A day that many fans of the heralded one-time Sega staple Shenmue never thought would arrive is now here.
Today is the worldwide launch of Shenmue III, concluding a sometimes rocky road that began with a splash announcement and almost immediately successful crowdsourcing campaign from E3 2015, making it one of the most funded Kickstarter campaigns of all time.
Along the way, several development delays were taken to serve fans new and old well. A little help was afforded by Sega when they re-released the first two chapters of the saga to current-gen consoles. A controversial decision on the development team to accept additional development money from Epic Games in exchange for PC exclusivity still stings for many. Still, the day that Ryo Hazuki’s journey continues is here.
Some Kickstarter backers received their copies of the game yesterday, with more backer rewards still to come. Digital game codes will be activated during the day today at various points around the world.
And the development team on Monday released a thank you video from series creator Yu Suzuki:
As we reported earlier this week, the game’s review embargo does not lift until later this week, so critical reception will likely not be available in mass quantity until then. But initial player reaction to the game appears solid.