News Article

Shenmue 3 Could Happen Via A Kickstarter Campaign, Says Creator Yu Suzuki

Posted by Damien McFerran

Famous game designer is "researching" crowdfunding the sequel

Shenmue and its sequel cost around $70 million to make — an incredible figure when you consider that Sega was on the ropes when it bankrolled them. Unsurprisingly, the death of the Dreamcast — combined with Sega's gradual shift from developer to publisher — has put Shenmue 3 on the back-burner. However, creator Yu Suzuki has revealed at GDC 2014 that fans might not have to wait that much longer for the next instalment in the franchise.

Speaking at a Shenmue post-mortem during the event, Suzuki — who also created arcade hits like After Burner, Space Harrier and Virtua Fighter — said that he would like to make Shenmue 3 with the "right opportunity". When asked if he'd considered using Kickstarter, he replied:

Yes. I am researching it.

When pressed for further details, Suzuki refused to say for sure if the crowdfunding campaign for definitely happen, and reiterated that he was merely looking into the prospect of bringing the game to Kickstarter at the moment. He also couldn't say what he was working on with his new studio, but did confirm that a project is in the works:

Just now, I don't have anything I can say yet. I can't announce right now - but I'm making something.

Would you back a Kickstarter campaign for the next Shenmue, or do you think that such a project would be so expensive that it couldn't be made via crowdfunding? Do you know where I can find some sailors? Did you happen to see a black car that day? Let us know with a comment.


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User Comments (65)



marck13 said:

A Kickstarter that with the a guaranteed Wii U release? Bring it on, take my £$£



Morph said:

I think this could well end up one of kickstarters highest ever depending on platforms



Windy said:

I wish they would bring 1 and 2 to 3ds. they would look sweet in 3d



WiiLovePeace said:

Well I would probably make this my first kickstarter except I haven't played the other Shenmue games yet hence I'd have to do that before I help out Shenmue 2.



Linkstrikesback said:

No, it couldn't happen via kickstarter. There is no way they could EVER raise nearly enough money, the dream cast game alone cost 20 million dollars. And of course a current gen game would cost more.
And only 59 kickstarters have ever got over $1million, let alone 20.

Whats with all the blatant clickbait articles nintendolife



Jazzer94 said:

I wouldn't fund this project seeing how they hemorrhaged money in the past I don't feel I could trust them.



Peach64 said:

I would throw large amounts of money at this, but seriously doubt they could raise anywhere near enough. I think Torment has got the most through kickstarter with just over 4 million, which wouldn't even come close. Maybe he could come to some kind of deal like others that if they can raise so much through crowd funding, a publisher will take it on.



KeeperBvK said:

As LInkstrikesback already said, this could never get financed. At least not, if Suzuki is going for a true sequel of Shenmue I and II. Those were FAR away from being profitable for SEGA, so why should a third game in a series only somewhat old-school hardcore gamers remember and love be financially viable? It's insane to even consider it.



Peach64 said:

I can only seeing it happening as an exclusive for some console. It's highly unlikely to make money, so why would a publisher take it on? The only people that would take a loss on a game are Nintendo, Sony or MS in order to get some buzz about their console.



DESS-M-8 said:

YES and this needs to be on Wii U.
Reactive Eyes using the gamepad!!????
It would rock.
It would sell.
I would back it at £50



Guybrush20X6 said:

I'm wondering where most of the costs went from the $70 mil to make the originals. Not on the English voice acting for sure.



Beechbone said:

Well, doing next-gen open world game with rich deep gameplay, voce acting and everything on Kickstarer. Not gonna happen, unless Kickstarter would be just well, a start to attract some publisher willing to fund majoriy of the project alongside marketing.



luke88 said:

I've never backed anything on kickstarter before but I would give this man at least £50 without any hesitation if this kicktstarter was announced.



luke88 said:

We should all be doing more to make more shenmue related things happen: rereleases, new games, a clothing range, whatever. Seriously, shall we start going on marches or something? I'll bring the placards.



The-Chosen-one said:

they should make it multiplatform.
And they should bring shenmue 1&2 as an Eshop/Xbla etc etc. to earn money for the next installment, and they should bring it also to 3ds and vita.



Excep7ional said:

I would throw money at them over and over again. I really want to see the conclusion to this epic story. That, plus I want to train my martial arts moves in a park again, get into bar brawls after chasing someone and control cranes by the docks the next day lol. (Those of you who played the games will know the kind of things I'm talking about.)



chibichibi said:

@Peach64 The Veronica Mars movie raised $5.7m and would have raised more had they not reached the goal so soon.

$70m seems like a ridiculous amount, though. They'd need to get 1m people to back $70, so if you look at it like that it doesn't seem so far-fetched given the cost of games.

Perhaps it'd be better to remake the games for a wider-audience and see if there's a demand for a sequel



Einherjar said:

After seeing how DoubleFines adventure game campaign basicly exploded, and taking into account how dedidcated this fanbase is...i can see people go literally apeshit about this I sure hope this happens !



