Had you forgotten about Shenmue III? It’s hardly surprising if you have – ever since the long awaited sequel’s Kickstarter was announced at last year’s E3, creator Yu Suzuki and the rest of developer Ys Net has gone dark somewhat, seemingly busy with getting the project off the ground and into a shape that resembles a video game. Indeed, in the months that followed its record-breaking crowdfunding campaign, we’ve only been privy to several pieces of concept art and a few tech demos, but with 2017 (and the game’s tentative release date) drawing closer each day, all of that is hopefully about to change.
According to a recent interview with Japanese magazine Famitsu (translated by Gematsu), Suzuki says that development for Shenmue III is “headed towards full-scale production,” with the team hoping to share new details early in the new year. “Development is entering the final stage,” says Suzuki, adding that “early in the new year, I think we’ll be able to show you things such as new videos.” Furthermore, Suzuki confirms in the interview that pre-orders for the PC version of Shenmue III will open on December 15, a version which has “received a lot of requests,” according to the series creator.
Originally starting life all the way back in 1999 on the SEGA Dreamcast, the original Shenmue is considered a classic, having since achieved cult status among its fans. A sequel – Shenmue II – was released in 2001, with a third game planned to release shortly after. However, due to the sequel’s poorer-than-expected performance, the project was shelved until 2015, wherein Suzuki made an impassioned appeal to the public to get the game made.
Shenmue III is due to launch on PlayStation 4 and PC towards the end of 2017. To help ease the wait, we’ve put a gallery together of various concept art images released so far, and you can check it out below.