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Shenmue 3 Delayed Until 2018

One of E3 2015’s most anticipated games, Shenmue 3, has been delayed until the second half of 2018 according to this Kickstarter post update by Ys Net.

Shenmue 3 was announced during Sony’s E3 conference in 2015, with Shenmue franchise creator Yu Suzuki asking the audience (and livestream) to pledge money to the game’s development through Kickstarter. In just one hour and 44 minutes, funding for the game reached $1 million, according to the Guinness Book of World Record’s official website.

The original target for Shenmue 3 was $2 million, and it was reached in eight hours and 43 minutes. After the target was beaten, the Shenmue 3 Kickstarter page made other goals to reach. These included deeper interaction with NPCs, further character development, and the environment becoming open-world (Suzuki said that $10 million would be required for this, but that goal wasn’t reached, according to GameSpot).

It beat Yooka-Laylee for the fastest $1 million pledged, who managed to earn $1 million pledged in five hours and 55 minutes. It also became the biggest crowd-funded video game ever, with 69,320 backers pledging over $6 million for the game’s development.

The first release date window for the game was December 2017, as announced at the Sony E3 press conference. In the video update, Yu Suzuki thanked fans for funding Shenmue 3 to extents beyond his belief and wants to use the money to develop his dream for the game.

“In ways, the game has become bigger and more beautiful than I initially expected. We do, however, need more time to deliver the game to you,” said Suzuki. “In order to achieve the game concept you supported and my sixteen-year-long personal dream, we have revised the development schedule.”

This isn’t the first Kickstarter game whose release date was pushed back, as Mighty No. 9 was also pushed back an entire year by its creators. The initial release date was going to be April of 2015, and continuous delays followed until it was released in June of 2016. It didn’t seem that it was completely worth it to delay the game, though, and has generally mixed reviews on both Steam and Metacritic.

One review from Digitally Downloaded gave the game a score of a 50. The full review can be read here.

“It was certainly compelling enough for me to want to finish the game. There are also plenty of challenges to help hone platforming skills which ultimately do help in finishing the regular levels,” said Digitally Downloaded. “As a game that is clearly supposed to appease Mega Man fans who will likely never get a new game in the series ever again, it falls spectacularly short of their expectations, particularly those that assisted in the crowdfunding campaign.”

As Shenmue 3 is also a continuation of the Shenmue series (although Mighty No. 9 was more of a spiritual successor than a continuation), it’s easy to have doubts about if the game will, well, be as extravagant and amazing as Ys Net and Yu Suzuki are promising. Fans will have to wait even longer to see if Shenmue 3 falls short of expectations or exceeds them.

“Thank you very much for your understanding and continued support,” said Suzuki as he bowed his head to the camera.

Fans can still back the game on the Shenmue 3 official website through PayPal in the U.S., and on Alipay in China (Chinese fans of the game didn’t have an opportunity to contribute to the Kickstarter, according to Business Wire). All of the rewards from the original Kickstarter are the same on both PayPal and Alipay, so newer backers will still be awarded as such. The current total amount pledged has reached over $6.7 million from 74,448 backers.

Shenmue 3 will be available on both PlayStation 4 and PC when it comes out.

Featured image via Flickr/BagoGames.

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