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Yu Suzuki wants to double Kickstarter record for Shenmue 3

Only with $10 million in funding can his vision for the game be fully realised

Yu Suzuki is aiming to double the Kickstarter funding record for video games with Shenmue 3. If he doesn't, the final product may fall short of its potential.

In a Reddit AMA, the legendary game designer indicated that $5 million would be enough to make, "one of the things I really want to do with Shenmue 3... become a reality." However, only at $10 million will the game be able to, "truly have the features of an open world."

At present, the most funded video game in the history of Kickstarter is Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night, which is being developed by Koji Igarashi, best known for his work on the Castlevania series. Bloodstained only claimed that record recently, but Shenmue 3 is certainly well on its way to tearing up the record books again. At the time of writing, it had raised just over $3.5 million with 25 days remaining.

While fans have been asking for Shenmue 3 for the best part of 14 years, the game's strong start was partly down to an appearance at Sony's E3 press conference. Featuring an independent project at such an event seemed odd at the time, but Sony later confirmed that, if Shenmue reached its funding target, it would assist the game's development.

"Sony and PlayStation is definitely a partner in this game," said Gio Corsi, Sony's director of Third-Party Production. "And it's going be run through Third-Party Production. We're going to help Ys Net [Suzuki's studio] get the game done. We're going to be partners on it the whole way."

Ultimately, Shenmue 3 hit its $2 million target in less than 12 hours. At present, it has stretch goals up to $5 million.

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Latest comments (18)

Shehzaan Abdulla Translator/QA 5 years ago
The big question mark is we haven't got a no minced words, completely 100% untwistable statement from Sony on what "assisting" the game's development means for the game and the Kickstarter. Which has at best left people confused and at worst given publications free reign to fill in the gaps with damaging speculation (that as of yet, is unwarranted).
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Jamie Firth Video Games Production 5 years ago
I'm really curious - is there something specific that has "damaged" anyone here? Indeed, does anyone in the wider world actually care what the relationship is? My guess is, considering no publisher ever really fully briefs the details of their funding and overseeing of a developer, they have no clue or care.
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James Robertson Founder, Oso Games5 years ago
Is it really so hard to include a link to the kickstarter campaign this article is about?
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Show all comments (18)
Eduard Pandele Senior Game Designer, Electronic Arts5 years ago
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/ysnet/shenmue-3

3.5 million US$ at the moment. I only hope the 16 years wait will be worth it. (yes, I pledged too)
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Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.5 years ago
So confused now. I thought the $2 million pledge goal was to ensure Sony would take over funding. A risk assessment of sorts.
Now Suzuki is trying to push the KickStarter to $10 million to achieve his full vision suggesting Sony is not funding it at all.
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Jamie Firth Video Games Production 5 years ago
I don't think anyone has confirmed that the $2m was a water-tester, I think that's assumption?
The only thing I've seen for sure is Sony say that they are partnering with them (this bit):
it's going be run through Third-Party Production. We're going to help Ys Net [Suzuki's studio] get the game done. We're going to be partners on it the whole way."
It's a shame that they've now said that the true cost is more like $10m - I really want to know what the original $2m would have got us. After all, THAT was the pitch that people backed. :-)
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A millionaire and a million dollar corporation go to Kickstarter to fund a project!
Where is 22cans when you need them!
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@Kevin Slagging Molyneux for the 55th time, are you working up to being funny? Yu Suzuki made Hang-On, Space Harrier, Out Run, After Burner, Virtua Racing, Virtua Fighter and Shenmue. If it wasn't for him & his games there'd be no Playstation. You might have noticed he hasn't made a game in more than 10 years and is considered a failure. I don't think there's a stage in gaming this chap doesn't deserve to be on.
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Paul Jace Merchandiser 5 years ago
However, only at $10 million will the game be able to, "truly have the features of an open world."
So if he wants $10 million from kickstarter than what exactly is Sony contributing to the project? I thought them announcing a partnership and saying they would help fund this meant that they were, you know, going to help fund this. Are they going to do more than just put their logo on the game case/disc?
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Andy Samson QA Supervisor, Digital Media Exchange5 years ago
When I read PS4 is digital only, it only means Sony's not really giving any "solid" support for this game and they're still playing it safe. It's probably just free licensing to release it on their system in exchange for timed exclusivity and nothing that's really substantial to the development of the game. The Shenmue 3 Kickstarter still feels to me that it's something that was crafted right after a dinner date with Sony to boost the PS4's hype in this year's E3.
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Istvan Fabian Principal Engineer, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe5 years ago
Andy: developing for the PlayStation is free - there are no licensing fees, and devkits costs are not very high either these days.
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Darren Adams Managing Director, ChaosTrend5 years ago
This gets more confusing day by day, like wtf is actually going on with this game? Is it going to be funded by KS or are Sony still going to back them, or is it a combo of the two?
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Anthony Chan5 years ago
I still don't see what the deal is with everybody so interested in how this game is funded. KS is not a charity pot anymore. KS and other popular crowdfunding websites are all social media darlings with extremely wide reach. New projects get posted on FB, blogs, news feeds, reddit, etc on a daily basis - with ideas going viral ever minute.

