As announced on the game’s official website, Shenmue 3 finally has a confirmed release date of August 27, 2019. This comes 20 years after the original was released in 1999 and 18 years after its sequel came out. The game was originally announced at E3 2015 at the PlayStation conference, with a launch of a Kickstarter campaign following in its footsteps.
The announcement of Shenmue 3‘s release date also comes with a new trailer which shows off more of the game. It marks the return of series antagonist Lan Di as well as another look at protagonists Ryo Hazuki and Shenhua Ling. The post also notes that backers will be soon getting a survey about which platform they would prefer to receive the game on, along with technical specifications for the PC version.
The release date was hotly-anticipated after it was delayed earlier this year. Shenmue 3 will be developed by Ys Net, which is largely comprised of many of the game’s original staff such as Yu Suzuki, the main director for the originals, Takeshi Hirai, who sub-directed the original, and Masahiro Yoshimoto who has acted as the series’ writer so far. The Kickstarter for the game was highly successful, reaching its $2 million goal within eight hours of its announcement.
However, this may not be the last game in the series. Yu Suzuki has previously states, in an interview with Eurogamer, that the story of Ryo Hazuki was meant to be 11 chapters long. “The volume of the story was too big for one game,” said Suzuki when discussing the original Shenmue and its sequel. He also added that to add all 11 chapters into the latest game “it could help the story progress, but it’d lose its playability.” It’s pretty safe to say, then, that Shenmue 3 will not be the last game in the series. Not by a long shot.