During E3, the Shenmue 3 Kickstarter was showcased on the Sony stage by director Yu Suzuki. Only the announcement of the Final Fantasy VII remake garnered as loud of a response as the sight of early footage of Shenmue 3. The announced Kickstarter campaign was released upon the millions of people watching the E3 Sony press conference and within nine hours, the project had met its funding goal. As of this writing, the project as amassed over $3.6 million dollars with 23 days left to go.
Today the Shenmue 3 Kickstarter was updated to answer questions that have been mulling around since the announcement at the very money heavy E3 press conference. Sony and Shibuya Productions are handling the publication of the title and both are companies with very deep pockets making fans wonder why a Kickstarter would even be needed for such a beloved franchise.
Nostalgia has a way of clouding the memories of our games and despite the very obvious and vocal outcry in the last 14 years since Shenmue II released, it easy to forget that the game was a financial flop for Sega. Despite being listed in numerous top games of all time lists and being released on the original Xbox alongside the ill fated Dreamcast, Shenmue II only managed to push 400,000 units. The original Shenmue sold over 1 million units on the Dreamcast alone.
Video Games are a business designed to make money and (hopefully) make quality games for people to enjoy. With a flop of a sequel, the idea to gauge public interest through a Shenmue III Kickstarter made sense. And the interest was there. The nine hour funding of the game set a new record for Kickstarter according to the Inquisitr. The questions of the necessity of the Kickstarter have been raised and if Sony or Shibuya would be pocketing any of the money raised through the crowdfunding push.
Speaking in the update section of the Shenmue III kickstarter, director Yu Suzuki sought to allay fans fears.
“Sony and Shibuya Productions have been wonderful partners because they believe in Shenmue and want to see the best for the fans and the game. Their investment in (and support of) Shenmue have helped to realize a sequel that will stand proud with its predecessors. While it is not business practice to discuss the specific details of such arrangements, 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.”
The specific arrangements of the deal with Sony are not clear, but adding Shenmue III to the lineup on the already successful PlayStation 4 would seem to be in Sony’s best interest to keep a momentum going across a diverse product lineup for the console. We do know that Suzuki pledged to backers to be more open going forward in development.
[Image Source | Kickstarter]