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Yu Suzuki presents the long awaited third installment in the Shenmue series.
Yu Suzuki presents the long awaited third installment in the Shenmue series.
Yu Suzuki presents the long awaited third installment in the Shenmue series.
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69,320 backers pledged $6,333,295 to help bring this project to life.

Then, Now and Tomorrow

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日本語はこちら

Dear Backers,

On June 16th, 2015 this project began on Kickstarter. It has been two and a half years, but at the top of 2016 we were able to bring our team together to begin development in earnest, so it has been about two years now since things have really started moving.

For the development team that time has flown by, although with the many comments and questions we have received from you, the time may have felt more drawn out for some backers.

Next year is a very important year for Shenmue, so with that, we would like to bring you a conversation with Yu Suzuki and Hiroaki Takeuchi on how far we have come and where we are going from here.

About Hiroaki Takeuchi As an animation producer, he has contributed to an abundance of works that have helped bridge Japan with the rest of the world. His exemplary works include “The Animatrix”, “Tekkon Kinkreet” and “Berserk”. He acts as the CG animation producer for the Shenmue series. For more information on Hiroaki Takeuchi and his work, we invite you to his website.

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Thank you for all of your support here on the updates and at the events throughout the year!

 
Have a wonderful holiday season and New Year!

naser alsaqer, Chris Atrian, and 295 more people like this update.

Comments

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    1. Carlito's Waypoint on January 3

      Ideally I'd much prefer to have a real fighting system in there, similar to something like Arkham. You could say in fact that Shenmue actually paved the way for the Arkham style of fighting system, so it would be great to see Suzuki build on something like that. If anyone in the gaming industry can, it's him.

      I'm so glad that the English voice acting will be back as well. I know some prefer the Japanese but I grew up with the English dubs and it just wouldn't be the same for me without them. It's great that we're getting both.

    2. Missing avatar

      Riley Hersey on January 2

      They're almost done with voice acting auditions? Bummer. I was keeping my eye on it because I would have liked to have given it a shot, but I never saw any open casting call. I wonder if they just didn't have an open casting.

    3. Missing avatar

      Sean Messmer on December 30

      I have to agree with nearly everyone else. DO NOT MESS WITH THE FIGHTING! I was already second guessing backing this after the deal with Deep Silver, and handing the character models off to Lakshya. I backed a Ys Net game. If the fighting gets drastically changed for Shenmue 3, I will be looking in to getting my money back. Hopefully Yu hears our concerns and does something about them.

    4. Missing avatar

      Robert murphy on December 29

      im happy with what youguys have showed so far i wasnt happy being told wont be getting updates for the project ive renewed my faith in the game and hope it will surpass shenmue 2 in most areas

    5. Ben B on December 27

      When I signed up for this I was hoping for something that looks and feels like a true sequel to the previous Shenmue games. With every update it looks more and more like I made the wrong choice. I don't like the idea of a fighting system that is less about timing when the highlight of the first game was the 70 Man Battle where you finally get to put all those skills you built up to the test. It is really beginning to feel like Shenmue 3 is going to feel like it lost something during all these years of waiting for a sequel. Not only am I losing faith in the project, but Kickstarter as a platform as well.

      At least with this update I can say I do like the attention they are putting into crafting out the day to day lives which is also important to Shenmue. That is very important to the experience.

    6. Missing avatar

      Stuart Bate on December 27

      I've waited for 16 years for S3, another few really won't matter, make it good Yu!!

    7. Missing avatar

      Noud van Harskamp on December 27

      Thanks for the update!
      I can't wait for the game. I am a little bit concerned about the new approach of the battles. I just hope things won't be much different than Shenmue 1 and 2.
      The story, gameplay, music are the most important things.
      Graphics are not really important for me. I just hope they won't invest too much time into that.
      And just like the other backers comments. There is no rush on releasing the game!
      As long as the story and gameplay is good then I don't care when it's released :)

    8. Missing avatar

      Mathias Soelva on December 26

      hei....I was just reading and watching all updates, until now. Normaly for me everything is fine, but dont tell me, that there wont be fighting and training like in Shenmue 1. The rare fighting was just fenomenal, was a absolute Key part of the game!!!! Sorry, but it sounds like they have problems with the engine to create a fighting system. Nobody expects a triple A product like The Witcher3, but dont take shenmue apart and leave a key element away...please, instead take a year more of time...there will be just 1 Shenmue 3!!!!

