Disappointing Japanese Sales Make Shenmue 4 Even Harder


Shenmue III has debuted fourth in the Japanese sales chart shared by Media Create. A quite disappointing launch for a game that fans have been waiting for and demanding for around 18 years.

Ys.net and Deep Silver’s peculiar open-world game has been the sole new entry in the Japanese top ten last week, but it failed to beat Pokémon Sword and Shield, Ring Fit Adventure, and Luigi’s Mansion 3, which occupied the first three spots in the rankings.

Gamatsu posted the complete sales chart (Nov. 18 to Nov. 24).

  1. [NSW] Pokemon Sword / Shield – 382,540 (1,747,084)
  2. [NSW] Ring Fit Adventure – 26,141 (290,081)
  3. [NSW] Luigi’s Mansion 3 – 23,872 (258,919)
  4. [PS4] Shenmue III – 17,857 (New)
  5. [PS4] Death Stranding – 12,520 (235,811)
  6. [PS4] Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order – 10,321 (37,082)
  7. [NSW] Mario & Sonic at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games – 8,826 (51,582)
  8. [NSW] Super Mario Party – 8,576 (1,154,354)
  9. [NSW] Minecraft: Nintendo Switch Edition – 8,512 (1,011,672)
  10. [NSW] Mario Kart 8 Deluxe – 7,360 (2,533,458)

This chart doesn’t take into account Kickstarter’s backers, around 70,000 individuals who contributed to the funding of Shenmue III, and digital sales, but even counting those figures in it’s hard to report this as a successful launch for the long-dormant saga.

Sales data for the game were already pretty alarming in the United Kingdom. The title debuted 17th lagging behind the other last week’s new entry, Football Manager 2020. It missed the top ten, confirming how it is struggling to appeal to younger generations who have not experienced the original products.

On top of that, these figures make it even harder for Shenmue 4 to be funded and developed, despite Yu Suzuki’s will to make more games out of the franchise to complete Ryo’s tale of revenge. Every game needs to prove it is commercially viable to have a sequel, and this might not be the case.