While many of the bigger surprises of E3 2015 had been spoiled ahead of time, a few did make it to the show untarnished. The reveal of Final Fantasy 7 Remake, for example, was kept tightly under wraps, and rumors of its existence only surfaced the morning of Sony’s press conference.
However, while one Sony reveal was already out of the bag, another was lying in wait and ready to blow fans away. Of course, we’re talking about Shenmue 3 and its extremely successful Kickstarter campaign, which is set to close in just three days time.
In celebration of the Shenmue 3 Kickstarter’s success, developer Ys Net has released a very early teaser trailer meant to showcase one of the game’s story beats. As readers can see in the Shenmue 3 trailer above, Ryo and Shenhua have arrived at the Lake of the Lantern Bugs and are entranced by the insects’ flight.
While likely not indicative of the game’s quality as a whole, the Shenmue 3 trailer should give fans a clear idea of the tone that Ys Net and director Yu Suzuki are going for. Shenmue is as much about the characters and the design as it is those quiet, almost meditative moments, like the one featured here.
That being said, gamers shouldn’t expect Shenmue 3 to rival its predecessors in terms of production value. Although the Ys Net Kickstarter is among the most successful the crowd funding site has ever seen, its $5 million total (to-date) is paltry compared to the $47 million budget that Shenmue 2 had when it launched on Dreamcast back in 2001.
The good news is that Ys Net is not alone in their endeavor to bring Shenmue 3 to life; they have Sony’s backing on the highly anticipated sequel as well. It was a small detail that Yu Suzuki chose not to mention during the Press Conference, but Sony will help publish Shenmue 3. They will not be taking any of the Kickstarter money, though.
Even with all that money, though, Ys Net still has a lot of work to do, which makes the teaser trailer all the more surprising. Depending on the project, it can take upwards of two years for a game to go from successful crowdfunded idea to retail project, and that’s if everything goes smoothly. A similar Kickstarter project, Keiji Inafune’s Mighty No. 9, smashed its crowdfunding goal in 2013 but is only just releasing this September, and that project was much smaller in scope.
Needless to say, don’t expect to get many more glimpses of Shenmue 3 like this any time soon. Ys Net has a lot of work to do.