Hope this helps!
E3 2015 came and left us with a bunch of surprises including the announcement by Yu Suzuki of a Shenmue 3 Kickstarter. The online message boards and struggling remains of the video game/mainstream media were quick to yell foul at Sony for not funding the game completely outright instead of hosting a fan-backed Kickstarter (which funded in under 24 hours) and announcing support later.
However, consider this:
- Sony has not been announced as an exclusive backer of Shenmue 3 and also has not acquired the IP to Shenmue which Sega still owns. Is it really fair to claim Sony should fund an entire Shenmue 3 game just because they have the money to do so, especially when they do not even hold the rights to the IP?
- Wouldn’t you agree that Sony would be a little skeptical of investing into a game that is over 14 years old without some sense of support remaining from the fan base (which has spent 14 years bitterly awaiting a continuation of Shenmue)?
- Neither Shenmue I nor Shenmue II beat Sega’s estimations to be considered commercial successes for the company in their own right – especially considering their production costs. Sony says that basically every production studio had declined to back Shenmue 3 on it’s own. Backing support from Sony should be a blessing, not a curse.
- Sony says there were 2 routes for Shenmue 3 that Suzuki could take – have the game made with Sony and go through a regular production process or kickstart the game and make it with the fans. Suzuki chose to use Kickstarter and make the game with the fans because it would allow him to include fan’s input in the game and make it a true ending they would be happy with and maintain full control of the game. The Kickstarter route is allowing fans to have a say in the game that will finally answer some burning questions and even some of the rewards have been changed according to fans petitioning.
- Yu Suzuki claimed recently in Famitsu magazine that the $2 million funding was essential for Shenmue 3 to exist at all. It seems that the game media may be overplaying Sony’s hand in Shenmue 3’s development and taking advantage of the fact that Suzuki has contracts that are not allowing him to be forthright about funding details.
- Backing the Kickstarter gets you the game for $29 – which is pretty affordable for a video game nowadays. It is really no difference from making a pre-order at Gamestop – which gamers do all the time. However, this pre-order comes with lots of more perks.
Shenmue 3 has been anticipated by fans for a long time and for some time there it seemed like they were going to lose their chance to ever receive an end to the series. The stalling of Shenmue 3 has been an unfortunate casualty of Sega’s exit from the hardware gaming business and falling overall sales. It would be stupid to shoot it down now because the game finally received some outside support.
Everyone who calls themselves a real gamer owes it to support these dedicated fans who have spent years non-stop tweeting, writing, petitioning, and promoting Shenmue. You don’t have to donate money, but don’t stand in the way of something people have waited over a decade for.
In addition, Yu Suzuki has been a great contribution to the video game industry since the arcade days and everyone also owes it to him to help get him get back on his feet and back into making games we love that move the industry forward.
For the record it would be better if supposedly unbiased and cynical journalists used facts instead of simply stating Sony has a ton of money and is pumping Shenmue 3 with cash when no actual proof of how much money is being supplied has been provided. Ironically, it is the same media that created hundreds of click bait articles for years that Shenmue 3 was being developed that is now creating a backlash against it. Enough said about that.
Something a little less serious 😀