Did you ever think this day would come? There now exists a Shenmue 3, thanks to Yu Suzuki and Sega, but really thanks to all of us.
The original game made waves in the fall of 1999 for being one of the first shining examples of the brand-new 3D sandbox genre. Shenmue is less a game and more an experience — there’s a plot you’re supposed to follow, but essentially, you’re just a guy living his life. A sequel was developed for Dreamcast but only shipped for that console in Europe — the shuttering of Sega’s console division meant a switch to the XBox in America. And none of the bro-shooter fanboys found Shenmue II to be a good fit, so a planned third game was shelved.
During the E3 of 2015, Suzuki took to the stage at the PS4 press conference to say he was finally going to attempt to make a third game in the series, do or die, but only if there was enough fan support…meaning he was launching a crowdfunding campaign effective that minute. The response was massive and gathered over six million dollars, breaking Kickstarter records. Given how much the first two Shenmues cost to make, the team was going to need much more, but it proved the demand was still there and the fanbase was still alive.
Four years later, we have the final trailer:
Plus the game itself, which began showing up in mailboxes (including my own) yesterday. If you were never a backer, you should be able to find Shenmue 3 on sale at most retailers, and if you wait until Black Friday, it could possibly be on sale.
Suzuki has a special message for everyone who supported the development of Shenmue 3. Here he is, in superdeformed form:
Shenmue 3 is out now for Playstation 4 and PC.