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Shenmue III director comes clean on budget and aspirations

by Ron Duwell | June 25, 2015June 25, 2015 11:20 am PDT

The honeymoon of Shenmue III’s reveal has worn off, and people are starting to look at this a little more logically. $2 million was first needed to fund the project, but Director Yu Suzuki has since claimed that he really wants $10 million to make this game the best it can be! Wait, does that mean the $3.6 million Suzuki has already made is going to be going towards an incomplete game?

Well, no. Sony is also footing a bit of the bill, raising questions as to why Suzuki needs a mere sum of $2 million or $10 million from fans in the first place.

Let’s not forget the colossal financial failure of the original either! Kickstarter anxiety, go!

Needless to say, many have questions, and Suzuki hopefully has the answers they need. He has typed out a long, open letter to the gaming community through the Kickstarter page that will hopefully inspire the confidence they need to back him and clear any confusion.

There have been many questions concerning Shenmue 3’s budget and what outside sources will be added to the money collected through Kickstarter. I apologize for not having been more forthright in this area and would like to take this opportunity to help clarify the situation.

Ys Net and I have been putting in many long years trying to find a way to bring back a sequel that so many fans have waited so long for. After learning of Kickstarter, I knew it would be possible to get Shenmue 3 started. Wanting to make the best game possible, I also knew that I would have to look to more traditional means to obtain all the funds that would be needed to create the game I had envisioned.

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. It is also important to note that your funds are going strictly to Ys Net for development of Shenmue 3 – Sony and Shibuya Productions are not seeing a cent of your Kickstarter dollars.

The outpouring of support from all of you, the backers, has been so inspirational. I cannot thank you enough. Having reached our funding goal, I am excited to say that the Shenmue story will go on, and our journey with Ryo and Shenhua will continue. Fans will be able to enjoy the sequel they have waited so long for, and newcomers to the series will be introduced to a unique gaming experience.

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.

I understand this statement may by late in coming. Going forward, we wish to be as open as possible concerning the game’s development. I would like to again ask for your cooperation and support in helping make Shenmue 3 the best that it can be.

Sincerely, Yu Suzuki

This is a Kickstarter campaign after all, you guys. It’s not given a special status because it is a long lost legendary sequel. I comes with the same risks and same hiccups as any other campaign, and everyone is making it up as they go along. You’re allowed to ask questions but expecting guarantees is only going to frustrate everyone involved.

Donate, don’t donate, cheer, don’t cheer. It’s up to you. This is happening either way, and my recommendation is to store Shenmue III in the backs of your memory, shove your fingers in your ears, and wait a year or three, because that’s how long this will take.

Kickstarter

Ron Duwell

Ron has been living it up in Japan for the last decade, and he has no intention of leaving this technical wonderland any time soon. When he's not...

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