    9. Missing avatar

      Nostalgia on December 26

      Nice ! Please take your time to finish the game, even if it has to take 1 or two years.

      Just do a great game, dont give up to pressure and release date :)

      SHENMUE !

    10. Karimكريم on December 26

      At jackso. They try to translate it differently. But my japanese friend said that puzzle is the correct translation. I just hope its not what i think. I have been saying from the very first start that it is indeed possible that its gonna be a telltale game regardless of what we fund. Let us hope for the best man

    11. Karimكريم on December 26

      At martin

      Let us hope not man

    12. Missing avatar

      jacksojo2000 on December 26

      Shenmue 3 without a proper fighting system would be disastrous. No franchise has survived trying to do this (though they try in the name of 'simplification'). Please don't fall into that snare thinking that challenging combat or skill-based combat is dead... The fighting was one of my favorite things about Shenmue and in my mind was at its peak in the first game. Please consider evolving the combat, but not diluting it. It rarely yields anything good.

    13. Missing avatar

      AM2Model3 on December 25

      Thank you for the update team shenmue3 and yu suzuki!
      We cant wait to play the game soon! Are you targeting release in 2018?
      Will you also make shenmue4 to conclude the story or will shenmue3 conclude the story? Very excited please keep us all updated with the dream game!! Merry Christmas and happy new year!!

    14. Missing avatar

      Christopher on December 25

      http://www.phantomriverstone.com/2017/12/commentary-on-kickstarter-update-78.html

      And again, for those of you who missed the correction of the "puzzle game" mistranslation.

      As for when Yu talks about items influencing how battles go, do you remember when learning the Double Blow meant an alteration to a QTE sequence when Ryo used the move? Or when having Machine Gun Fist on your movelist changed the finishers on the Passive Raid Style street fight and when fighting against Baihu?

      Sometimes I genuinely wonder how many of you have played these games, let alone played them recently. Sheesh.

    15. Amy on December 25

      Thanks for the update, and I wish a happy Christmas and New Year to all the Shenmue team :)

      It's always great to hear from Suzuki-san so I liked listening to the interview, the characters in the story have always been one of the most interesting parts to me, I like to try and speak to everyone. So it's exciting to hear there are about 100 characters already, I'm especially interested in meeting characters that "we won't be able to unsee"!!

      The new vision for the combat system sounds interesting, so I'll be looking forward to seeing how it works!

      As for the logo, it seems there is a lot of longing and nostalgia for the old logo, so I think it was strange at first to see a new logo. But it has grown on me a lot.

      Also I love the duck drawn forklift!!

    16. Missing avatar

      Donald on December 25

      Always great to hear updates!

    17. Missing avatar

      Joseph L. on December 25

      About the logo, I agree it looks really bad, no one is happy with it. What's the point in asking for feedback and then ignoring it?

      About the interview, I'm a bit skeptical to the new combat system. Original fighting system was great, I'm not sure if changing it will be for better.
      In relation to Shenhua model, Yu says he's happy with the current model... I do hope it's been improved since Gamescon, because that model was miles away from the original Shenhua, which is 16 years old. Hopefully, we’ll see it in action soon, won’t we?

      Merry Christmas and a happy new year.

    18. Karimكريم on December 25

      If it is a bad game im goin to be mental and very vocal. There has to b battles period

    19. Missing avatar

      danwarb on December 25

      Thanks you.

    20. Missing avatar

      danwarb on December 25

      Ignore irrational moaner/s and please keep the new logo. It's so much better than the earlier spaced out Shenmue 3 logo, and it means something now. The high resolution version in white looks best.

    21. Missing avatar

      Mark McCartin-Lim on December 25

      To what people are saying about the combat system, I too liked the original system although I wouldn't mind some compromises to appeal to a larger audience. Pretty much everyone who was a huge fan of the original Shenmue games is a backer already, and if the game only sells to backers then we can be sure that Shenmue 3 will be the last game in the series. Alternatively, Shenmue 3 is Yu Suzuki's chance to reignite the franchise. While at this point, I'm excited to see Shenmue 3 regardless of what happens afterward, I'm hoping for the latter outcome and that Yu Suzuki finally makes bank on this game.

