With the development saga of Shenmue 3 [official site] now creeping up on sixteen years, hey, here’s another little bit of good news. After getting the ball rolling with crowdfunding, the RPG has now secured a publisher. Developers Ys net today announced that they’ve signed up with Deep Silver, the folks who publish such series as Saints Row and Metro. Having the technical and financial support of a publisher will surely be helpful for such a big life-sim-o-fight-a-RPG, especially considering the crowdfunding has only raised a fraction of the amount the first game reportedly cost – supposedly it was, in its day, the most expensive game ever made.
“I am very pleased to secure this global partnership with Deep Silver, which is comprised of incredible men and women who have a deep passion for bringing Japanese titles to the rest of the world,” director Yu Suzuki said in today’s announcement.
“Throughout this process, Deep Silver has expressed a deep passion for Japanese games, the Shenmue franchise and its fans—this gives me further confidence in Shenmue III and that we have found the best partner possible.”
Deep Silver’s precise role on Shenmue 3 isn’t clear yet, but we can guess bits. As well as providing cash, publishers are often helpful for their connections and expertise in everything from testing to localisation. Both of these will likely be important for Shenmue 3. And while Deep Silver sometimes serve simply as publisher on a game’s physical or console releases, playing a lesser role as they did with crowdfunded adventure game Dreamfall Chapters, for Shenmue III they’re publishing digital and physical on PC and console so they’re definitely well into it.
Anyway. In short: Shenmue 3 is still on the way, and now has more support. It’s currently expected to launch in the second half of 2018.