LJay said:

Id slap £100 no probs to see the finish of the story maybe more if it was a wiiu exclusive!-spoken like a true fanboy

I think Nintendo should bankroll this and get some buzz about the U



Ristar42 said:

Certainty it could be done, it doesn’t need to be the same scale of production as the earlier games (which were in development since the Saturn), just to advance the story as I want to know what happens next, its sometime since I finished the second game on the Dreamcast.

I'm sure Yu Suzuki knows where he wants the story to go, he just needs to share it with the fans, somehow! I'd put money down, he is a video game legend.



sinalefa said:

As with Legends 3, I would love this to happen, but it is very difficult. Indeed you don't raise so much money with a Kickstarter. If they were able to get so much, they (Sega) could as well create the game and the money would be there for them to get a profit with sales.


I agree with you there. I would rather have a remake, and with the story fresh in people's minds it would be easier to gauge interest for the third one.



retro_player_22 said:

Hopefully it doesn't take a full decade to see this happen. A big high quality game like Shenmue and Legend of Zelda took years to developed before it could make it to the production stage. Hopefully Sega support this project too.



3MonthBeef said:

Remember Duke Nukem 3? Its nice to fantasize but the opportunity is long since gone. Shenmue was a trailblazer but look at how many games are built upon its model. It just wouldn't make sense.



DESS-M-8 said:

@Guybrush20X6 it was GTA open world gaming before GTA with a graphic engine that literally dumped on anything else in existence at that time. This game was HUGE



Nintenjoe64 said:

I'd like to think that half the reason Shenmue cost so much was down to how ahead of its time it was. Hopefully he can get the trilogy finished for a fraction of the cost but he must also want to get people that missed the original to play it and want a reboot of the first two. Dreamcast and Shenmue have a vocal fanbase on the internet but I do suspect many of the fans never owned a dreamcast or played the original so it's no surprise SEGA haven't done this already.



Mytoemytoe said:

I honestly think Shenmue could double the record on Kickstarter and raise, at the minimum, $20 million. I know I am at least one of the people out there who would contribute the full cost of an AAA game ($60).



Doctor_Pancakes said:

@Guybrush20X6 Graphically the game was mind blowing. I was in awe just opening drawers lol
The game was way above all competition graphically at the time. It was in the record books as most expensive game to develop and I thought the numbers were more like $100 million to develop... If I remember correctly the game was $80 when it released...



alLabouTandroiD said:

I wouldn't mind getting the first one or two if i could ever buy a download version.
I don't think there'd be a point in playing Shenmue 3 before beating the other two.



justinluey said:

I haven't backed a game yet, but I would absolutely back this one.

Raising 70 million would be impossible, but if it was setup like Veronica Mars, where the Kickstarter was used to gauge and then build interest for Warner Bros., then it could work.

They should also be re-releasing the first two games on every platform.



GrimSh said:

oh my god.... my favorite game of all time finally getting a proper ending? If this happened I would actually call off work for a week and just to play the game in its full glory. My wife would understand.



Ninhau said:

Take my €€€

if Start Citizen manages +$40M, this can easily beat that figure




If they kept those dreamcast style graphics it would probably work out much cheaper then if they try and go all state of the art.

Shenmue is around 12 years old now, surly what cost a lot then won't cost as much now.



TimoteiWest said:

Just f'ing make it already. I've no doubt such a campaign would be covered on all sorts of sites and make its money. Just look at the coverage there "not being a campaign yet" has gained.



unrandomsam said:

@luke88 I never have either but I will do the same given the opportunity. (I might even go for one of the ones that lets you put a small thing in the game if that is an option).



AshFoxX said:

Personally, the first game was a masterpiece. The second game turned me off with it's impossible luck game you have to play at your 'job'.

However, if Shenmue 3 is a thing, I will throw some money at it if it has an incentive to bring all three games together on one system. It sucks having to switch between my DC and my Xbox.



Neko_Ichigofan said:

I just hope that there will be a Wii U stretch goal so the game will at least have a chance to come to a Nintendo Console.



Sidewaydriver said:

@retro_player_22 You will never see this happen. Sega is still mad about the $70 million Yu Suzuki lost and they are going to cut his breaks, just like Nintendo did with Gunpei Yokoi.



SilentHunter382 said:

I have never played any of the Shenmue games but I always wanted to play them. If they released ports of 1 & 2 to Xbla/Eshop/Steam I would buy it or a HD collection of the two.



Kolzig said:

@Linkstrikesback Chris Roberts has gathered over 40 million already through crowd funding for his Star Citizen mega project.

Would definitely back Shenmue 3 project up. I would buy it for PC since that is the main platform for crowd funding usually. Sega also should step up the game and release those Shenmue 1&2 HD versions for all the current new generation consoles Wii U/PS4/Xbone plus PC.

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