Shenmue 3 was released last week globally. This is the third edition of the RPG classic, originally released on SEGA Dreamcast. The game performed well in sales during the first week but unfortunately sales are falling sharply by comparison.
Shenmue 3 was the best selling game in Japan for PlayStation 4 during its week of launch. However, it seems that only the most loyal fans acquired the game, totaling 17. 857 copies. By comparison, Luigi Mansion 3 did 21. 872 copies sold not to mention massive ones 382. 540 copies of the Sword and Shield Pokémon.
Looking ahead, Shenmue 3 couldn’t even match sales of the remastered versions of Shenmue 1 and 2. These were released last year and doubled. Shenmue 3 sold copies.
Shenmue 3 arrived too late
The problem with the Shenmue saga is that its third game is already behind schedule 18 years. Importantly, the Shenmue fan community is not as large as Half-Life’s, for example, who have also been expecting a third version for years.
So only the most dedicated fans give attention to the game. For the rest Shenmue is nonexistent or just a memory of Dreamcast times. Being an RPG with some outdated gameplay mechanics won’t help win new fans. It’s a franchise that relies purely on nostalgia.
Yu Suzuki and the game development team should have modernized the game, adapting it to the current RPG features of “open world”. Yakuza games, for example, are a good example of what Shenmue 3 should look like.