Sony will help Yu Suzuki to develop Shenmue 3, but only if the game's Kickstarter campaign reaches its funding target.
Of course, that happened in just a few hours following Sony's E3 press conference, where the campaign was officially announced. Indeed, it seemed odd that Sony would give stage time to a completely independent project, even if it was the long-awaited sequel to Shenmue 2.
However, according to Polygon, Sony's director of third-party development, Gio Corsi, confirmed the company's intention to help develop the game. The Kickstarter was simply a tool to measure demand for more Shenmue.
"If the fans come in and back it, then absolutely we're going to make this a reality," Corsi said during the PlayStation E3 livestream, which took place before the game eclipsed its $2 million funding target.
This will be welcome news for fans of the series. who will have noticed the huge difference between Shenmue 3's funding target and the huge budgets attached to the previous two games. the original Shenmue, for example, cost a reported $70 million all the way back in 1999.
In an introductory post on the Shenmue 3 Kickstarter page, Yu Suzuki indicated that, if the funding goal wasn't met, the project wouldn't go ahead. Evidently Sony was a bigger part of that decision than we first thought.
At the time of writing Shenmue 3 had raised $2.9 million, with 30 days remaining until its deadline.