Shenmue III

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Shenmue III cover.jpg
Shenmue III
DeveloperNeilo, Ys Net
PublisherDeep Silver
SystemsPlayStation 4, Windows
ReleasedNovember 19, 2019
Added to
museum
Windows (digital, Epic): July 17, 2015
PS4 (physical): July 17, 2015

Shenmue III was the third game in the Shenmue series. It was partially funded by a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter and had some advertisement provided by Sony. It was developed by Ys Net and Neilo and was published by Deep Silver for PlayStation 4 and Windows in 2019.

Plot

A Japanese teenager named Ryo Hazuki helps a Chinese teenager named Shenhua find her missing father while traveling further within China on his search for the man who killed his father.

Playable games

At Hi-Tech Land Panda, you can play electromechanical arcade games.

  • Excite QTE 3 - button pressing quick-time-event game
  • QTE Title 2 - electromechanical boxing game
  • Highway Star - electromechanical car racing game
  • Wacky Mole - electromechanical whack-a-mole game

At the arcades in Niaowu, you can play these arcade games, as well as:

  • Nice Golf - a driving range golf game
  • Miracle Shooter - a basketball game
  • ChobuChan Fighter - a Virtua Fighter parody

There are also bars, gambling parlors and stores where you can perform woodcutting, fishing, betting on turtle racing, Lucky Hit pachinko, and Roll it on top dice, training in martial arts via mu ren zhuang wooden dummies, forklift driving, capsule toy collecting, and herb gathering.

Downloadable content

Battle Rally

The first downloadable content add-on for Shenmue III, "Battle Rally", was released on January 21, 2020. It featured Ryo Hazuki, Wuying Ren, and Wei Zhen competing against each other to see who can get past enemy combatants the fastest.

Story Quest Pack

The second downloadable content add-on for Shenmue III, "Story Quest Pack", was released on February 18, 2020. It featured Zhang Shuqin from Kowloon, as he gave Ryo a quest in Niaowu that involved making chawan signs out of coffee cups as at various restaurants as code using the same game mechanic as was used in Shenmue II.

Big Merry Cruise

The third downloadable content add-on for Shenmue III, "Big Merry Cruise", was released on March 17, 2020. It featured a boat that docked in the harbor at Niaowu that contained more opportunities for Ryo to gamble.

Development

The development and marketing cost of Shenmue was over 47 million dollars, which was the most expensive video game ever developed at the time. Although this cost also covered some of Shenmue II and groundwork for future titles, Sega did not recoup the cost. Sega later made a release on Xbox of Shenmue II in North America in 2002 and in Europe in 2003. When this also didn't help to alleviate the costs involved, the series was put on indefinite hold.

Yu Suzuki tried several avenues to raise funds for Shenmue III, including creating massively multiplayer online games set in the locations of the first two games. The first, Shenmue Online, announced in 2004, never materialized. After forming his own company, Ys Net, in 2008, while still remaining employed at Sega, Yu Suzuki began a new attempt at a Shenmue MMO in hopes that it would be popular enough to provide income to fund the series. Things didn't pan out that way, as Shenmue City was released in 2010 for mobile phones in Japan, but it was discontinued in 2011 after only a year of service.

Yu Suzuki tried the avenue of crowdfunding for Shenmue III through a Kickstarter campaign in 2015, and it became the fastest funded video game Kickstarter campaign up to that point. After the success of the Kickstarter campaign, it went into full development by Ys Net and Nello, a studio whose chief executive Takeshi Harai, was the lead programmer on the first Shenmue. It was partially funded through the Kickstarter campaign and was published by Deep Silver. In addition, Epic Games funded some of the development in exchange for digital exclusivity on the Epic Games store for a year on the Windows platform. Sony also helped with the marketing of the game.