The announcement of Shenmue III at E3 last year came as a shock to many. Most fans had given up entirely on the prospect of Shenmue III ever seeing the light of day.
The original game was released sixteen years ago, and it didn’t even come close to recuperating its massive budget.
Shenmue was the most expensive game ever made at the time, costing somewhere between 47 and 70 million dollars and, for some strange reason, it was released exclusively on the Dreamcast. This meant that in order for the game to break even, every person who owned a Dreamcast in the year 2000 would have had to buy the game twice.
The game was critically acclaimed, and pioneered a lot of mechanics and features that are commonly used in games today, but it was doomed to be a financial failure.
Luckily however, Shenmue II was already in development by the time the first game was released, so work continued on the sequel and it was released in late 2001 on the Dreamcast and the Xbox. Alas, Shenmue II would also prove to be a flop.
The series garnered a cult following, and fans begged for a third entry in the series.
Rumours of a third game persisted for well over a decade, but it wasn’t until last summer that a kickstarter was launched for Shenmue III. The kickstarter campaign raised over 6.3 million dollars for the game, one of the most successful campaigns in the website’s history.
We all owe kickstarter a debt of gratitude, because honestly, there’s no conceivable way that this money-hemorrhaging franchise could have enticed a sane financial backer.
Shenmue III is being developed with the Unreal Engine for PC and PS4, and the new footage looks gorgeous.
PlayStation’s official twitter account also debuted these screenshots from the game…
The developers are still accepting donations for Shenmue III, and you can become a backer by donating at the following link.
If you’d like to track the progress of Shenmue III, you can check out the kickstarter updates here… and you can also follow the youtube page, Shenmue Dojo, which frequently posts updates on the game’s development.
Shenmue III is due for release in December 2017.
For more, follow me on twitter: @fireinthelyons