Some fans became wary of Sony’s involvement in Shenmue 3, and wondered why a Kickstarter was still necessary. It’s possible for the publishing giant to fully fund he project, so why would it be necessary to crowdfund? Would this affect the game’s availability on other platforms?
The answer lies in the fact that Shenmue 3 is a Sega IP, being developed under Sony’s Third-Party Production, which was confirmed by Sony’s Gio Corsi during their E3 livestream. If Sony were to fully fund it, it would become a first-party title and they’d probably run into trouble regarding licensing.
Cedric Biscay, CEO of Shibuya Productions which is co-producing Shenmue 3, has taken to Twitter to clarify Sony’s role in the project:
Sony is providing various supports, including marketing and investment, to YSNet. However, SONY is just one of many backers of #Shenmue3
— Cedric Biscay (@CedricBiscay) June 21, 2015
@FullReactiveEye SONY will not get any money from the KS, they will help to finance the PS4 version and will also help for advertisement.
— Cedric Biscay (@CedricBiscay) June 20, 2015
Yu Suzuki admits that the initial $2 million crowdfunding goal would bring to fans the barest minimum game that Shenmue 3 can be. In his Reddit AMA, he’d said: “I will say this: if we reach the $5 mil mark, one of the things I really want to do with Shenmue 3 will become a reality. At $10 million, it will truly have the features of an open world.” Keep in mind that Shenmue cost $47 million to make, so you can bet all the money from Kickstarter is going into the game.
Shenmue 3’s Kickstarter campaign currently sits at just over $3.5 million, with 25 days left.