Ys Net has been making headlines, again. This time the company is back in the news for breaking through the crowdfunding mold and generating some big bucks for the upcoming release of Shenmue 3 on PS4 and PC.
Over on the Kickstarter page, there’s an update from the production staff explaining that the crowdfunded project has attained more than 81,000 backers and tallied up more than $7.1 million in total funding. That’s an impressive haul for a game like Shenmue 3, which seemingly came out of nowhere after making waves during an initial on-stage announcement during a 2015 Sony press conference.
Designer Yu Suzuki came on stage to announce that Shenmue 3 would be funded through Kickstarter, and that it would receive additional support from Sony to finish development. He claimed that he needed around $10 million to make the complete product, according to what he had envisioned for the third outing, but it was a slow haul getting to the $7 million. Initially the Kickstarter came to an end in July of 2015, after it got underway in June. The team managed to accrue $6 million in crowdfunding from gamers, but continued some of the crowdfunding off-site through the official Shenmue web portal.
It was through the website that the team managed to rack up an additional $1 million in crowdfunding for the development of the game, heading closer toward that coveted $10 million goal. What we don’t know is if Suzuki needed $10 million in crowdfunding to bring Shenmue 3 up to a certain target investment goal to receive additional funding, or if $10 million was going to be enough to develop the game in full.
Suzuki didn’t exactly explain how much Sony or the others would be contributing to the project, so for all we know Sony could have set the mark that if the team reaches $10 million in crowdfunding it would match them with $10 million more. Or it could have been that if Suzuki reached $5 million or more in crowdfunding, Sony would provide the rest so that the team at Ys Net could finish development with the targeted $10 million.
Anyway, development has been slow and methodical, with screenshots and trailers being released to give gamers a look at how development is progressing with the characters, the environments, the combat mechanics, and the exploration.
We haven’t actually seen a whole lot of the gameplay, but we’ve been teased with what it might be like. The game is still 10 months out from release, with Ys Net having delayed the game from releasing in April of 2019 to August 27th, 2019 for the PlayStation 4 and on Steam for PC.
The system requirements for the game are also pretty steep, requiring 100GB of hard drive space. Some suspect this is due to the 4K assets, which is usually what Xbox One X games clock in at when they have the 4K enhancements enabled.
Nevertheless, Shenmue 3 joins a short list of illustrious crowdfunding projects that have garnered more than $5 million in community funds. It’s still a far cry from Star Citizen, which has managed to hit $200 million in crowdfunding, an unprecedented amount of money for an independent project being made outside of the realm of traditional publisher funding.
You’ll be able to get your hands on Shenmue 3 starting in the middle of 2019 next year.