Shenmue could be in trouble as a franchise. According to analyst reports, Shenmue III has sold well below expectations. Shenmue III has debuted fourth in the Japanese sales chart, as detailed by Media Create.
The whole thing was fraught with problems though. Ys.net and Deep Silver came together to work on the project after years of uncertainty and speculation. 70,000 people backed the game on Kickstarter, leading to a years-long development limbo that was fraught with even more suspicion. An announcement that the game would be an Epic Games Store exclusive on PC certainly soured some fans opinions.
After an 18 year wait, fans of the iconic story-driven franchise were finally rewarded with the release, and the reception was pretty poor. Reviews savaged the game for feeling outdated and that the story of Ryo Hazuki felt incomplete. A review describes Shenmue III as “archaic and arcane,” and “completely ignorant of modern trends in open world gaming, or indeed trends of the last 20 years.”
Gamatsu posted the complete sales chart (Nov. 18 to Nov. 24).
- [NSW] Pokemon Sword / Shield – 382,540 (1,747,084)
- [NSW] Ring Fit Adventure – 26,141 (290,081)
- [NSW] Luigi’s Mansion 3 – 23,872 (258,919)
- [PS4] Shenmue III – 17,857 (New)
- [PS4] Death Stranding – 12,520 (235,811)
- [PS4] Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order – 10,321 (37,082)
- [NSW] Mario & Sonic at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games – 8,826 (51,582)
- [NSW] Super Mario Party – 8,576 (1,154,354)
- [NSW] Minecraft: Nintendo Switch Edition – 8,512 (1,011,672)
- [NSW] Mario Kart 8 Deluxe – 7,360 (2,533,458)
Long-time fixture for the franchise, Yu Suzuki has indicated a willingness to make another game, but it’s been such an arduous trip to get to Shenmue III that it’s hard to imagine fans being excited about another entry. UK charts also posted pretty poor numbers, with Shenmue 3 coming in at number 16 overall, selling a paltry few thousand physical units on PS4. The game is also out on PC.