sufficient time for a demo/trial version of the game to be created (being one of the backer rewards), and feedback taken into account.
  • Comments on the game's progress to date by people who have had the chance to see it up close have been positive. The CEO of Fig viewed the game during a recent visit to Japan and commented that "it's a beautiful game" and "it's looking great". 
  • Most importantly, extra time will allow Yu to properly realize a bigger and better Shenmue III than what he had originally planned. I think the fans will be happy for additional time to allow him to achieve this.

Initial Community Reaction

It is heartening to see that, from the initial response of the Shenmue community, people appear to be taking the news calmly and indeed are demonstrating their support for the decision and the reasons behind it.

I'm personally even more fired up about the game that lies in store for us, as I know that the extra development time will lead to an improved creation.

How do you feel about the announcement and new release schedule?

Announcement Video 

Watch the video below (hosted by Shenmue Dojo).

Source: Kickstarter Update #68 post

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  1. Well, it's a wise choice. We saw it coming, though ^^

    1. Yes, and I think the timing of the announcement was well-judged, not leaving it to later in the year.

  2. It is getting made. They have more time to do it and there's additional time to back it for a better Shenmue Experience.

  3. Fantastic news. The delay is only a good thing and let's be honest - we were all expecting it. I think that in hindsight 2018 should have been the original date to begin with. The delay is absolutely fine.

    1. I agree that 2018 feels much more realistic. I suspect they wouldn't have wanted to invite controversy by revising the date immediately after the Kickstarter, and selected the announcement timing carefully.

    2. A lot of people are saying they're fine with it and respect Yu's candor and honesty. I haven't read much media on it yet but I think a lot of non-fans are fine with it and like how honest and open they are about it. The fact they did this now, before E3, after making a statement just last week that the game won't be at E3 is humbling. You know that if this were a lot of other games they would have waited until at least November this year to finally make a statement on the games progress. I think this action adds a lot to the games credibility. Having some good vibes here.

    3. Absolutely. His sincerity and desire to be upfront with backers really came out in the video. Onward to good things in the coming year!

  4. I completely agree Naomi! I completely trust Yu and his team to make the game we've all been waiting 15 years for. And if they need more time, I'm happy to wait!


    1. And there's nothing Shenmue fans do better :)

  5. I love Shenmue, backer from Brazil :D

    1. There should be some exciting updates for us in the coming months! Thanks for stopping by.