Shenmue 3 actually needs $10M to truly have an open world

One of the factors that made Shenmue such a hit back in 1999, aside from its story, of course, was it was one of the very few to advocate and open world gameplay, something that we may be taking for granted these days. So imagine the surprise, and probably some disappointment, when creator Yu Suzuki, answering questions in a Reddit AMA thread, revealed that the dream of a truly open Shenmue world can only be realized if the campaign's fund reaches the $10 million mark.

That definitely seems like a moonshot even for a Kickstarter like Shenmue 3. The campaign broke records when it was funded in less than 12 hours. All $2 million in half a day! It has passed many stretch goals and could very well reach the $5 million stretch goal before it ends in 24 days. That said, Shenmue 3 might actually have more budget than backers realize, thanks to a topic that is somewhat unsettling some in the gaming and crowdfunding scenes.

It turns out, Sony will actually be funding Shenmue 3, something that was never made known to the public, either in the initial E3 announcement or in any of the Kickstarter info or updates. It turns out that Sony would only agree to help make Shenmue 3 if it gets solid proof that it is something that people will actually spend money on. And what better proof could there be than $3.5 million from almost 50,000 backers, 4 of which have put in $10,000.

Some have taken issue with how Sony might have found a way to game the Kickstarter system. Although there is probably no rule that prohibits this, crowdfunding is normally a resort that people take to fund a product that would otherwise not be able to get money in traditional means. In short, without the funds, there would be no way to make the product. Ever. Sony seems to have turned Kickstarter into a litmus test of interest instead and the $2 million figure almost becomes like a meaningless and arbitrary number. To be fair, Shenmue 3 isn't the only one that did this kind of "trick". Bloodstained was more upfront about it, however, admitting that it has a willing cash cow but needed to show proof of interest in terms of actual money pledges. Bloodstained was also more or less endorsed by Sony, which makes one wonder if Sony is that unnamed financial partner as well.

Suzuki himself was rather vague about whether that $10 million would be needed to be raised on Kickstarter or if Sony can help shoulder that. It seems a bit off that such a feature would be left out if fans weren't able to raise the amount despite Sony's coffers available at Shenmue 3's disposal. Regardless of conspiracy theories, it seems that fans are more than willing to make that $10 million dream come true. Whether they can actually raise that amount, however, remains to be seen.

SOURCE: Reddit

VIA: GamesRadar