After Suzuki’s announcement, the Kickstarter reached its goal within 9 hours, and continues to surpass its initial objective of $2 million, which as of writing, is currently resting at a little over $3 million. And what’s even more interesting about Shenmue 3‘s funding is that all of the $10,000 backing levels have been filled by four different individuals.
While one of the $10K tiers has been reserved for a sole sponsor, due to its reward being Ryo’s jacket with the tiger logo emblazoned on the back in all of its original glory, the top three rungs on the support ladder gets the backer and their friend an invite to dinner with Yu-san and the other contributors. Plus, those given the opportunity to dine with Suzuki also receive rare Japanese scripts of the first two Shenmue games. Not to mention, all four $10K tier donors will have their names listed as a special sponsor in Shenmue 3‘s credits.
With scant details to go on other than the knowledge that Shenmue 3 is finally happening, one has to wonder why it took almost 14 years to come to fruition. Bearing that in mind, regardless of Shenmue 2‘s overwhelmingly positive critical response, the lackluster sales for the second installment in Western markets certainly didn’t help expedite another sequel.
Additionally, since the original Shenmue has been touted as one of the most expensive games ever made with Sega’s stated budget of $70 million, Suzuki’s recent Kickstarter campaign for the third entry in the franchise surely can’t be the only funding behind Shenmue 3. So, the sketchy and completely speculative answer as to why it’s taken so long must lie in the probability that there was an interminable process of complicated legal negotiations before Suzuki could get Sony to pony up the majority of the money for development. Even so, fans of the innovative series can officially rejoice, as Shenmue 3 is on its way.
Shenmue 3 is in development for PlayStation 4 and PC.