On June 15, 2015, Ys Net launched a Kickstarter to crowdfund Shenmue III. It was successful, raising $6,333,296 from 69,320 backers by July 17, 2015. In honor of the Kickstarter’s first anniversary, Yu Suzuki, Director and Producer of Shenmue, Shenmue II, and Shenmue III, has released a video offering an update on the game’s development and thanking everyone supporting it. You can see it on Shenmue III’s official website or Kickstarter.
The Shenmue III update video begins with Suzuki remembering the project’s announcement at Sony’s E3 2015 press conference. He notes that he still recalls the applause from the audience. He then goes on to note that Ys Net has brought on new staff members to help with the game’s development. Near the end of 2015, he says Shenmue II character models were being used for battle and conversation tests in Unreal Engine 4. Work began on the Shenmue III prototype build in January 2016. The last six months have been going well, and Suzuki noted that progress is being made on the battle system and facial expressions. The video ends with him saying, “From all of us here, we ask you again to please keep up your support.”
In addition to the video, Ys Net offered a survey update. It says a date for surveys has yet to be announced, and that an announcement will be made on Kickstarter, the official website, and Twitter, when they do. Once a survey does arrive, people will confirm their backer rewards and shipping information.
Shenmue III has an estimated December 2017 PlayStation 4 and PC release date.