Ultimately, big corporations can use crowdfunding sites as a tool to gauge a target population's reception to a specific project. I know its sad for the indie developer, but I am sure KS did not have ambitions to remain a charity pot for life. These guys are for profit too - and the are on the train to becoming a social media staple, the way Youtube, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram have gone.

So really does it matter how much money Suzuki wants? Does it matter if Sony will back this game - be it financially, principally, or in spirit? This game is on the way to becoming an AAA title as it should be. The fans have been waiting for over a decade for this game. The more hoop-la, the better. Suzuki can take from both rich and poor; at the end the gamers will benefit.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Anthony Chan on 23rd June 2015 3:42pm

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Darren Adams Managing Director, ChaosTrend5 years ago
So really does it matter how much money Suzuki wants? Does it matter if Sony will back this game - be it financially, principally, or in spirit?
Well the obvious answer is yes, or we would not be having these discussions at all.

People who loved the first game/games want this to be done properly and part of that was opening customers wallets before the game is even started. By doing so you instantly ask for the trust of all those people you have taken money off, so transparency is paramount when you are talking about how it will be funded.

Nobody wants to see a half arsed Shenmue 3 and if Sony/Suzuki were a little more honest about what is happening then none of this would have been an issue, period.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Darren Adams on 23rd June 2015 4:01pm

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@Anthony I think the lack of transparency is the problem, not the fact that Sony are involved. Kickstarter plays off ppl's romantic notions of 'help' - i.e. this game will not happen unless little people like me stump up our hard earned. Having a giant corporation circling silently over the pot is doing nothing to put donors at ease.
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Caleb Hale Journalist 5 years ago
Telling people you need $2 million when you really need $10 million is a bad start. Then again, Sony using its E3 stage to make a game announcement, contingent upon people raising any money at all for its development might be worse.
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Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.5 years ago
Anthony, how fast was the KickStarter gaining funding when initially announced? Now how fast is the funding coming in with all the confusion going on. That proves it maters a great deal.
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Maciej Sobocinski Assistant (teacher/researcher), Czestochowa University of Technology5 years ago
Maybe my comment won't be a valuable input to the discussion, but: earning 10M$ for Shenmue III on Kickstarter? Good luck with that.
I mean... Never played the game (it was for what... Dreamcast? Sega's coffin nail?), heard only good things about it though. I understand what can it be for the fans (like, what it would be for me if there was a chance to ressurrect the original Fallout team and forget bethesda's F3 ever existed) but still... It is not Halo or anything like that; maybe Yu Suzuki made great games, but how long ago? And what will there be for another millions of millions of backers? More minigames? Go play Watch_dogs, try to 100% it, see how it worked there. Quantity is not always equal to quality.
Got over 3M$? Say "Thank you" and do your job; don't get ahead of yourself, cause it only makes you look stupid.
Because 10M$ just not gonna happen.
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