After Yu Suzuki’s bombshell announcement, during Sony’s E3 conference, that he’s going to Kickstarter to fund the development of Shenmue 3, fans immediately began to question just how in the heck the legendary developer and his team at Ys Net were going to make such a grand game for only $2 million.
The question was also raised during this week’s Nerdcast, where I suggested Suzuki might have had a pre-existing agreement with a third party, where if he raises enough money through Kickstarter, the company will help publish the game. It turns out, that company is Sony.
During the PlayStation LiveCast, Suzuki and Sony director of third party relations Gio Corsi were guests during a segment, and Corsi was asked if Sony was involved in the project.
“Absolutely,” Corsi said. “First off, Shenmue 3 was the number one asked on the whole “Building the List Campaign.” So when that all started, it was right off the bat – Shenmue 3, Shenmue 3, Shenmue 3. We met with Suzuki-san at GDC last year and started the long road on how this was going to be made.
“We said, ‘The only way this is gonna happen is if the fans speak up,’” he continued. “We thought Kickstarter was the perfect place to do this. We set a goal of two million dollars, and if the fans come in and back it, then absolutely we’re going to make it this a reality.
“Sony and PlayStation is definitely a partner in this game,” said Corsi, “and it’s going to be run through third-party production. We’re going to help Ys Net get the game done, we’re going to be partners on it the whole way and really excited to see this thing come out in a couple of years.”
That revelation should put many at ease who didn’t think Suzuki would be able to raise enough money to do Shenmue 3 justice. He also had a message to those fans who’ve contributed in droves to his Kickstarter campaign.
“To make it clear, the only reason we’re able to do this is because of the fans,” Suzuki said. “No matter where I go around the world or who I talk to, people constantly ask me about Shenmue 3. I couldn’t be more thrilled to finally have the opportunity to answer that question for you, so to speak. The pressure’s on, but I think I’ll make something that will satisfy your needs and give you something really special.”
Shenmue 3 has already met its first three stretch goals after reaching its funding goal in less than 10 hours and still has 31 days to go before the campaign ends. By the look of it, the campaign should break the $5.5 million record recently raised by Castlevania’s spiritual successor, Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night.