Shenmue 3, the long-awaited sequel to the beloved Dreamcast franchise announced during E3, has finished its Kickstarter campaign with the final tally being $6,333,295.
The Kickstarter campaign, originally launched with a more modest goal of $2 million, was set up by Shenmue creator Yu Suzuki and announced during Sony’s E3 Press Conference. Although Sony helped publicise the campaign, and will be helping with marketing and production, they have said that they will not receive any money generated through Kickstarter.
At $6.3 million, Shenmue 3 is now the most funded video game on Kickstarter. It is placed at number three of all time highest funded projects in the games category; with the OUYA at number two with $8.5 million and Exploding Kittens at number one with $8.7 million.
The campaign was quick to reach its initial goal; passing the $2 million mark in less than 12 hours after it was announced. The campaigns stretch goals were then revealed, with Yu Suzuki saying that if funding reached $10 million he would then be able to create a “true open world game”.
Although the game is now funded, Shenmue 3 is not expected to be released until December 2017. And this is only an estimated delivery date. Kickstarter campaigns have a track record of falling behind schedule at least to some degree, so it wouldn’t be surprising if the game slipped into 2018. Not that it matters considering fans have already waited 14 years; it’s doubtful another two will stop anyone from buying the game.
It will be interesting to see how development unfolds and how the game will be received upon its eventual release. It might be difficult to admit, but games have changed a great deal since 2001 when Shenmue II was released. The way games are made, bought, delivered and played have all changed drastically, and so have the expectations of gamers. It would be an understatement to say that the stakes are high for Shenmue 3 and Yu Suzuki.
Shenmue 3 is expected to be released in December 2017, and will be available on PC and PS4.