      I think the console gaming market has changed a lot since the 90's. It's more fragmented. You have gamers who like story and thinking puzzles but don't have a lot of reflex skill, and you have gamers who like action games but don't want to do any thinking. To target the action crowd would be a mistake, because you'd have to handhold the player, put arrows telling them where to go at anytime, etc. which would essentially ruin the Shenmue experience.

      It sounds like Yu Suzuki is going after the adventure game crowd, which I think is a wise choice. But that also means that if he wants the game to be a mass hit, it has to appeal to casual gamers who have never even played a fighting game before but still want to be able to complete the story. There are two ways that can be accomplished without stripping out all the action elements: 1. Make all the action elements optional and not required for completing the main quest in the game, 2. Have different difficulty settings for different users (a fairly common choice in the modern era).

      Rest assured that I don't think Suzuki will completely remove the action components. Arcade games are in his blood, since that's where all his success comes from. But arcades are also dead in America, and most modern gamers are completely out-of-touch with that era. People who bought the first Shenmues remember games like Hang-On, Space Harrier, and Virtua Fighter from their youth. Even if we never played those games much, we understood and appreciated the arcade culture that Shenmue was playing homage to. Now, enough time has passed where the younger generation of gamers sees Shenmue itself as nostalgia, and is completely removed from that arcade era that Shenmue was based around.

      But the other way to look at this is that Shenmue was really one of the first games to give birth to console gaming experiences that were completely removed from the arcades. Dreamcast was really the last console where people were actively comparing console games to arcades. No one does that anymore, because console games today have taken a very different direction from arcade games. But the irony is that we have Shenmue to really thank for that, since in modern games we see so many conventions that were originally pioneered in Shenmue. And thus, Shenmue is in many ways a bridge between the arcade games of the past and modern console games, since it has one foot in both worlds. But the masses today aren't going to understand that.

    22. Missing avatar

      Juan I. on December 25

      My lord, what a HORRIBLE logo... I don't understand the reason for not using the June one, but if it is not possible, why not to hire a graphic designer to create a proper one? That one looks to have been drawed by a right handed using his left hand...

    23. Chad on December 25

      thank you, please keep up the good work!

    24. Missing avatar

      Michael Chand on December 25

      Ryos face still needs to be changed exactly to match the one on dreamcast/xbox originals,it just wont work with a different ryo even if it is more detailed.

    25. Missing avatar

      Jay Ryan on December 25

      Happy Holidays to Yu and Shenmue 3 team!!!

      Yu Suzuki has been making games longer than most of you have been alive, and if he wants to make changes to any system, he should make them.

      I think some of you forget or are not aware of his history/pedigree and the quality of his work, to think that because you donated, you can arm chair develop Shenmue 3.

      If you care about and Love Shenmue, because of what Yu and his team have done in the past, please be respectful enough to let them continue to do so now.

    26. Alexius on December 25

      Merry Xmas to the whole team :) am happy to see this project comes nearly to his end and am nervous to finally be able to progress in the story of ryo after so many years.

    27. Bertie Wiseman on December 25

      Jesus christ some of you guys way you act over minimal input over extension of battle system is like someone has torn your arm off.

      I did not get the impression this means total over hall of battle system, it's more of an extension. Sounds like Yu Suzuki wants to mix things up a'bit make the game more interesting in interactive ways.

      I am fine with that I strongly doubt he will make the hole game into giant puzzle - it's clear Yu Suzuki has enough fund and time to expand on system he's all ready got in place to make Shenmue III fully immersive experience.

      My take on it is that maybe certain interactions, conversations or people that you beat up - might lead to different story and character arcs - in way maybe amore dynamic story environment to add replay value - This how I want to look at it.

      It's when you obtain new move scroll you can finally see it being used in QTE battle or maybe you learned new move someone has taught you from sparring in the park. Maybe Yu suzuki wants to use more interactions with the environment and promps to pick up a chair take someone out wrestle mania style - Honestly for all we know Ryo Hazuki might not be only playable character these elements might work better out Shenhua or say Ren for that matter I can see him more being more street wise and playing dirty. Yeah I have no worries at all it just means more exciting ways to play Shenmue 3.

    28. Adam Clark on December 25

      I'm a bit worried about the battle system. It sounds promising but will it be too easy, what is it about exactly? I guess time will tell.

