It looks like Shenmue 3 is seeing a third delay but, this time, at least the game isn’t being pushed into another calendar year. According to a recent update, the launch has officially moved from Aug. 27 to Nov. 19 of this year.
Shenmue 3 has been a long time coming on two different fronts. The Shenmue series was originally planned as a trilogy but, with the death of the Dreamcast, those dreams died in the early 2000’s. Then, in 2015, it was announced that the third installment would finally be going into development, but only after a successful Kickstarter campaign.
That’s when the second wait began, as Shenmue 3 was originally set to arrive in 2017. It was eventually pushed to 2018, then Aug. 27, 2019. So now there’s (presumably) one more delay to wait through, but it’s only going to last a few extra months.
According to an update on Kickstarter, the game is “almost ready” but “simply needs a little more refinement before being truly finished.” Translation: “Polish, polish and more polish.”
Seeing as how the Kickstarter campaign was basically launched on the Sony E3 stage, it should come as no surprise that Shenmue 3 is slated to be a PS4 console exclusive. It’s also coming to PC, though, so it’s not a total loss.
Still, some folks are a bit on edge concerning the funding of the game. Its original Kickstarter goal was $2 million, which it managed to blow straight past. In the end, it became the most successful crowdfunded game with more than $7 million raised. Despite all of that, additional support was provided by outside investors, such as Sony. Sure, it costs a hell of a lot to make a game, but folks typically like to see the whole picture when they invest in a crowdfunded project. It also begs the question, “how much does it actually cost to make a game?”
If Shenmue 3 had only raised the original $2 million goal, could it have actually been made? Even at nearly four times that amount, development required additional investments. Is this yet another example of the structural problems seen across the industry when it comes to realistic planning and budgeting for these games? There’s probably a thinkpiece that could be pulled from all of this, but I’ll leave it to you folks to hash out in the comments instead.