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shikamaru317 said:

So far the fans are thoroughly satisfied with it, user reviews are great on both Metacritic and PlayStation Store. Critics just can’t handle the fact that Yu Suzuki purposefully made the game outdated so that it wouldn’t feel incongruent with the first two Shenmue games. It’s a game for the existing fanbase, not a game designed to create new fans. I wish more companies realized that satisfying your existing fanbase is more important than trying to create new fans. The Star Wars sequel trilogy is a prime example of what can go wrong when you focus on winning new fans while ignoring the wishes of your existing fanbase. Another great example, within gaming, is Dead Space 3, EA tried to create new fans by moving away from survival horror, but it flopped and ended up killing a great franchise. 

I think there are opportunities for franchises to take new steps and look into different avenues and go away from the formula while finding great success.

One of the examples is BotW. 3D Zelda, for the most part, maintained a simple, but well-executed and well-regarded, formula prior to BotW. BotW completely went away from its traditional conventions and is the best-selling game in the franchise, while also highly regarded. Sure, some traditional Zelda fans were not too pleased with some of the features left behind (like the conventional elemental dungeons) or some newly added ons (like the disposable and breakable weapons), but it didn't deter from others appreciating BotW from wanting to try something completely new from the formula.

I guess, in the end, fans of Shenmue don't want anything like that at this time. It appears that this new installment is what they are looking for. It appears quirky, a bit archaic, but has the charm of the games (and fans) its meant to connect with.