    29. Missing avatar

      Bey on December 25

      Hello,

      I, as a backer, just wanted to say that i'm also concerned about the new battle system mentionned by Yu Suzuki.
      The old one was perfect we had excitement, skill and timing and it was really enjoyable.
      The new one being a kind of "telltale puzzle" with some QTE is a really alarming news and i really hope that he won't throw all the past epic fights away which were a really big part of why this saga is the best one that video game has ever made.

      I agree with the fact to wait longer for having the best game possible but it also means that the core of what made Shenmue legendary has to be respected and implemented to Shenmue 3.

      Thank you for reading me and let's hope together that it will be finally recognized by the public with a great success.

    30. Missing avatar

      Christopher on December 25

      Clarification regarding the "puzzle game" comment, it was a translation goof:

      http://www.phantomriverstone.com/2017/12/commentary-on-kickstarter-update-78.html

      More accurately it was "thinking-style game", which is a phrase Yu has used before talking about the combat and introducing a layer of strategy for the player to consider.

    31. Missing avatar

      Mike cote on December 25

      I've been a Sega and Yu Suzuki fan for many years and also tossed $500 into this game since Shenmue was one of the most memorable and enjoyable game experiences of my life. I do trust Yu Suzuki as he has created countless games that I've loved, but I'm also concerned with the statements about the fighting engine. Shenmue had a solid combat engine and I really hope that's not abandoned for some weird cinematic, non-skill based system. It was mentioned in the comments that there wasn't a ton of combat in Shenmue I+II (which is true) but when there was combat, it was exciting and enjoyable, not some tacked on nuisance. I know I'm not the only one who loved the 70 man battle, the street fights in Kowloon and the great boss fights throughout both. To downplay these as a distraction when they were definitely a main event, is just silly.

    32. Missing avatar

      Sean B. Brown on December 25

      Very nice update. Love the interview style. However I'm a bit concerned about the combat discussion. Not exactly sure what puzzle combat would be like. If you're not going for the Virtua Fighter style combat this time, maybe you should look into combat similar to the Batman Arkham games, Assassin's Creed, or Shadow of Mordor/War. Unless that's what you mean by puzzle combat? Where it's just timing of moves and counter-moves. I hope that's what it is. I could see that style of combat working very well in Shenmue.

    33. Manny Garcia on December 25

      Made a video in dedication to all the backers and for the developers. "Shenmue From Dreamcast to Kickstarter - Fan Perspective" on YouTube
      https://youtu.be/N4jEFpFQEwQ. Enjoy!

    34. Karimكريم on December 25

      ok guys now i have enough time to post. so this is what i think of this update. and it really makes me sad that rabid fanboys swallow every single update like some kind of good news. well the news is far from good in my opinion. this game was funded 7.5 mill plus deep silver investment. and from what i feel is that this game is going to be a game like we invested 2 mil. yu Suzuki doesnt really say much. but when he does say stuff i get angryy and worried. he is talking about some puzzle fighting. guys if this is indeed a puzzlefighting mechanic then be prepared for a huge dissapoitment cause the ryo hazuki we knew was fighting real life . and qte was just a side thing. the only game that is a genre deserved to use qte a lot is telltale genre and heavy rain. well shenmue as we know it was ment to be a battle. i might pick up kiwami 1 and forget about this tragedy really i do. im sorry but no one can convince me anymore. this is something to really worry about. its not funny

    35. Missing avatar

      Doug Uthoff on December 25

      When is this due out again? I believe original release was right now and was delayed 6 months. Is that still the case?

    36. Missing avatar

      Nico on December 25

      I think Ryo olooks great (aside from the lack of facial expression), but unlike Mr.Suzuki, I can't really say I approve of Shenhua. In fact, when I look at her, it's really hard for me to see her as the same character as in the past. Ryo, I can definitely buy. You can tell that it's the same guy despite the different graphics.
      But Shenhua's face and clothes look completely different, so unless there's a newer one that they haven't shown yet, well... I don't know. Her clothes looked more like Shenhua's clothes in the first ever video back in 2015, even. Where did her little scarf-y neck thing go? Why did they get rid of her two braids? Those were a big part of the look.

    37. Missing avatar

      vincent ligneul on December 25

      Happy hollydays to all shenmue dev team �.

