Shenmue III has been delayed. Again.
Will Shenmue III become the new Duke Nukem Forever? German publisher Deep Silver has announced that the third follow-up to one of the biggest cult games of all time will once again be delayed, this time to sometime in 2019.
"Deep Silver today announce that their upcoming release Shenmue III has been moved and will now release in 2019,” reads a statement from the company. “The extra time will be used to polish the quality of the game even further, to the high standards it deserves and release the product in the best possible timeframe."
Unlike last year, this latest delay was not announced by the game’s director, Yu Suzuki, and instead was merely two lines posted on the Deep Silver web page. One can almost sense the reluctance in this latest delay, almost as though Deep Silver is hoping that rabid fans and Kickstarter backers won’t notice that their much-beloved franchise is not set to return for yet another year.
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Last year’s delay was accompanied by a video message from Suzuki sincerely apologizing for the delay and explaining that it was necessary for the game’s development. “In order to achieve the game concept you supported and my sixteen year-long personal dream,” Suzuki said, “we have revised the development schedule. We are moving ahead with a plan to release the game in the second half of 2018. Details will be revealed in the backer report later this month.”
This year he offers a similar comment but without the accompanying video message on the Kickstarter update page. “To all of our backers,” Suzuki begins, “we are very sorry for the delay. After much discussion with our partners, Deep Silver, we have concluded that extending the release will allow us to deliver Shenmue III at its best. We promise to use this time to improve the quality of Shenmue III.”
Shenmue III was initially set to release in December of 2017 after the most successful Kickstarter launch for a video game ever, raising $6.3 million in funding. The game is set to follow after the events of Shenmue II as teenage martial artist Ryo Hazuki continues to track down his father’s killer in the mountains of Guilin, China.