Ys Net's Shenmue 3 is now the most successful video game in the relatively brief history of Kickstarter, inching past the previous record with just hours left on the clock.
Koji Igarashi's Bloodstained had that honour for little more than a month, but Shenmue 3 has now eclipsed its total of $5,545,991. With 13 hours still to go, the new target to which game Kickstarter's must aspire will be confirmed by the time sit down to breakfast tomorrow.
In terms of Kickstarters gaming category as a whole, however, Shenmue 3 is still far short of the record, which currently belongs to Exploding Kittens, a freakishly successful card game that raised $8.78 million on a target of $10,000. Second spot belongs to Ouya, the Android micro-console that, let's face it, didn't turn out as well as many hoped.
If anything, Shenmue 3 didn't fulfill the potential it showed in its first few days, when it toppled records for the speed with which the donations poured in. The momentum was sufficient for Yu Suzuki, the series' revered creator, to publicly make the bold claim that he would need $10 million for Shenmue 3 to, "truly have the features of an open world." At $5 million, he said, Ys Net would be able to realise one of the features he really wanted to include.
However, it is now very common for Kickstarter to be used as a means of generating interest from publishers and additional funding sources, the stated funding target often well below what a given company needs to do everything on its ideal design document.
So Shenmue 3 may ultimately receive the $10 million treatment. Sony is assisting with several areas of the game's production and marketing, and there's no particular reason that it - or another third-party - wouldn't supply the resources necessary to make Suzuki's broader vision a reality.