At Sony’s E3 press conference last night, a Kickstarter was launched for Shenmue III. Within a few hours, the $2 million goal was reached.
As of writing, less than a day after its reveal, the game has received $2,755,950. The game still has another 30 days to go, and if it keeps going like this, the game may break Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night’s $5 million record.
Why are people so excited for Shenmue III? The original Shenmue launched for the Sega Dreamcast in 2000. It introduced many of the open world gameplay mechanics that are present in games today, and was followed up by Shenmue II in 2002. The game’s story was designed to be told over three games, but due to low sales of the Dreamcast and the games themselves, a conclusion seemed to be a pipe dream – until last night that is.
Shenmue III will be released for PlayStation 4 and PC on an unannounced date.
This generation has been known as the “remaster generation”, but Shenmue I and II need some sort of rerelease. One of the Kickstarter stretch goals is a summary of the games, but my experience with games that provide a feature like that fail to fully present the story. The $3 million probably came from fans of the game, how will they pull in new players, especially for a franchise so heavily focused on story? The fact Shenmue III is happening at all still blows my mind.