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Suzuki: Sony won't get "a cent" of Shenmue 3's Kickstarter cash

But it will offer production, marketing and publishing support, leaving more money for development

Yu Suzuki has offered some clarification on the involvement of third party companies in Shenmue 3's development, though perhaps not enough to quell the discussion entirely.

In an update on the game's Kickstarter page, Suzuki apologised to his backers for allowing the confusion around the role of Sony and Shibuya Productions to continue for so long. The emergence of crowdfunding as a credible way to raise development funds is the main reason that Shenmue 3 exists at all, he said, but the scale of the concept made "more traditional" sources of funding and support a necessary addition.

"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," Suzuki said. "Their investment in (and support of) Shenmue have helped to realise a sequel that will stand proud with its predecessors.

”I can say that with their assistance Ys Net is able to use more of the money purely for Shenmue 3's development"

"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 also emphasised that Sony and Shibuya are, "not seeing a cent of your Kickstarter dollars."

However, this doesn't address every objection, particularly regarding Sony's role in Shenmue's campaign. In the comments on this website and far beyond, a company with such deep pockets using its E3 stage to prompt the public to fund a game with which it is directly involved has been called confusing, distasteful, and everything in between.

Sony's clearest statement on the matter was offered by Gio Corsi, director of third-party production, before Shenmue had even reached its funding target: "Sony and PlayStation is definitely a partner in this game, 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."

Shenmue has now raised $3.6 million with 22 days to go. That means the last three days have yielded just $100,000, which would be an enviable achievement were it not for Suzuki's ideal target of $10 million. At this rate, Shenmue 3 will only add another $700,000 before its deadline, leaving it short of even its furthest stretch goal.

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Latest comments (9)

Andy Samson QA Supervisor, Digital Media Exchange4 years ago
Shenmue's kickstarter slowed down because of Sony's lack of commitment. Console fans doesn't want a digital copy, they want something tangible that they can display on their shelf along with the physical copy of Shenmue 1 and 2. A physical copy of the game for PC won't do. A digital only copy for consoles doesn't solidify the idea that Shenmue 3 is no longer a myth, nor a dream..

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Andy Samson on 25th June 2015 9:00am

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Adam Campbell Product Manager, Azoomee4 years ago
Not sure where you're getting these ideas from Andy. I don't think Sony's commitment is anything to do with the Shenmue campaign slowdown, it broke the barrier in less than a day, I wouldn't at this stage put it down to anything less than a natural decline. I don't see where it was Sony's duty to give ongoing promotion to the Kickstarter outside the E3 announcement.

As for console gamers and opinions around digital, that's not what I'm hearing on the ground. I would also be VERY surprised if a Shenmue fan found having a digital copy of their long awaited game unforgiveable, when this is probably one of the main reasons its possible to get the game out there at all.
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Jeff Kleist Writer, Marketing, Licensing 4 years ago
This is very typical. The game is funded, and even though they won't be charged before day 30, people don't register. If they add additional platforms, they'll get bumps, and the last three days are going to be big. I'll be very surprised if he fails to hit 5 million, ten is out of the question, though he'd be wise to take a page from Chris Roverts and offer elite access and the ability to buy in post Kickstarter.

There's definately a huge market for the physical copies, this is a collector's game, but that requires a significant cash outlay. The PC discs likely would be run off at some facility inindonesia or Malaysia, where you can press discs very cheaply. Not so much at a DADC plant that can make PlayStation games, where minimum quantities, high costs etc make it a much riskier reward. It's pretty obvious they're trying to cut a deal on that front though.
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Show all comments (9)
Darren Adams Managing Director, ChaosTrend4 years ago
This has been a bit of a PR nightmare for Sony and Suzuki, if only they would have been transparent from the start. I am sure if Suzuki had said that he was funding development and Sony are only helping with distribution/marketing then he may have reached the 10 million. Or pretty close at least.

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Darren Adams on 25th June 2015 10:15am

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Andy Samson QA Supervisor, Digital Media Exchange4 years ago
Adam, it's hard to understand since you sound like you're not one of those fans. I've been waiting for this game since I finished playing Shenmue 2 on the Dreamcast and the XBOX. Fans are mislead into thinking that Sony is funding the development when all that they're doing is funding the PS4 port of the PC version Yu Suzuki is primarily making. As a result, people are less motivated to back the game since in their mind, Sony is doing the heavy lifting. People are confused as to where exactly will the money they are giving will go.
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Adam Campbell Product Manager, Azoomee4 years ago
Adam, it's hard to understand since you sound like you're not one of those fans. I've been waiting for this game since I finished playing Shenmue 2 on the Dreamcast and the XBOX.
Hrm, Shenmue basically made my decision to join the games industry so I'm a bit of a fan. All I'm saying is, the general feedback I'm hearing is not about how we may not get a physical copy on PS4. We are elated this game even exists. I know people who would have got any platform on earth to play this game, and I probably would too...
As a result, people are less motivated to back the game since in their mind, Sony is doing the heavy lifting. People are confused as to where exactly will the money they are giving will go.
Completely agree about the confusion, though I'm not convinced it necessarily outweighs the usual Kickstarter campaign trajectory. Either way, it probably would have helped if Sony said nothing even and just supported it in whatever way they planned.
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Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.4 years ago
And they have my pledge again.

This was a clinic on how not to handle a game announcement. You'd think after all this time in planning and pre-production that they would have been better prepared when the finally announce the damn game. Instead they got wrapped up in the glamor of announcing it at Sony's E3 conference and forgot people might actually want to know who and how it's getting made (can't think of a KickStarter game that doesn't make this known immediately).


Two things that should have happened on day 1:

1: Announce that Sony is largely a distribution partner and not a funding partner.
2. $10 million is the goal. The initial $2 million is pure BS. Stretch goals are icing, not part of the cake itself.
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Sven Folkesson Chief Operating Officer, Fatshark4 years ago
It's probably as bad as the article suggests, but one should remember that in general, Kickstarter campaigns make the most in the beginning and at the end, and not so much in the middle of the campaign.
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Shehzaan Abdulla Translator/QA 4 years ago
To be honest I think the biggest issue here has been media reporting based on assumption which has spiraled out, unchecked, into people thinking Sony's degree of involvement is such that the Kickstarter is a vanity exercise.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Shehzaan Abdulla on 27th June 2015 3:06pm

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