The Shenmue 3 Kickstarter campaign managed to raise more than $6 million, making it the fourteenth most successful project in the history of the service. That might sound like a large amount of money, but when it comes to video game development, it’s actually a rather small sum.
While Sony will provide marketing money, and Sega will no doubt supplement the title’s budget, there’s a good chance that Yu Suzuki and his team are going to have to make some compromises to complete Shenmue 3. The game’s framerate seems to be the first feature on the chopping block.
Speaking to DualShockers, Suzuki noted that he was ‘thinking about 30 frames per second’ before going on to say that ’60 might be too difficult, but I’m not sure yet.’ Given that the game isn’t set to release until the end of 2017, this could all change before development is complete.
This isn’t the first time that Shenmue fans have been warned about the scope of the upcoming sequel. The game’s developers have been up front since the project was announced about the fact that a smaller budget will have an impact on the finished product.
Earlier this year, Suzuki noted that it would take $10 million in Kickstarter earnings for Shenmue 3 to be a true open-world title. Since only $6 million was raised, it’s expected that the game will be a more linear experience, which might come as something of a disappointment to fans of the first two games in the series.
However, it’s worth noting that the original Shenmue was the most expensive video game ever developed at the time of its release. Costing somewhere between $45 and $70 million, it was clearly a very different scenario to the one that’s led to the development of Shenmue 3. Kickstarter has been both a boon and a bane for indie developers and major gaming personalities, as it has afforded them the opportunity to craft passion projects with no major studio interference, but many times those projects fall short of gamers’ lofty expectations. In some gamers’ minds, a Kickstarter project should look no different than a triple-A release.
All this being said, most people looking forward to the sequel will just be glad that it’s getting made at all. At least two previous attempts to develop the game have been cancelled before completion — the amount of crowdfunding money in play here should at least ensure that the finished product sees release.
Shenmue 3 is anticipated to launch on PC and PlayStation 4 in December 2017.