I haven’t posted anything since the start of E3 2015, because I wanted to chill and enjoy the announcements but I’ll definitely write a post on the whole event and what I considered as the biggest highlights.
So far, there were a lot of good surprises from many companies. Among those good news, Shenmue 3 was confirmed as a real project! And on Kickstarter, nonetheless.
I grew up with Sega with the Megadrive/Genesis and had a blast with the Dreamcast. Obviously, I played my fair share of Shenmue and Shenmue 2. Those were very immersive games with a great atmosphere. Even if they didn’t age well (I mean, come on Shenmue came in 1999 and Shenmue 2 in 2001), they still hold a dear place in my gamer heart.
we heard so many rumors about a potential sequel that would possibly wrap up the Shenmue storyline and give Ryo Hazuki, the protagonist closure.
Yu Suzuki was teasing a couple of days before the E3 and we were all on our edges waiting for something official. Then came the Sony conference where they dropped a bomb (among others… FF7 remake *wink* *wink*). I’ve already backed the project and like other backers, I’m already excited to see the game grow before we can lay our hands on it.
Yes, you’ve heard right. Backers. Shenmue 3 is financed through a Kickstarter campaign. That’s quite new for such a big project. Kickstarter was always associated with indie studios and games with a small to medium-sized scale.
A blind guess for the reason behind pushing the project on Kickstarter is probably financial. Although both Shenmue and Shenmue 2 were both a critical success, they didn’t manage to reach a satisfying sales level. I don’t mean poor sales, but just insufficient sales to cover for the high production costs. As a matter of fact, the first Shenmue was among one of the few Dreamcast games to reach the 1 million units sold threshold with it costing $70 million to make (as confirmed by Yu Suzuki in this interview).
Cost were so high and the Dreamcast park was so limited that, according to this IGN article, for the first game to break even, every Dreamcast owner would have had to buy the game twice!
The campaign was issued yesterday and in less than 9 hours, it reached its first $2 million stretch. Wow. This just shows how much gamers were eager to play a new entry in the series.
I just spoke recently of Bloodstained and how it broke a record as the biggest video game campaign on Kickstarter. Looking at the Shenmue case, Yu Suzuki’s campaign will probably steal that record and break others. Let’s just wait and see if Shenmue 3 can reach Star Citizen’s level.
If you’re a fan too, go here to back the project on Kickstarter!
Here’s the teaser trailer narrated by none other than Yu Suzuki himself.