For over a decade one game has been more requested than anything. Whenever there was a “Games we want to see”…this game would always be top of the list. Since that cliffhanger ending in 2001 us fans have been waiting for 14 years to complete Ryo Hazuki’s quest to vengeance his father. Every E3 fans would wait for an announcement and every year it never came.
Funding was always the issue. The first game ended being the most expensive game ever at the time and despite being a hit Sega never made any profit from either of first two games. So, understandably Sega have been reluctant to produce a third title and we’ve been stuck in this rut ever since.
The first sign came when series creator Yu Suzuki tweeted that he was at E3 along a picture of a forklift an obvious reference to Ryo’s job in the first game. On 15th June 2015 at Sony’s E3 Conference Yu Suzuki announced what the world had been waiting for…
… and Shenmue 3 broke the internet.
That’s 14 years of waiting. That’s what Shenmue 3 means.
Enter the Kickstarter
Since Sega wouldn’t fund the game; Suzuki turned to the fans. In the midst of Sony’s Playstation conference he announced Shenmue 3 campaign’s for the crowdfunding platform Kickstarter and minutes later Kickstarter broke. Overwhelmed with the sheer amount of donations; Kickstarter’s servers temporarily went down. The initial goal was to raise $2 million in 31 days. Shenmue 3 smashed its target in 9 hours and became the fastest game to raise a $1 million on Kickstarter. It even trended more than Final Fantasy 7’s HD remake on Twitter. The hype is real.
While this is obviously great news the announcement has had it’s skeptics. A mere $2 million isn’t enough to fund an ambitious open-world game like Shenmue. Especially as the first was said to cost $47 million. Personally I believe they are investors behind the scenes waiting to see if this project is worth investing in; likely to be Sony themselves as the game is set to be a Playstation 4-exclusive. With over $2.5 million raised in under 24 hours; I’d say it is. It’s also over worth mentioning that $2 million was only the “first stretch” and the scope of the game is dependent on how much funding is raised.
14 Years Too Late..?
Some have pointed out that, other than its actual existence, there’s little to impress here. There’s the shoddy character models, the awkward dialogue, etc. It’s definitely Shenmue eh? People have to understand that this is merely a glimpse of what Shenmue 3 could be and already it’s beautiful. The characters model are placeholders and they will look a lot better. My biggest concern is whether Shenmue 3 has arrived too late. Shenmue was revolutionary for its time but that was over a decade ago. I fear its slow-paced style might come across as outdated.
The game is predicted for release in December 2017 so there’s still a long way to go but at least we know it’s coming. I’ll give the team all the time in the world to make this masterpiece. We’ve waiting 14 years; what’s another three. If you want to join the thousands and pledge to the greatness that is Shenmue 3 click here. Now if you excuse me; I’m off to play this gem.