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Delays are inevitable with Kickstarter projects. The scope of these games often extend far beyond what was initially imagined, especially when they smash their goals and in the case of Shenmue III, smash Kickstarter records.
Announced today, Shenmue III will be caught up in the winds of Kickstarter, as it has been delayed to 2019. No other monthly window was given, just a general "next year sometime." The reason for the announcement? To "polish the quality of the game even further, to the high standards it deserves and release the product in the best possible timeframe."
Shenmue creator Yu Suzuki has issued a statement on the ordeal: "To all of our backers, we are very sorry for the delay. After much discussion with our partners, Deep Silver, we have concluded that extending the release will allow us to deliver Shenmue III at its best. We promise to use this time to improve the quality of Shenmue III. We cannot thank you enough for your enduring support."
To me, this is key: "after much discussion with our partners." It seems like no one wants a repeat of Mighty No. 9, least of all Deep Silver who were involved in that mess, and everyone wants to make sure Shenmue III is legit before it gets shown to the world. That's fine with me, as the odds of a major studio and publisher running away with this and taking their ball home is very, very low -- it'll likely come out eventually.
Release date Announcement by Deep Silver [Kickstarter]