Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Shenmue III Release Date Revised to 19th November | Kickstarter Update #100

YS Net and Deep Silver yesterday released an announcement regarding a revision to the release date of Shenmue III. The revised release date is 19th November. The full text is as follows:
04 June 2019
A Message from Yu Suzuki & Deep Silver
Hello Everyone,
Today Yu Suzuki & Deep Silver would like to give a message concerning the release date.
Shenmue III will now release on 19th November 2019.
[before] August 27, 2019
[new] November 19, 2019
Whilst almost ready, the game simply needs a little more refinement before being truly finished.
We feel that the extra time we have will help us deliver the true Shenmue experience players around the world deserve!
We thank you for your patience and understanding,
Yu Suzuki & Deep Silver
This delay will no doubt come as a disappointment to fans who have been counting down the days to the previous release date since being decided in August of last year.

A complicating factor is is how this change in release period may effect Shenmue III sales and general awareness among players, in a release period where other, big-name releases may steal the limelight and headlines (Death Stranding, for example, is currently scheduled earlier in the month on November 8th).

However, out-weighing this in my eyes is that if extra work is required on the game, then spending the extra time is the right decision. The alternative - releasing before the critical eye of the public a game that lacks polish, or worse, one that suffers from obvious bugs from the outset - could seriously damage its reputation. After such a long wait for this game, it would be a shame for it to be compromised for the sake of a few months and I trust that Yu Suzuki has our best interests in mind.

As a side-note, when the original release of Shenmue in Japan was delayed in 1999, the What's Shenmue demo was distributed on the originally-scheduled release date to people who had pre-ordered. I would love to see something similar done for the timing of the "Shenmue III demo" reward for backers, but this would of course depend on developer resources.

No mention was made in the announcement of plans for next week's E3 (June 11 - 13), although we know that Shenmue III will be playable by members of the press. The change of date will no doubt affect the way in which Shenmue III gets marketed at Gamescom 2019 (August 21-24), and other later events also now come into the picture such as Paris Games Week (October 30).

Link to announcement: Shenmue III Kickstarter Update #100
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