News of a new Shenmue game at E3 sent waves across the internet. Thousands of fans from around the world remembered this exceptional story told originally back on the Sega Dreamcast and flooded the kickstarter website when it was announced that the game would be produced if the costs were funded by the fans. There was much instant support, so much in fact that Kickstarter actually crashed that day due to the sheer traffic on the website, but since then the game has raised almost twice the 2 million dollar goal to be produced.
The earlier this week Yu Suzuki, creator of Shenmue, promised that funds produced from the kickstarter are going directly into the game’s development and that Sony as well as Shibuya Productions won’t be receiving any of the money. The Kickstarter funding will be used completely by Ys Net, Yu Suzuki’s personal business, in the early stages of development, providing quite a strong base and a promising future for the game.
According to Yu Suzuki himself in a Kickstarter update:
“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.”
Suzuki insists that Sony and Shibuya Productions are purely supporting the development of the game through the complete direction allowed by the fundraiser’s success. The team at Ys Net is once again the main source of the game’s development and everything we see in the finished game will most likely only be polished and smoothed out by the larger studios at Sony and Shibuya Productions.
Suzuki has also promised a few exciting features if the Kickstarter, which is currently at $3,655,078, still growing,and still has about 21 days to go, hits a few stretch goals.
“Of course, like with any Kickstarter, additional funding will only help us make a better game. On top of everything Shenmue 3 will already bring, the Stretch Goals that I have laid out will add extra quests, events, and new gameplay systems that will make the game even more immersive and take the series to the next level. At the $5 million mark, there will be an all new gameplay feature I would be excited to be able to add to the Shenmue legacy. If we should make the $10 million Stretch Goal, a much larger, completely open world will be yours to explore.
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. It is my hope though, that together we can make this Shenmue just as revolutionary as the first two were.”
Although many questions about the game’s development are still up in the air, we have to remember that these are the earliest stages of bringing Shenmue 3 to life. I think it’s safe to say that at this point, it at least looks promising. For more on the kickstarter or to contribute to the effort personally, head on over to Ys Net’s official Kickstarter page.