Shenmue 3 sales disappoint in Japan and the UK

Oct 25, 2017
404
Shenmue 3 sales are as bad in Japan as they are in the UK

Yep. It’s true. And means a Shenmue 4 probably won’t happen for a long time, if ever.

The highly anticipated kickstarter follow-up to the last Shenmue, released almost twenty years ago in 2001, managed only 18,000 units in Japan, during a week ruled really by Nintendo’s dual Pokemon releases. These figures have been sourced by Gematsu via Famitsu’s sales estimates. It’s a disappointing plop in the ocean for Shenmue, considering how many players have waited so long for the game to come to light.

Instead, Sword and Shield held the Japanese top spot with more than 382,000 sales in a week. Shenmue 3 was unlikely to ever really rival one of Japan’s biggest franchises, but the numbers still probably fall short of publisher expectations, especially in the game’s home country where it has been immensely popular in the past.

Shenmue 3 also failed to crack the top 10 in the UK, too, debuting at no.17, selling only just over half of last year’s Shenmue I and II remaster. The remaster was multi-platform, whereas Shenmue 3 is a PS4 and PC exclusive, but it’s very unlikely that the lack of Xbox availability makes up the shortfall.
 

Simply Sami

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,324
Not really surprising. Most the diehards probably supported it on Kickstarter and the rest of the people in the UK probably thinking wtf is a shenmue.
 

DarkDetective

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,058
The Netherlands
I don't think they expected big sales.
70.000 backers had already bought the game through Kickstarter.
Then there's the PS4 console exclusivity and the EGS exclusivity deal, which probably covers the vast majority of the rest of the development costs.
 

PlanetSmasher

The Abominable Showman
Member
Oct 25, 2017
39,139
This should’ve been expected from the beginning. For all the noise Shenmue fans make, they’re basically the only people who care about the series.
 

Stygr

Member
Oct 26, 2017
8,554
It’s a disappointing plop in the ocean for Shenmue, considering how many players have waited so long for the game to come to light.
Vocal and loud minority, nothing else.

do PS4 games that aren't Monster Hunter even sell well in Japan anymore? i thought more or less everyone had moved to switch now
I don't know, they keep releasing PS4 games in Japan so maybe?
 

KingSnake

Member
Oct 25, 2017
9,473
Barely surprising, it was never more than a marketing stunt. The fact that it was a kickstarter said it all practically.
 

Cactuar

Member
Nov 30, 2018
3,271
Hence why they needed a kickstarter to make the game. Is this breaking news? Comparing it to Pokemon?
 

//DEVIL//

Member
Aug 13, 2018
174
Everyone wants to rush for the market holiday. All off them get crushed .
I mean it’s marketing 101. Do not release a game with big games around the corner or just got released .
 

Torpedo Vegas

Member
Oct 27, 2017
9,860
Lexington, KY
I was on board when I thought they were going to wrap it up, but then they started saying they wanted to do more games.

I'm not going to get reinvested in the series again so that I can be frustrated again like I was after 2 at there never being an ending.
 

PeskyToaster

Member
Oct 27, 2017
6,275
It was never going to do well. It's not a popular game by any stretch but it's (hopefully) not very expensive either.
 

Bazry

Member
Oct 30, 2017
1,285
The game was pretty much fully funded before release wasn't it? If they want to make a Shenmue 4 they'll do exactly the same again
 

NotLiquid

Member
Oct 25, 2017
17,868
The game just kinda came and went without warning honestly.

Like, for such a game that was hyped up as one of the "never ever" games among Half-Life 3 and The Last Guardian, it feels like they just threw the game onto the store shelves and called it a day. I didn't even know it was coming out until a day before release. Doesn't help that they're still overextending hard on their ambitions by saying 3 is only the 50% point of the series or whatever.

The game was pretty much fully funded before release wasn't it? If they want to make a Shenmue 4 they'll do exactly the same again
I don't really know if Shenmue could pull off another Kickstarter wave. Even with that obscenely lofty funding goal they still had to have investors and I'm not sure investors are gonna be as interested after the performance of this.
 

mazi

Member
Oct 27, 2017
31,475
not surprised at all
i'm still shocked that Suzuki didn't take this opportunity to wrap up the story. who knows when he'll get another shot at making a new shenmue game.
 

KiLAM

Member
Jan 25, 2018
1,454
but the numbers still probably fall short of publisher expectations
"Probably"? They have no idea how much the publisher expected though. It is a low budget game with majority of the funds already covered by kickstarter. Yeah it didn't sell loads but I would rather wait for a confirmation from publishers themselves.
 
Oct 30, 2017
3,815
Suzuki should have finished the story in Part 3 after the miracle of it being happening... for the series fans sake instead of leaving them on ANOTHER cliffhanger........
 

Kilrogg

Resettlement Advisor
Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,131
I'm really curious to see how many copies the game will manage to sell in France. I wouldn't be surprised if that were third biggest market after Japan and the US.
 

ByteCulture

Banned
Nov 1, 2017
706
Whoever expected this to have great sales.... doesnt know that Shenmue was never a big hit.

And aside from some kickstarter feedback... there was nothing like marketing for it.
 

Xenosaga

Member
Oct 27, 2017
6,553
do PS4 games that aren't Monster Hunter even sell well in Japan anymore? i thought more or less everyone had moved to switch now
I don't know how you got that idea considering the best selling 2019 game in Japan was a PS4 game (that is not Monster Hunter) until Pokemon came out, and a PS4 game had biggest IP launch of this generation.
 

Cookie

Member
Oct 26, 2017
1,566
Worth the wait?

I guess they were right to not make a sequel unless paid upfront.
 

PedroRVD

Member
Oct 25, 2017
277
Ecuador
As a fan I felt offended by the way they used the franchise ... Sony presented Suzuki as a little monkey beggar at an E3 filled with pre rendered videos just to contribute to a circus they mounted that year. That was not the way I wanted Shenmue to come back.

Also, Yakuza being so incredible on PS4 didn’t help. The Shenmue HD collection ports were so bad that were unplayable for me after having a fantastic time with Yakuza 0 and Kiwami 1.
 

KingSnake

Member
Oct 25, 2017
9,473
Having trouble with this. Do you mean the game itself was a marketing stunt? For what? Itself or the PS4? Both don't follow to me.
The Sony announcement about it. It was a great viral marketing moment for them. But after that there was practically nothing of notice about this game. Just your regular kickstarter game that will never have another sequel.
 
Sep 11, 2018
15
Was shenmue even a part of any Playstation event after the reveal at E3 2015? It feels weird to announce the Kickstarter there but not show any new trailer at any of their conferences.
 

mazi

Member
Oct 27, 2017
31,475
I don't know how you got that idea considering the best selling 2019 game in Japan was a PS4 game (that is not Monster Hunter) until Pokemon came out, and a PS4 game had biggest IP launch of this generation.
what was the best selling game of 2019 in japan before pokemon?
 

werezompire

Zeboyd Games
Verified
Oct 26, 2017
3,477
It was a good bet that it wasn't going to sell very well, but "disappoint" in the title makes it sound like the publisher is disappointed in sales whereas this article is just speculating. Between the Kickstarter & EGS, it's hard to say how much the game actually needed to sell in order to break even or justify another one.
 

cw_sasuke

Member
Oct 27, 2017
12,562
The discrepancy from its announcement and the actual real life sales performance is kinda crazy.
But yeah it was expected.