Shenmue 3 was something of a miracle, once-in-a-lifetime type of deal. The sequel was one expected to never happen due to the infamous poor performance of the original games, but crowdfunding helped make it a reality. It seemed the game was doomed to repeat history though after reports that it was performing below expectations. But it seems the parent company of publisher Deep Silver is offering another take, which is slightly more optimistic, maybe.
During an earning presentation from Embracer Group (the parent company to Deep Silver), CEO Lars Wingefors commented on the game. Surprisingly, he said financially the title was “fine,” despite earlier reports from the company that Shenmue 3 had underperformed. But he also stated that its performance showed the game was not a mass market title, instead calling it “core niche,” whatever that means (thanks to VGC for transcribing the talk).
“Shenmue 3 is an IP and a product I love and, you know, I think financially it’s fine and I’m glad that the core fans are pleased,” he said. “However, I think it’s a challenge to see this as a mass market product. This is a core niche product and I think that’s the comment I’d like to do on that game.”
It feels like something of mixed messaging, but it could also be the company’s attempt at spinning poor performance, or Wingefors could be referring to the crowdfunding element of the game which no doubt offset some of the costs for Deep Silver and Embracer Group. Either way, it seems as if another sequel is up in the air despite the game’s Creator wanting to make it. Who knows what the future holds for Shenmue, but that is far more life than the franchise once had, I suppose.