Update 6/25/2015: a lot of information has come out recently in regards to the Kickstarter, how the funding works, and what role Sony is playing in the overall scheme of things. Check this link out for a word about all of this from the Shenmue series creator, Yu Suzuki: Update and clarity on Shenmue 3 Kickstarter
Also, be advised – we still need to get the word out through all of the various social media outlets to help gain further funding for Shenmue 3. The initial 2 million dollars raised will ensure that the game will be made, however; Yu Suzuki stated that in order to make the game on the level that would meet the full expectations of Shenmue fans that they would need to raise 10 million dollars. That is going to be a difficult goal to meet, but it’s not impossible. If we get the word out to as many people as possible, we can meet this lofty goal! Be sure to use the hashtag: #10MillionToShenmue3
Also: plaster the following 10 Million to Shenmue 3 graphic everywhere to help get the word out!
Of all of the things that I hoped were possible at E3 this year, Shenmue 3 being announced for any gaming system was not on any believable list at all. I always say it every year, the same way Valve fans say that Half-Life 3 is coming soon. A sequel to a game 14 years old seemed nigh impossible, yet here we are: E3 2015 and Shenmue 3 for the PS4 and PC are slated to release in December of 2017.
The Shenmue Legacy
The first game in the Shenmue series was released for the Sega Dreamcast way back in 1999 and created by the legendary game designer: Yu Suzuki. A landmark game for its time, it was one of the first open world 3D games to incorporate a large variety of gameplay style and elements: fighting, exploration, conversations, investigation, mini games, quick time events, entire Sega arcade games that were fully playable, collectible toys, forklift races, and much more. From the mundane (feeding a cat, talking to a large variety of people, going shopping) to the thrilling (large multi-enemy brawls, sprawling chases thru the city, supremely tough boss encounters) to the adventurous (chasing down clues, interrogating punks, investigating items), there was something for all types of gamers to do. More than that, the game had a time system as well as a weather system, and cycled thru days & nights, all types of weather conditions, and required the main character to rest on a daily basis. Shenmue had a level of detail and attention to it that was unheard of in a console game at the time. It was followed up by a sequel in 2001 which expanded the story, tightened the gameplay and added a ton of new characters.
The story is set in the late 80s Japan, as Ryo (the protagonist) comes home to his father’s Dojo, only to witness his father being beaten mercilessly by the nefarious Lan-Di, a high-ranking member of a Chinese crime syndicate, who is seeking the mysterious item known as the “Dragon Mirror”. Ryo interrupts their fight, and is nearly killed by Lan-Di. Out of love for his son, the father gives up the “Dragon Mirror” in trade for his son’s life. Lan-Di accepts this trade and gives the father an honorable death as a reward. After recovering from the fight and his father’s murder, Ryo vows to get revenge on the man that took his father’s life. This vow leads Ryo on a journey that has him training harder than ever in the martial arts, making a lot of friends and enemies, chasing down the mystery of the “Dragon Mirror” and the “Phoenix Mirror”, and hopefully to a final confrontation with Lan-Di. The second game ends on a major cliffhanger and for 14 years we have had no reason to believe that we’d ever see the conclusion of Ryo’s journey.
Enter E3 2015 – Shenmue 3 Kickstarter Announced
The announcement by Yu Suzuki at Sony’s E3 press conference was nothing short of a minor miracle. Things like this just do not happen, yet here we are 14 years later with a hope for the Shenmue franchise that we have not had before hand. It was announced that Shenmue 3 would be made if it could raise 2 million dollars on Kickstarter, a feat it achieved in just over 9 hours. So rejoice gamers! Shenmue 3 has achieved its primary funding goal and will be made, with a goal of releasing in December 2017. For $29 you can guarantee a digital copy of the game for either the PS4 or PC. Even though Shenmue 3 has reached it’s initial funding goal, it is hoping to make it to 4 million dollars which will guarantee more content, mini-games, gameplay systems, story and locations to visit. Essentially, the more money they raise for Shenmue 3, the more robust the experience will be. I am hopeful that they will achieve all of their financial goals, so that gamers can play the best finale to the Shenmue series that Yu Suzuki and his team can create. If you would like to donate to this momentous game, please go to the official Shenmue 3 Kickstarter page and throw a few bucks their way, $29 is all it takes to get a digital copy when it eventually releases. On occasion the world gives something back, for all of the ideas and properties that it takes away from us. This is a win, folks. Now let’s turn it into a rousing success and shatter their funding goals!
Spread the word using the following tag: #SaveShenmue and get all of your friends involved. This is our chance to let the game industry know how much we care for beloved franchises and the creators that gave them to us.