It goes without saying that Shenmue 3 came as a huge surprise when it was revealed during Sony’s E3 2015 press conference last week. Even more interesting was Shenmue 3 creator Yu Suzuki’s announcement that his studio Ys Net would be raising money for the game via Kickstarter while also working in cooperation with Sony to ensure that Shenmue 3 gets made. While the project went on to become successfully funded, as the title reached its goal in 9 hours, many fans of the classic Dreamcast-spawned series were still left wondering exactly how the crowdsourced money would be allocated, and whether or not Sony and fellow partner Shibuya Productions would be receiving any of it.
To clarify Sony’s and Shibuya Productions’ role in Shenmue 3‘s development, Yu Suzuki took to the game’s Kickstarter page a couple of days ago to provide an update for fans and backers. According to Suzuki, fans can rest easy knowing that the Ys Net studio will be receiving all of the Kickstarter money.
In regards to Sony’s and Shibuya Production’s involvement, Suzuki tactfully declares:
“I can say that with their assistance on the production and marketing end, and in Sony’s case with some publishing support as well, Ys Net is able to use more of the money we collect through Kickstarter purely for Shenmue 3’s development. It is also important to note that your funds are going strictly to Ys Net for development of Shenmue 3 – Sony and Shibuya Productions are not seeing a cent of your Kickstarter dollars.”
For gamers heavily invested in Shenmue 3‘s well-being, the news comes as a relief. Knowing that the resources and development will be handled primarily by Ys Net ought to assure fans that a quality sequel will come to pass. Continuing, Suzuki goes on to discuss the inclusion of new components for the project should Shenmue 3‘s Stretch Goals be reached. He says that if the Kickstarter makes it to $5 million “an all-new gameplay feature” will be added, and should Shenmue 3 be funded with $10 million “a much larger, completely open world will be yours to explore.”
As of writing, Shenmue 3‘s Kickstarter has 21 days left and stands at 45,873 backers who have donated $3,661,631. While it seems improbable that the funding will go beyond seven figures, it’s not impossible for the $5 million marker to be met. For instance, legendary game developer Koji Igarashi’s spiritual successor to the Castlevania series, Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night, has become the most-funded video game using Kickstarter, concluding its campaign with $5,545,991.
However, Yu Suzuki doesn’t appear to be phased by the possibility of Shenmue 3 not greatly exceeding its initial funding goals. In fact, he seems downright pleased with results thus far, saying, “Even if these Stretch Goals are not reached, Shenmue 3 will already be a sequel true to its name, and one we can all be proud of.” And no matter what the fate of Ryo and Shenhua holds, the game developer already has his sights set on Shenmue 4.
Shenmue 3 is currently in development with no set release date.