    38. Exiled Mind on December 25

      I'm gonna laugh at you Hunter F Kennoy for trusting in someone's work blindly, just because he did something right doesn't mean he is not gonna screw up from time to time, never trust anybody, especially with your own money. Innovation, yes, renovation, hell no, improve what was made, don't change it for something else.

    39. Hunter F Kennoy on December 25

      I'm laughing at people who are calling this game a disaster just because any change to the battle system is being discussed.

      Yu Suzuki is the guy behind Space Harrier, Hang On, OutRun, Afterburner, Virtua Racing, Virtua Fighter, Virtua Cop, and others. I trust him and his experience more than I trust a couple of impatient backers who don't know anything about game design. You should trust him, too.

      Keep going, guys! We're with you in spirit! Merry Christmas!

    40. Missing avatar

      naflo on December 25

      Very nice communication on Christmas day.
      Thank you very much !
      I have no doubt on Shenmue III so take all the time you need to finish it right.
      This video was perfect !! GAMBATTE !!

    41. Missing avatar

      Max Ingram on December 25

      Thanks for a great update.

    42. Missing avatar

      Mark on December 25

      I think it's good that they are doing further work on facial expressions. It looked strange back in Progress Report 4.

    43. Octavio Jesus Arredondo Orihuela on December 25

      Im from cancun mexico, when i see the play station presentation and se shenmue e i was exited.

      Because i play both games on dreamcast.

      But this develop of third parth its taking so long, i hope a great ending for this saga and hd version of shenmue 1 and 2.

      Happy holydays!

    44. Adam Clark on December 25

      I liked this update, nice little surprise on Christmas day. It was a reassuring interview and Yu seems happy with his progress on his game. I really liked what he said about his thoughts on Shenhua's improved model and about how the voice acting has now unfolded into 2018.

      I think Yu meant that the battle system will be more dramatic because of the new engine, I really liked the idea of the battles being like cutscenes. One thing I'm not so sure about was the idea of it being like puzzles and picking up items? Ryo wouldn't use a weapon but he probably meant something different. I think the new battle system sounds promising, especially about the new type of QTE's.

      Happy with this update and Merry Christmas to the team and the Shenmue fans. I can't even tell you how excited I am for Shenmue III next year.

      We have a lot to look forward to!

    45. Missing avatar

      Joe Garcia on December 25

      It's always exciting to hear more news about the project. I'm really looking forward to the final game!

    46. Wayne Beckley on December 25

      The battle system was one of the strongest parts of the original games. Why on earth would you change that for a more scripted experience? The QTEs were the weakest part! This game is going to be a disaster.

    47. Missing avatar

      Douglas Silva on December 25

      Please don´t make big changes to the battle system. It´s the way we love playing shenmue and just need to be improved.

    48. Sdzero on December 25

      Glad to hear this, but I really hope they don't lessen the fighting mechanics. One of the things I loved about Shenmue was practicing my moves and evolving them to get better the more I trained. Learning new moves along the way that I could perfect was an innovative system. It's one of the few games where I could actually see the benefits of my training. Virtua Fighter is part of the game's backbone fighting system, so I'm not sure what I'll think if they drop it. If they can make a system better than that, then I'm all for it. I just hope they're not going to make fighting like Miss Mary Mack hand claps for the sake of ease.

    49. Missing avatar

      Sundeep on December 25

      For me the battle system in Shenmue was one of the, if not the greatest element of the games. I sincerely hope the approach to this system is not radically shifted in a different direction as this could change the entire dynamic of the game. The active virtual fighter style battle systems are fantastic as they break away from the overall RPG focus of the game. To date, no other game has implemented a battle system like Shenmue and many action games rely on button bashing (as was mentioned in an earlier comment). It would be great if Yu San could develop this existing battle system even further and require players to be more and more proficient with the move scrolls in order to win fights. These fights could increase in difficulty as the game progresses, meaning the player needs to increase their skill, which is great as there would be a feeling that Ryo is getting stronger also.

    50. Tristan High Cultist of Cthulhu on December 25

      For anyone that actually played Shenmue 1+2 recently they will realise there were barely any fights in those games at all. So for me this is interesting as when there was combat it was the weakest part of the games. Anyway Merry Christmas all.