It seemed like Shenmue 3 was a dream that was never going to become a reality, but during Sony’s E3 2015 press conference that all changed. Series creator Yu Suzuki kicked off a Kickstarter campaign for the game that night, and by the morning it had already met its lofty funding goal. However, this doesn’t mean that this will be the final game in the series, which is something that has been clear from the beginning.
Yu Suzuki recently did an interview where the potential of a Shenmue 4 was brought up, and Suzuki replied just as long-time fans expected him to. “Yes, the end will be open for a sequel. It will not be possible to finish with this third episode,” said Suzuki.
The Shenmue series was always planned to be a long-running epic, spanning multiple games as Ryo Hazuki hunted down the man who killed his father. While the first two games were both well-received, their massive budgets resulted in them being unsuccessful in the sales department. This put the series’ future in doubt for many years, but now thanks to crowd funding platforms the fans themselves have been able to ensure that the game is finally made.
However, the big question that remains is whether or not Yu Suzuki will be able to complete the series as originally envisioned. It was very obvious that it would be impossible to wrap up the story with the third game, with the a fourth game always being in the cards and potentially even more. The problem here is that, once again, the future of the series depends on how the latest game is received. The more recent screenshots that we’ve gotten from the game look very promising, but that needs to translate to not only quality, but also big sales.
Shenmue 3 is currently in development for PlayStation 4 and PC, and is slated to release for both platforms in the second half of 2018.