“Shenmue III”, whose Kickstarter was announced this year by Sony at their annual E3 keynote, more than tripled its initial goal of $2 million and raised $6,333,296. This broke “Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night’s” previous record of $5,545,991, making it the highest-funded video game Kickstarter of all time. “Shenmue III’s” campaign was more than just impressive, reaching its goal a mere nine hours after it was announced. While the ultimate goal for the crowdfunding campaign was $11 million, Sony will be helping Ys Net, the developer of the game, cover the rest of the development costs. That leads to the logical conclusion that the game will be a Playstation exclusive, although it will be released on PC as well. If the stretch goal of $11 million were reached, more features would have been included in the game, such as a more extensive battle system and expanded locations in which players could explore. It is uncertain at this time whether or not this will be apart of Sony helping Ys Net “get the game done.”
The original “Shenmue” was released for the Sega Dreamcast in Japan in 1999, followed by a release in North America in 2000. It managed to garner a sequel, which was released for the Dreamcast in Japan in 2001. While the game did not see a release for the then-defunct Dreamcast in North America, “Shenmue II” was released in October 2002 for Microsoft’s Xbox console.
In one of the most surprising announcements at E3 2015, Sony decided to take a chance and believe in series director Yu Suzuki’s vision in making what is in all likelihood his passion project. Whether or not the game fully lives up to its potential is something time will only tell, but the announcement of “Shenmue III” and the fervor it has caused in the gaming community is undeniable. With just over 300 backers pledging over $1,000 to the project and 69,320 fans backing the game in total, people are very excited about the potential “Shenmue III” holds.